Volkswagen Tiguan review

Volkswagen Tiguan review

We road test the latest version of VW’s biggest selling car – the Tiguan family crossover…

The Tiguan is a hugely important model for Volkswagen. Since the family crossover was first launched back in 2007, nearly eight million have been sold and it’s the German giant’s best-selling car globally.

However, there’s no time to rest on your laurels in the automotive world, so it’s welcome to the third-generation Tiguan.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

It’s got its work cut out too, because its many rivals in the mid-size family SUV sector include the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga, MINI Countryman and Hyundai Tucson.

On the engine front, Volkswagen has covered most bases with a choice of petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI) and mild-hybrid petrol engines (eTSI) from launch.

Later in 2024 there will be two plug-in hybrid (eHybrid) models offering offer up to 62 miles of electric range thanks to a large 19.7kWh battery.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

All Tiguan models now feature automatic transmission, while 4Motion (four-wheel drive) is only available in the more powerful 2.0-litre petrol turbo (TSI) powered cars.

At 4539mm long, 1639mm tall (minus roof rails) and 1842mm wide, the new Tiguan is 30mm longer, 4mm taller and the same width as its popular predecessor.

Looks-wise, it’s fair to say that it’s more of an evolution of the outgoing model, rather than cutting-edge design.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Overall, the styling is smoother and more curvaceous (the drag coefficient has improved from 0.33 to 0.28) and its front end is not unlike its all-electric ID cousins.

At the back, there’s a full-width horizontal LED strip with classy ‘Tiguan’ lettering on the tailgate.

The biggest changes are inside, where the third-gen Tiguan has been treated to a new cabin sporting a cleaner look, improved technology, higher quality materials and more space than its predecessor.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

All versions come with a 10.3-inch driver’s digital instrument panel, plus a central 12.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. A huge 15.0-inch version is also available as part of an upgrade – as is a head-up display.

The touch sliders at the bottom of the infotainment screen work better than some of the original ID models and they are now illuminated so easier to use at night. Thankfully, there are physical buttons on the steering wheel, rather than touch-sensitive controls.

There’s plenty of space for all the family, with ample head and legroom for rear passengers, plus a large 648-litre boot.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

Overall, the cabin is comfortable and pleasant (if slightly business-like) place to be with good visibility and clear, intuitive instrumentation and solid build quality.

My test car was a 1.5-litre eTSI mild (48V) hybrid, pushing out 148bhp. As you’d expect, the driving position is suitably high, while the gear selector has been moved up to the right-hand side of the steering column, meaning the left stalk now controls the windscreen wipers and indicators.

Mercedes-Benz already does this, and once you get over the initial wiper/indicator activation mistakes, it kind of works, but my preference would always be for separate stalks. Additionally, there are gear-change paddles behind the steering wheel.

Volkswagen Tiguan

It’s also worth noting that Volkswagen has decided to fit a useful rotary controller down in the centre console which adjusts the radio volume and switches between drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport or Individual).

For the record, the Tiguan I drove is capable of 130mph with a respectable 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds. CO2 emissions and economy are a claimed 141g/km and 45.6mpg respectively, with the latter seemingly very achievable even after a few hours of mixed driving.

On the road, the four-cylinder engine is smooth with plenty of mid-range pulling power. It will become more vocal under heavy acceleration, but for the most part it’s impressively refined.

Gareth Herincx driving the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan

The slick seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox works well, though it occasionally holds onto gears for a fraction too long.

It would be an exaggeration to say that the Tiguan’s ride and handling are class-leading, but they are well up to the job. The suspension is at the firmer end of the scale, but not uncomfortably so. The steering is easy and light, and the car is generally composed with good body control in faster corners, combined with ample grip.

Choose Sport mode and the throttle and gearbox are a tad more responsive, but then performance and dynamism aren’t the main priorities for the family favourite that is the Tiguan.

Volkswagen Tiguan

At launch, the Volkswagen Tiguan range consists of five trim levels (Tiguan, Life, Match, Elegance and R-Line) with prices starting at £34,075.

Verdict: Volkswagen has played it safe with the much-improved third-generation Tiguan, sticking with a winning formula of understated style, comfort and quality. The good news for families is that it now also boasts more space, it’s equipped with the latest technology and safety kit, and it’s more economical.

Volkswagen UK

First sustainable fuel for classic vehicles launched

First sustainable fuel for classic cars - Sustain Classic

The UK’s first publicly available sustainable petrol designed specifically for classic vehicles has gone on sale.

The Sustain Classic range will allow motorists to fuel their vintage vehicles with plant-based petrol, without any modifications to their engines, with three types of fuel initially available.

Developed by fuel specialist Coryton, the fuel with the highest sustainable content promises a reduction of at least 65% in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to fossil fuels.

The pioneering products use advanced second-generation biofuel manufactured from agricultural waste, such as straw, by-products or waste from crops which wouldn’t be used for consumption.

By doing so, the fuel utilises the carbon that already exists in our atmosphere, which the plants absorb as they grow, recycling it, rather than releasing additional CO2 that is currently locked underground in fossil fuel.

With an octane number >98 and bio-ethanol content of <1%, Sustain Classic has been technically tailored for classic vehicles, although it can be used on any vehicle which runs on standard forecourt petrol. It’s also formulated with a premium additive package included, which stabilises and extends the life of the fuel and helps clean and protect the engines.

Priced from £3.80 per litre, Sustain Classic will be available from distributor Motor Spirit at Bicester Heritage from 13th June, with more stockists launching across the UK in the coming months.

There are currently three variants of the drop-in replacement fuel available. All are suitable for all year-round use.

Super 80

  • Created at least 80% renewable content
  • Delivers a GHG saving of more than 65%, compared to fossil fuels
  • 98RON (Super Unleaded) EN228 Compliant
  • Multifunctional deposit control additive package reduces existing deposits and maintains engine cleanliness and performance with regular use
  • Priced from £4.65 per litre

Super 33

  • Created at least 33% sustainable content
  • Delivers a GHG saving of more than 25%, compared to fossil fuels
  • 98RON (Super Unleaded) EN228 Compliant
  • Multifunctional deposit control additive package reduces existing deposits and maintains engine cleanliness and performance with regular use
  • Priced from £3.80 per litre

Racing 50

  • High performance sustainable petrol ideal for performance and racing use in vehicles that require a higher-octane fuel
  • Created at least 50% renewable content
  • Delivers a GHG saving of more than 35%, compared to fossil fuels
  • 102RON, for high octane applications, EN228 Compliant
  • Premium deposit control additives reduce existing deposits and maintain engine cleanliness and performance with regular use
  • Priced from £5.24 per litre

The fuels range from at least 33% sustainable content to at least 80%.  “Every kilogram of CO2 we avoid adding to our atmosphere, by replacing fossil fuel with sustainable fuel, is a win,” said David Richardson, Business Development Director at Coryton.

“We don’t instantly have to go for the full switch to start making a genuine impact. As more feedstocks become available, these fuels will start to contain even higher levels of traceable sustainable elements.

“However, we want to keep things as affordable as possible for consumers and be open about what’s actually achievable at the moment.

“The availability of true fossil free fuel components is limited. So, we’re setting truthful and realistic goals, producing fuels that have a meaningful impact whilst meeting the demands of the user.”

Guy Lachlan, who heads up Motor Spirit at Bicester Heritage (one of the distributors of Sustain Classic), added: “We’re very excited to be the launch partner for Coryton’s Sustain Classic fuel.

“It is vital for the future of Classic Cars and Motorcycles that environmentally-friendly liquid fuels are commercially available, and Motor Spirit’s facility at Bicester Heritage is the perfect location to start an environmental revolution.

“Sustain Classic represents the best available combination of usability, sustainability and quality: exactly in line with Motor Spirit’s ethos.”

Revealed: The soaring cost of rapid charging an electric car

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Electric car charging bay

The cost of rapid charging an electric car up has shot up by a staggering 50% in eight months, according to new data from RAC Charge Watch.

It now costs an average of 70.32p per kilowatt hour to rapid charge on a pay-as-you-go basis – up from 44.55p (58%) last May and from 63.29p (11%) last September.

The rises, driven by further increases in the wholesale cost of electricity, mean that drivers now pay £36 to charge a typical family-sized electric car with a 64kWh battery to its 80% rapid or ultra-rapid limit – enough to cover around 188 miles.

Volvo C40 Recharge

This is more than twice the cost of charging the same car at home, something which many EV drivers are unable to do, with the price of such a charge coming in at just £17.87 – despite the record high domestic energy prices.

The price of using the fastest ultra-rapid chargers, which have power outputs of over 100kW and can charge many cars in a matter of minutes, now stands at 74.79p per kilowatt hour, up from 50.97p in May 2022 (47%) and 63.94p in September.

Drivers relying on these chargers pay £38.29 today for an 80% charge, a huge £20.42 more than those fortunate enough to do all their charging at home.

In other words, drivers who use the rapid public charging network – typically because they need to recharge on a longer journey or are trying to charge up time-efficiently as they can’t do so at home or work – currently pay a huge premium over those using slower chargers.

Filling up with petrol

Indeed, it can be more expensive for an EV driver to recharge quickly on a longer journey than it is for a petrol and diesel drivers to refuel.

Drivers using rapid chargers now pay 20p per mile for their electricity, only a penny less than those using less common ultra-rapid chargers who pay 21p per mile.

These costs are higher than the equivalent per-mile rate for a petrol car that achieves an economy of 40 miles to the gallon (17p per mile) and are on a par with a diesel car achieving the same economy (20p per mile).

“For drivers to switch to electric cars en masse, it’s vital that the numbers stack up. In time, the list price of new electric models will come down but charging quickly has also got to be as affordable as possible,” said RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams.

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Drivers continue to be overcharged at the pumps

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Filling up with petrol

This Christmas is set to be the most expensive ever on the roads with petrol and diesel both at record highs for the festive period.

Petrol is currently being sold for an average of 152.96p a litre which is 7p more than it was on 22 December 2021 (145.66p), according to the RAC.

Diesel, however, is a shocking 27p more expensive on the nation’s forecourts than it was a year ago (148.95p) at 175.75p, which was previously the most expensive Christmas ever for drivers.

A tank of petrol for a family driving to see family and friends now costs nearly £4 more at £84 than it did last Christmas (£80). For those travelling in diesel cars it’s even worse with a fill-up now costing nearly £97 – almost £15 more than last year (£82).

But disturbingly, this Christmas should not be hurting drivers’ pockets as much as it is as the wholesale price of petrol has now fallen to just 106p a litre – the same price it was this time last year.

And even more worryingly, this year’s price includes the Government’s 5p fuel duty discount which was introduced in March to ease the pain of rising fuel prices caused by Russia invading Ukraine.

The wholesale price of diesel has dropped to 126p a litre which is only 14p more expensive than just before last Christmas (112p).

The RAC calculates that the average price of petrol should be around 138p – 15p cheaper than it actually is, and that diesel should be around 160p a litre – 13p cheaper than it is now.

“The big four supermarkets, which dominate UK fuel retailing, have robustly refused to significantly lower their forecourt prices to reflect what’s happened with the substantial reduction in the price of wholesale fuel that they are enjoying,” said RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“We now have a bizarre situation where many smaller independent retailers are charging far less for their fuel than the supermarkets.”

“We urge the supermarkets to properly cut their petrol and diesel prices to give drivers the Christmas present they deserve.”

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Cost-of-living crisis: Fuel saving tips for motorists

Filling up with fuel - Bridgestone

Seven ways you can ease the pain at the pumps…

Whether you’re heading off on your summer holidays or coping with high fuel prices day-to-day basis, there’s no harm in trying to squeeze the maximum miles out of your tank of petrol or diesel.

We’ve teamed up with tyre giant Bridgestone to provide a series of fuel-saving tips to ease the pain at the pumps.

Bridgestone’s Technical Manager Gary Powell

By tweaking driving styles, Bridgestone’s Technical Manager Gary Powell believes that a typical tank can last longer, ensuring trips to the forecourt aren’t needed quite so urgently.

1. Make sure you purchase the best tyres for your vehicle

It’s important to invest in the right tyres for your vehicle while you may be tempted to go “budget” in the long-term this will cost you more money and be more expensive on your pocket in terms of fuel. Opting for a premium product can increase fuel-range. Bridgestone is one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers and boast some of the best performing products in terms of low-rolling resistance.

2. Check your tyre pressures

It’s really important to make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your owner’s manual. Underinflated and overinflated tyres both adversely affect fuel economy. Not only that you are compromising your safety – when your tyres are under inflated it compromises your ability to brake and manoeuvre safely. Vehicles with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance that require more fuel to maintain the vehicles speed. This is not good for your pocket and equates to higher Co2 emissions too, which is not good for the environment either.

3. Check your tyres

If your tyres are not inflated correctly or are wearing it is both unsafe but will also have an effect on your fuel consumption. Try the 20p tread test. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, so to check if your tyres are legal, insert a 20p coin into the tread to check. If any part of the coin’s border is visible, it’s time to change the tyres.

4. Easy on the accelerator

Excessive speed is the biggest fuel-guzzling factor so having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important to fuel-efficient driving. The best way to achieve high MPG (Miles per gallon) is to drive in the highest possible gear while keeping within the speed limit. The best advice in urban areas is to change up through the gears as quickly as you can with the lowest revs possible. The faster an engine spins, the more fuel it uses.

5. Anticipate

Anticipation is key. Try to anticipate what’s going to happen in front of you by looking well ahead. By doing this, you’ll see the traffic lights on red meaning you can ease back on the accelerator or slow down as you approach and potentially keep moving as opposed to coming to a stop. Keeping the car moving at the right speed is essential to fuel economy. Obviously, this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to accelerate again uses more fuel.

6. Cruise control

Cruise control only aids fuel economy when driving on a constant flat surface, hence why it is usually best reserved for motorway driving. One of the keys to saving fuel is driving at a constant speed, cruise control can do this effectively on flat surfaces, making your driving as fuel efficient as possible by negating unnecessary acceleration. However, if you were to use your cruise control regularly, not on flat roads, you would encounter problems that would increase your fuel consumption.

7. Lighten the load

Don’t pack things into your car that you won’t be needing once you arrive at your destination. Also, don’t leave your roof bars and roof box on because they create wind resistance and cause your car to use more fuel through the ‘drag’ effect. This is increased the faster you drive. Driving with an open window also has a similar effect. And while this isn’t going to make the biggest difference to your MPG figures, it stands to reason that the heavier a vehicle is, the more fuel it will use.