The information highway, or super highway or infobahn was a buzzword made popular during the 1990’s. It’s an all-encompassing term/phrase that describes the information we receive via telecommunications or on-line and in many ways sums up the digital age. Now (with a smartphone in your pocket) we are essentially all genii, we can self-diagnose, have the answer to infinite questions, can travel to far off lands and walk the streets virtually… I could go on and on.
Slipping behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s new Tiguan I get the same sense of knowledge, about the car and the surroundings – it really is a know all.
Aesthetically, this new TDI Highline 4 Motion compact SUV is quite the charmer. At a shade under 4.5m and a fraction over 1.6m, it’s longer and lower than the Tiguan’s of old and gives off a more enthusiastic stance especially as it sits on 19”Auckland Alloys. Its LED headlights and running lamps have a sagely look about them and coincidently they are pretty smart too. (They have Automatic headlight range adjustment with dynamic cornering lights and headlamp washer system). There is plenty of chrome bling around the grille and lower front scoops and the bonnet has deep masculine lines that greet the A pillar and then continue along the Tiguan’s shoulder to the ‘spoilered’ tailgate.
Under the bonnet is a 2L Turbo diesel that will gladly let you play with its 110kW’s and 340Nm, both power and torque are delivered freely and with a ‘Car’ like appeal. On the road the Tiguan feels light and responsive and on the highway it sits up high and offers a smooth comfortable ride. Around country corners it’s tight and surprisingly nimble with the 4 Motion system doing what it does best. I (unfortunately) didn’t get chance to get the Tiguan off road but there is a dial in the centre console that does all the thinking for you. A simple twist and you can cover terrains such as snow, rough un-surfaced roads and hill climbs.
The cabin itself is plush and highly illuminating experience. From a driver’s point of view, the seats are Vienna leather, supportive, very adjustable and heated. There is plenty and I mean plenty of leg and head room in the rear and the boot space is substantial (615Litres). There are storage compartments all over the place a couple in the roof, one on top of the dash, the glove box and even one under the passenger seat – perfect for hiding that secret document or micro computer. Plus the rear seats get Tray tables.
Now, are you ready for the tech? On the 8” colour touch screen and fully electronic instrument cluster comes Navigation, Apps via Apple Car Play and Android Auto, ‘Rest assist’ fatigue detection, Blind spot alert, Adaptive Cruise control, lane keep assist (that will keep you between the lines), Auto parking (both parallel and shopping mall), It has an Eco teacher that gives you fuel economy advice (it boasts a combined 5.6L/100k), Progressive steering, Compass, Height above sea level (the harbour bridge is 50m in case you were wondering), Auto hold/electronic park, Auto start/stop with generative braking, ABS, ASR, EDL, EDTC, Trailer Stabilisation, Forward collision warning with Autonomous emergency braking – this is one serious looking CV let me tell you! Oddly there’s no head up display but you can add this as an option.
With all these extras, you’d assume that the Tiguan would be ridiculously heavy but you’d be wrong, it’s only a mere 1,600kg’s and it feels even lighter to drive. The diesel engine is spritely off the mark and the 7 speed DSG changes gears smoothly (however In Sports selection the gears are held longer and changes are a little more abrupt). It’s quiet and feels solid on the tarmac both around town and on the longer runs. From a safety point of view it is as protective as a state of the art anti-virus software which means you feel confident to get out there and explore.
The VW team were excited about the Tiguan’s upcoming arrival and I have to admit that it was worth the wait. If I had to pick a fault, it would be that the USB connection is too deep in the console, very hard to get at in Park.
In a world that bombards you with data virtually 24/7, the all new VW Tiguan shows you a great way to manage it. It’s like taking the virtual information highway on a reality highway road trip!
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