One thing you can rely on most with us photographers is that we tend to overpack and usually haul more equipment around than what would be necessary.
Things were no different for a recent fashion photo assignment in Dibba on the East Coast. Needless to say, I happily accepted when the wheels team offered me the long term Tiguan to tackle the journey. I have to admit, I’ve always seen these particular models as no more than ‘soccermom’ vehicles though, and certainly didn’t have any expectations of a very engaging driving experience. How wrong I was!
The Tiguan is all grown up now, and proved very engaging indeed. Our first problem of fitting all the photography gear in was taken care of in a matter of minutes. With so many options and configurations of the loadspace area, you could easily customise it to any size of cargo you’d likely need. The only small niggle I had (and maybe this is me not reading the manual), was that I couldn’t find a way to collapse the rear seats to access the boot from within the cabin.
The interior has a very premium feel, and is a very nice place to spend a few hours. The customisable, all-digital cockpit and drivers heads-up display are nice touches, although unfortunately the latter is impossible to read while wearing polarised sunglasses — this however is a universal problem and not only applicable to VW.
The drive itself was smooth as silk. The big wheels of the R Line package may have something to do with this, I can’t be sure. I’m sure they definitely help with the coasting feature that kicks in when you remove your foot from the accelerator — the momentum just keeps the car gliding effortlessly. So much so, that it took more than a kilometre for me to realise I hadn’t set the cruise control yet, deceleration was almost imperceptible. Speaking of cruise control, this is what made the trip truly enjoyable, as it’s completely adaptive. It maintains a set following distance to the traffic ahead, and will even apply the brakes quite aggressively when someone cuts in front of you.
Turbo lag is a little too pronounced for my liking, especially when accelerating out of a coast or merging onto freeways but all in all, the Tiguan proved fun to drive and I’d be very happy to have it as my daily driver.
Compared to the previous generation, the new model is approximately 60mm longer in length and 30mm wider and has a height of 1,646mm. The predecessor was attractive looking but the successor is more distinctive thanks to its sharp lines and overall I’d say it is more attractive, especially in the R Line trim that we have. This sees the addition of larger 20in wheels, a special front spoiler and chrome exhausts for the exterior and as for the cabin it gets the R Line logo on the leather steering wheel, metal pedals and sports seats. The cabin is loaded with tech from electrically adjustable leather seats, a panoramic roof and the gorgeous 12.0in high-resolution Active Info Display.
Highs: Bigger and more attractive than the previous generation
Lows: Big price difference from the base to the R Line trim