Last year’s winner, the Volkswagen Tiguan has just received a mid-life refresh and price reduction, which builds on an already solid foundation and further strengthening its hold on the Australia’s Best Cars crown. It is the Tiguan’s strong all round ability that keeps it ahead of the pack.
Despite still being one of the more expensive vehicles in what is the largest and most hotly contested ABC category, the 103 TDI Tiguan’s quality engineering, comfort and all-round ability, both on and off the bitumen, far outweigh the premium purchase price.
The 103 TDI is a well proven 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine that can be found in a variety of strong performing vehicles across the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda family. Teamed with a seven-speed DSG transmission, which combines the convenience of a conventional automatic with the efficiency of a manual transmission, the Tiguan delivers a pleasing blend of performance and fuel economy. The diesel engine's strong mid-range pulling power with a handy 320 Nm of torque on tap from 1750 rpm to 2,500 rpm, provides excellent flexibility for effortless everyday driving. Fuel consumption according to the official ADR test cycle is a low 6.2L/100 km, while the Euro 5 compliant engine features a particulate filter to ensure clean burning and low emissions. It is also one of the better cars in the class for smoothness and quietness. Much of the credit for this can be attributed to the refined suspension that delivers a well insulated, comfortable ride, together with class leading handling.
For the more adventurous that like to head off the bitumen occasionally, Tiguan will get you further than most of its peers, but it is still only a compact size SUV so serious rock crawling is out of the question. Volkswagen’s electronically controlled 4MOTION system is a sophisticated and well proven all-wheel-drive system. Regrettably, Tiguan only carries a space-saver spare wheel.
Tiguan has a solidly constructed feel and achieves an excellent five-star ANCAP safety score, while the high standard of fit, finish and trim material quality gives the interior a top class appearance. Although the Tiguan is quite a compact size SUV, the practical cabin layout makes good use of the space available, with plenty of versatility in seating and load combinations. It is an easy vehicle to step in and out of, the seating was judged to be class leading for comfort and all the controls fall easily to hand. Space in the rear, for two adults is much better than it might appear but seating three across the back is a squeeze. The rear seats adjust fore and aft, as well as recline, and because they are mounted high off the floor you sit up comfortably with bent knees, plenty of foot room and a good view out of the vehicle. The luggage compartment, however, is smaller than most of its rivals and does not hold much luggage, but when not in use the rear seats do fold flat and lock down to provide a respectable carrying capacity.
Volkswagen Tiguan 103 TDI
Kia Sportage SLi
Mitsubishi ASX AWD
2010 - Volkswagen Tiguan 103 TDI
2009 - Subaru Outback 2.5i