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New Volkswagen SUV showcases wonderful thing about Tiguan…

PUBLISHED: 15:33 25 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:33 25 October 2016

New Volkswagen Tiguan sport utility vehicle looks and feels much classier with good attention to detail and plenty of space.

New Volkswagen Tiguan sport utility vehicle looks and feels much classier with good attention to detail and plenty of space.

Volkswagen supplied

Volkwagen's second-generation Tiguan sport utility vehicle has moved upmarket with a classier look and feel, making it a benchmark all-rounder, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

Take a sport utility vehicle, stick Volkswagen badges front and back and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Both successful, and popular, in their own right, put them together and it’s not difficult to see why the Tiguan has been such a hit and one of the marque’s top-sellers behind the Golf and Polo.

The new model builds on this success, more grown up and mature, stylish and upmarket – and that’s because it looks like a scaled-down version of the bigger Touareg. It swaps the previous Tiguan’s soft, cushy curves for sharper, stronger angles that give it far more road presence.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Price: Volkswagen Tiguan SE Navigation 2.0 TDI 2WD 150PS £28,035 (range from £22,510)

Engine: 1,968cc, 150PS, four-cylinder, turbo diesel

Performance: 0-62mph 9.3 seconds; top speed 127mph

MPG: Urban 48.7; extra urban 67.3; combined 58.9

CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 25%

Insurance group: 19E (out of 50)

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,486mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,099mm; H 1,632mm

Under the bonnet

Petrol or diesel? Well, there’s plenty to choose from to suit all needs and tastes but the 150PS 2.0-litre diesel is going to be the most popular with front-wheel or 4Motion all-wheel drive, manual or automatic transmission.

If you don’t need the reassurance of the extra traction, the front-wheel drive version fits the bill with flexible, elastic performance across a wide rev range so no need to work it hard with the precise six-speed manual gearbox, so avoiding the gruff and boomy top end.

Make the most of the mid-range pull and it pays dividends at the pumps too with 45 to 50mpg running around and 55 to 60mpg on runs.

Ride and handling

The new Tiguan, the first new Volkswagen SUV on the innovative and flexible modular MQB platform which also underpins the Golf, also feels more grown up to drive with a fine balance between ride and roadholding, even with 18in alloy wheels – the saving grace being deep tyres which help cushion bumps and lumps. The tyres also protrude beyond the alloy rim so protects them if you clip a kerb.

While the supple suspension smoothes and soothes the worst effects of rough roads, it’s stiff enough to give the Tiguan good poise and balance through twists and turns so, combined with well-weighted steering, this SUV is rather rewarding on cross-country routes.

At the wheel

Styling-wise, the family feel extends to the fascia with large white on black dials, rotary heating and ventilation controls, sturdy switchgear and most vehicle functions controlled with the large touch screen with menu buttons that come ‘alive’ and appear as your hand approaches.

There’s a good range of steering wheel and driver’s seat adjustment but those with short legs may find the long seat cushions press into the back of their knees.

The fascia is more functional than fancy, despite its quality feel, fit and finish, but there’s no shortage of storage space.

Space and comfort

It’s a similar story when it comes to passenger space with 60/40 split rear seats that now slide back and forth through 180mm. Legroom in the back goes from vast to voluminous – with the front seat set for my 5ft 8in frame I could still squeeze in behind with the rear seat fully forward.

The deep boxy 615-litre boot, 145 litres more than the previous model, has a two-level floor – at sill height for easier loading or you can drop it lower to increase depth – so swallows large loads. Rear seat backs fold flush with the boot floor in the highest position for a long, uninterrupted load platform.

Final say

The Tiguan’s sharper lines and more athletic appearance have made it look classier, borne out by the quality of the interior, practicality and attention to detail.

It doesn’t come cheap, compared to many rivals, but that Volkwagen badge means it’s a price many people will be happy to pay and should mean strong used values too.

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