Cars used to be simple things back in the day. They were a collection of parts — mostly metal, plastic and glass — and had very little technology in them. How times have changed. 

More and more complex electronics have been sneaking in to the automotive industry and we are at a point now where we may not even need to drive ourselves. Our cars will do that for us.

The Tiguan doesn’t have such technology (thankfully) but it is packed with other features. And when I say ‘packed’ I mean it.

I think our top-spec R Line long-termer has more kit than you actually need. For instance, behind the steering wheel you will find two screens measuring 12 inches in in total (Volkswagen calls this the Active Info Display) and then there’s an 8.0in infotainment screen in the centre console called Discover Pro. They all display vast amounts of information and when you are driving, keeping an eye on all the info can be tricky. You really only need to know how much fuel you have... If this sounds like a lot of screens, wait — there is one more. When you start the car a transparent plastic panel featuring the head-up display pops up from the top of the dash. This shows you your speed and other stuff — as does the Active Info Display; do I really need to see that I am breaking the law twice? I better take my foot off the throttle just to be safe...

However, the Discover Pro system is among the best in class. All the info is presented in an innovative, simple, and easy-to-read way with distinctive colours. Volkswagen also kept ‘traditional’ knobs to control functions such as volume which I find easier to control while driving.

It has a surround view system which assists with parking — but the sensors are way too sensitive; the alarms begin to sound while parking between two cars even when you have lots of room. It is so bad that I switched this system off and went back to relying on the rear view mirror. I guess I am old school...

Technology can be useful — but at other times, it can be downright annoying! More next week.


The progress

Week 1
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

Week 2
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.

Highs: Well appointed and practical cabin

Lows: Has some turbo lag