Tiguan 2013 - 2015

When it went on sale in February 2008, the Tiguan represented Volkswagen’s first entry into the growing compact SUV market.  And it proved a huge success worldwide, selling in high volumes across Europe, Russia, the USA, China, Brazil and Australia and global sales topping 572,000 units between autumn 2007 and the start of 2011 when a new model was announced just ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in March. 

Like the previous model, the latest Tiguan is unique in being available not only with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive, but also with the option of two front ends.  One has a front end biased towards on-road driving with an 18 degree angle of approach while an ‘Escape’ model has a 28 degree angle of approach and additional technologies for off-road driving.

Whichever version is chosen, all new Tiguans feature a new look dominated by horizontal lines on the front grille, bringing the model into line with other new Volkswagen models.  The Tiguan now also once again bears a strong resemblance to its ‘big brother’ the Touareg.  At the rear, new two-part light clusters give the Tiguan a distinctive appearance.  Again, similar to those of the Touareg, they form an ‘L’ shape, while the lower border of the lights also follows a horizontal geometry.

From Model Year 2014 (cars built from May 2013), four trim levels are available: S, SE, R-Line and Escape.  All models are well equipped, with 16-inch alloy wheels, ABSPlus and ESP, Climatic air conditioning, DAB radio and alarm standard on even the entry-level S.  SE adds 17-inch alloys, 2Zone electronic air conditioning, Park Assist, iPod and Bluetooth preparation plus Driver Alert system as standard.  R-Line versions gain 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, R-Line styling pack inside and out and sports suspension.  The Escape model features comfort and convenience features (including Bluetooth and multi-function steering wheel) which were not previously standard, reflecting a change in customer demands for off-road capability as well as a high level of equipment.

Six engines are available, three petrol and three diesel.  These are: a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS, 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS and 2.0-litre TSI with 210 PS; plus 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS (2WD only), 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS.  Both the 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models, as well as the 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS with two-wheel drive are designated BlueMotion Technology models.  As such they feature Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The latest Tiguan retains all the versatility and practicality for which the previous model was renowned, being a four-door, five-seater.  The rear seat is a 60:40 split bench that can be adjusted forwards and backwards by up to 16 cm and also reclined, while cargo capacity ranges from 470 to 1,510 litres.

The model went on sale in the UK in September 2011.  As popular as ever, the Tiguan is Volkswagen’s fifth best-selling model – after the Golf, Polo, Passat and up!.  In 2012, 10,477 Tiguan found homes in the UK. 

SUMMARY

  • Latest generation Tiguan premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011; on sale in the UK in September of that year
  • Tiguan is Volkswagen’s fifth best-selling model (after Golf, Polo, up! and Passat)
  • The Tiguan is a compact SUV available with two- or four-wheel drive
  • Two versions are available: one with a front end biased towards on-road driving with an 18 degree angle of approach and an Escape model which has a 28 degree angle of approach and additional technologies for off-road driving.  All Tiguans have a rear angle of departure of 25 degrees
  • Both versions feature a new look dominated by horizontal lines on the front grille, which brings the Tiguan in line with other new Volkswagen models.  The Tiguan bears a strong resemblance to its ‘big brother’ the Touareg
  • At the rear, new two-part light clusters give the Tiguan a distinctive appearance.  Similar to those of the Touareg, they form an ‘L’ shape, while the lower border of the lights also follows a horizontal geometry
  • Six engines are available, three petrol and three diesel
  • Petrols are a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS, 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS and 2.0-litre TSI with 210 PS
  • Diesels are a 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS (2WD only), 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS
  • Both the 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models, as well as the 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS with two-wheel drive are designated BlueMotion Technology models, featuring Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions
  • Diesel engines account for around 90 per cent of Tiguan sales; the best-selling derivative is the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS
  • Four trim levels available: S, SE, R-Line and Escape
  • High level options are available on the Tiguan, including Keyless Entry and Start System, the RNS 315 satellite navigation system, Lane Assist (which helps prevent accidents caused by the driver drifting out of the lane) and Light Assist which switches between dipped and main beam depending on oncoming traffic
  • The Tiguan is a four-door, five-seater.  The rear seat is a 60:40 split bench that can be adjusted forwards and backwards by up to 16 cm and also reclined.  Cargo capacity ranges from 470 to 1,510 litres
  • The Tiguan is built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory in Germany

Market information

The Tiguan competes in the compact SUV sector, a direct rival to cars such as the BMW X1 and X3, Toyota RAV4, Land Rover Freelander, Nissan Qashqai, Honda CRV and Ford Kuga. 

The best-selling Tiguan is the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS unit combined with SE trim and manual gearbox which accounts for around 37 per cent of sales.  The same model but with DSG takes a further 14 per cent, meaning the SE 2.0-litre TDI is makes up over 50 per cent of Tiguan sales.  R-Line, which replaced Sport trim in 2012, accounts for around 10 per cent.  Just 1.5 per cent are Escape trim, while three per cent are petrol-powered.

Production

Situated on the banks of Mittellandkanal, an inland artificial waterway, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex and covers an area of more than six square kilometres – that's an area large enough to accommodate the entire Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities covers a distance of 75 kilometres, with 70 kilometres of railway tracks accommodating seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse.

The Tiguan is built here, along with the Golf, Golf Plus and Touran.  In addition to these whole models, the site also makes components – an important mainstay on the plant portfolio – such as cardan drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, which are either used in production at the plant itself or supplied to other Group production sites.  Around 744,000 vehicles were built at Wolfsburg in 2010 and some 50,000 people were employed there.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate supplies not only for the Volkswagen plant, but they also supply power and district heating to the City of Wolfsburg.  Both power stations have an installed electricity capacity of 442 megawatts at their disposal.

The history of the Wolfsburg plant is closely linked to the history of the City of Wolfsburg, since both were founded in the same year.  Close co-operation continues to exist between Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the city.  A mutual enterprise, Wolfsburg AG, was founded in 1999 as a product of this close attachment.  A public-private partnership, the initiative was launched as a means of realising the AutoVision aim to strengthen Wolfsburg’s economic standing for the long term.  By providing support for company start-ups and incentives for established companies to set up business in Wolfsburg, by creating concepts for and establishing recreational attractions and health projects and by providing human-resource services, the Wolfsburg AG initiative has helped to create and secure more than 11,000 jobs to date.

AutoVision GmbH was founded in 2001 as a platform on which to implement the AutoVision concept.  A 100 percent subsidiary of Volkswagen, the mission of AutoVision GmbH is to help give the Group even more competitive edge.  Its activities are concentrated in the fields of ‘administration and technical services’ and ‘human-resource services’.  The company also offers this portfolio of services on the external market.

Additional areas of operation dedicated exclusively to the Volkswagen Group include venture-capital undertakings and the provision of development support for process innovations.

DESIGN

Exterior

In designing the original Tiguan, Klaus Bischoff, head of design for the Volkswagen Brand said: ‘It was very important for us to have the car appear powerful and muscular.  For us that was a higher priority than anything else.’  This philosophy has been carried through the Tiguan’s design and into the new model, which continues to have a purposeful appearance and bears strong similarities to its ‘big brother’, the Touareg. 

The Tiguan adopts Volkswagen’s now familiar ‘design DNA’, meaning a front end which is dominated by horizontal lines, and like on the larger Touareg, the grille has two double chrome louvres. 

The Tiguan is offered in two body versions with different angles of approach.  While the classic version, with an angle of 18 degrees, was designed more for traditional urban use, the Tiguan with the larger 28 degree angle of approach is ideal for all those who frequently drive their Volkswagen in tough terrain.

Because their front ends differ, the two versions have different lengths: the Tiguan with an 18-degree front measures 4,426 mm, while its counterpart with a 28-degree front measures 4,433 mm. However, they are identical in width (1,809 mm without door mirrors and 2,041 mm with door mirrors) and in height (1,703 mm).  Also identical are their wheelbases (2,604 mm) and track widths (front 1,569 mm, rear 1,571 mm).

Since the Tiguan is designed to accommodate 4MOTION four-wheel drive the styling of the vehicle needed to reflect its utilitarian purpose, while functional design changes were made to make the vehicle more adept at coping with the rigours of off-road and, just as important, on-road use.  For example, the squared-off wheelarches feature small plastic surrounds that can be quickly and efficiently unclipped and, if necessary, replaced following off-road use.  This both protects the Tiguan’s bodywork and substantially reduces time and money spent repairing the vehicle.  The Tiguan’s clamshell bonnet also allows greater access to the engine bay and reduces the likelihood of water ingress.

In designing the original model Volkswagen incorporated innovative solutions to simple problems in this sector.  One such example included moving the lower shut-lines for the front and rear doors beneath the vehicle.  This means that following prolonged off-road use or simply when the vehicle has picked up road grime its occupants avoid picking up dirt from the sill plate as they enter and exit the car.  

All these developments bring the production Tiguan a long way from the original Concept A design study which was styled at Volkswagen’s North American studios in Santa Monica in a project overseen by lead designer Derek Jenkins and shown at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show.  Following its Geneva debut, Concept A then evolved into Concept Tiguan, first seen at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2006, and the shape we now know as the production Tiguan. 

Front end

In its latest iteration, the Tiguan’s front-end styling was redesigned to give more differentiation between the two body versions (on-road and Escape).  In the standard 18 degree model, beneath the lateral surface of the painted bumper, the ‘urban’ front end exhibits a broad grille in the middle and two smaller openings towards the sides incorporating the front fog lights (standard on all models except S).  A rugged black front spoiler finishes the lower section. 

On 28 degree or Escape models, the Tiguan can handle even greater challenges off-road.  Beneath the rugged redesigned bumper, underbody protection ensures the well-being of the powertrain components while the central air intake is also designed to be very flat to aid underbody protection.  Here too, the bumper is bordered by the protected, integrated fog lights towards the sides of the SUV.  The grey underbody protection itself, which has three distinctive openings, is framed on both sides by black air-flow guides. 

Rear section

Part of Volkswagen’s new ‘design DNA’ ethos is not solely to focus on the front of the car but also the back – hence distinctive rear lights become a frequent feature on new models.  This also applies to the redesigned two-part rear lights of the Tiguan.  Inside, the lights now reflect the look of the Touareg’s rear lights with dual L-shaped elements.  The lower border of the rear lights, now consistently following a horizontal line, makes for a new, even cleaner design in the area of the C-pillars that gives the entire rear section a higher-end appearance.

At the rear, all Tiguan versions have an angle of departure of 25 degrees.  (This angle may of course be reduced by vehicle payload (the same is true of the approach angle at the front end).)

Side profile

A clear, powerful design dominates the Tiguan’s side profile too, incorporating solid yet modestly trimmed wheel housings, a window line that rises towards the rear, distinctive door and wing surfaces, and – also typically Volkswagen – unmistakable C-pillars. 

In side profile, chrome trims highlight the profile of the higher-equipped models, along with, from SE trim upwards, chrome roof rails.  All models share a ramp angle of 20 degrees and 200 mm ground clearance.

Torsional rigidity

Like all Volkswagens, the Tiguan was designed and manufactured to exude quality and to experience this on- and off-road as well as in the cabin, a torsionally rigid body structure is crucial.  Laser welding is used in production to ensure tight panel fits and the strongest possible body structure.

Static torsional rigidity (to the value of 34,000 Nm) ensures passive safety; while dynamic rigidity is also essential for first-class driving dynamics and reducing noise, vibration and harshness.  The Tiguan’s so-called torsional resonant frequency of 45 Hz and bending resonant frequency of 52 Hz are also class-leading values.

Interior

Inside the Tiguan’s cabin, all the controls for the driver are designed to be intuitive to use and easy to reach.  In the main instrument panel, the radio and navigation panel is at the top, so it can be easily seen by both driver and front passenger.  The main functions are controlled by well-sized and clearly-marked keys and knobs, while on SE models and above the new standard RCD 510 system uses touchscreen technology to simplify further the control panel.  Switches for the heating and ventilation system are laid out below, still easily within reach of driver and front passenger.

The seat design depends on the specification level chosen.  From SE upwards, all Tiguan models have under seat drawers for driver and front passenger to maximise interior storage space, plus comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment.  Both driver and front passenger doors can accommodate a sizeable drinks bottle.

In the rear, all Tiguans have a 60:40 split/fold rear bench which can slide fore and aft by 16 cm to maximise legroom for rear passengers or luggage space in the boot as required.  The rear bench is also fitted slightly higher than the front seats: this is a particular boon for customers with children as young passengers can not only see more through the windows, but fitting their seat belts is also easier.  For added comfort for all rear passengers, each of the rear seat backs can also be reclined individually by up to 23 degrees.

If the rear middle seat is not occupied, the centre section of the rear bench can be folded down to make an armrest and cup holder; alternatively there is a load-through provision to enable long items to be transported with two rear passengers seated.

The Tiguan’s loadspace is both functional and easily accessible.  Even with a full complement of passengers, the Tiguan offers 470 litres of luggage space; fold the rear seats flat and 1,510 litres are liberated, with a maximum payload of up to 670 kg.  Five load lashing points plus a 12V socket in the boot further boost practicality, while a removable luggage compartment cover aids security.  A luggage net to prevent objects shifting from the loadspace into the cabin is also optional for those customers who regularly carry loads which are taller than the rear seat backs.

Climate control

The Tiguan comes as standard with ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air.  The car’s sophisticated heating and ventilation systems increase airflow into the front and rear passenger compartments, and incorporate a pollen filter which operates in both ‘fresh-air’ and ‘recirculating-air’ modes as well as the coolable glovebox. 

Standard on SE and R-Line models and available as an option on S and Escape, is a fully automatic 2Zone electronic air conditioning system.  This factory-fitted option is a two-zone device, with driver and front-seat passenger able to adjust their own climates individually and independently.  Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.  The 2Zone’s intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetration into the cabin, and makes separate calculations to compensate for it on both the driver and passenger sides.

ENGINES

The Tiguan is available with a choice of six engines – three petrol and three diesel.  These are: a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS, 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS and 2.0-litre TSI with 210 PS; plus 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS (2WD only), 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS.  Both the 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models, as well as the 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS with two-wheel drive are designated BlueMotion Technology models.  As such they feature Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.

All the Tiguan’s diesel engines use common rail technology, comply with Euro V emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). 

The technically advanced designs of Volkswagen’s TSI and TDI powerplants result in competitive efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  This is not only better for the environment, but also for the wallet, with lower Vehicle Excise Duty for cars which emit less CO2.  All Tiguan models have a 64 litre (14 gallon) fuel tank.

TSI petrol engine technology

The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity.  Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply turbocharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute.  This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds.  As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

TSI technology has received international acclaim.  After being recognised in the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 when it was named Best New Engine, it has subsequently won a number of high profile accolades.

1.4-litre 1,390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 160 PS

This 1.4-litre engine uses twin-charging (supercharging and turbocharging) technology to generate 160 PS at 5,800 rpm and a maximum 177 lbs ft (240 Nm) of torque from 1,500 up to 4,500 rpm.  It is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox only.

This engine is available in a BlueMotion Technology variant (see separate section for details) with two-wheel drive.  Here it has a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 126 mph.  Its combined fuel consumption figure is 42.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 156 g/km. 

Also on offer is this 1.4-litre 160 PS engine with 4MOTION four-wheel drive.  Here, zero to 62 mph takes 9.2 seconds and top speed is 123 mph.  Combined economy is recorded at 37.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 178 g/km.

2.0-litre 1,984 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 180 PS

Moving up the range, customers have the option of a 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS petrol engine, available with standard 4MOTION four-wheel drive, and linked to a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  This engine is turbocharged but not supercharged. 

Developing 180 PS from 4,500 to 6,200 rpm and 207 lbs ft (280 Nm) of torque from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm, the 1,984 cc engine allows the Tiguan to achieve a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.3 seconds (7.9 DSG) before reaching a top speed of 126 mph (125 DSG).  The combined fuel consumption figure is 33.2 mpg (32.8 DSG) with CO2emissions of 199 g/km (same for DSG).

2.0-litre 1,984 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 210 PS

The most powerful petrol engine in the Tiguan range, the 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS is available in R-Line trim only and is offered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.

The four-cylinder engine is boosted by a turbocharger and intercooler, produces 207 lbs ft (280 Nm) of torque from 1,700 through to 5,200 rpm and yet still returns 33.2 mpg on the combined cycle for the standard six-speed manual gearbox (32.8 DSG).  Standstill to 62 mph takes 7.8 seconds (7.3 DSG) and this car has a top speed of 134 mph (132 DSG).

Diesel engines

2.0-litre 1,968 cc TDI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS

This engine is an excellent option for those customers who want excellent value and put a high priority on maximum fuel economy.  Always combined with BlueMotion Technology modifications, front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox, this 2.0-litre unit produces 110 PS between 2,750 and 4,200 rpm, and 207 lbs ft (280 Nm) between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm.  Standstill to 62 mph takes 11.9 seconds and top speed is 109 mph.  It rewards drivers with 53.3 mpg on the combined cycle, equivalent to 139 g/km of carbon dioxide.

2.0-litre 1,968 cc TDI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS

Moving up the range, customer have the option of this 2.0-litre TDI unit which produces 140 PS at 4,200 rpm and 236 lbs ft (320 Nm) of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. 

This engine uses common rail diesel technology with piezo injectors for maximum efficiency, with up to 1,800 bar of injection pressure and special eight-hole injector nozzles producing especially fine atomisation of the fuel. 

The nozzles are driven by the latest generation of piezo in-line injectors, in which electrically controllable piezo crystals initiate injection in fractions of a second, assisted by a hydraulic component.  Compared to conventional solenoid valves, piezo technology enables more flexible injection processes with smaller amounts of fuel and more precise metering. 

The advantages to the driver are a very quiet and smooth-running engine, remarkably spontaneous response behaviour and competitive fuel consumption and emissions.  Also having a positive effect on noise reduction is the completely maintenance-free toothed belt drive for the camshaft. 

It is available in two configurations.  The first is as a two-wheel drive with BlueMotion Technology modifications and a six-speed manual gearbox where it has a top speed of 120 mph, 0 to 62 mph time of 10.2 seconds, combined economy of 53.3 mpg and 139 g/km of CO2.  The second also offers BlueMotion Technology modifications, but this time with 4MOTION four-wheel drive and the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  Here it goes from 0 to 62 mph in 10.2 seconds, has a top speed of 116 mph (117 DSG) and returns a combined economy figure of 48.7 mpg (47.1 DSG) with carbon dioxide emissions of 150 g/km (158 DSG).

2.0-litre 1,968 cc TDI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 177 PS

The most powerful diesel in the line-up, this adaptation of the 2.0-litre TDI engine produces 177 PS (up from the previous 170 PS) at 4,200 rpm and 280 lbs ft (380 Nm) of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm.  Despite its impressive performance – 125 mph top speed and 0 to 62 in just 8.9 seconds – combined fuel consumption is 48.1 mpg (47.1 DSG) with CO2 emissions of 151 g/km (159 DSG).

This engine is only available in combination with a six-speed manual gearbox and standard 4MOTION four-wheel drive.

BlueMotion Technology

As detailed above, a number of Tiguan models are designated BlueMotion Technology variants.  BlueMotion Technology models are a range of vehicles developed by Volkswagen that strike a balance between the highly focussed BlueMotion vehicles (in Polo, Golf and Passat ranges) and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet remain practical and stylish as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

The breadth of BlueMotion Technology modifications varies from range to range.  In the Tiguan, it incorporates a multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption as well as Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.

The Tiguan’s automatic Stop/Start system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  With the DSG gearbox, the Stop/Start system is activated through the brake pedal.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.

The battery regeneration system is designed to help utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

Gearboxes

All Tiguan models are offered as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements.  Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action.  Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.  The Tiguan is also available in some configurations with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

Both transmissions have been adapted to enable them to perform as well off- as on-road.  The manual, for example, can be driven at an engine speed of just 1,000 rpm, which is roughly walking speed in first gear and almost equivalent to the lowest speed in the crawler gear with an auxiliary reduction gearbox.  Both gearboxes in the Tiguan are filled with lifetime oil and need no routine maintenance.

DSG – automatic gearbox

First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit. 

Originally available with six speeds only, the DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.

Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection. 

Another world-first for Volkswagen, was a seven-speed version of its DSG transmission which uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact. 

In adopting seven speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Tiguan.  They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

 

RUNNING GEAR

Front axle

At the front, the Tiguan employs a strut type suspension system, with lower wishbones and wheel-locating struts.  The front suspension is mounted on a one-piece aluminium subframe.

Rear axle

Volkswagen’s four-link rear suspension system was tuned for the Tiguan’s intelligent 4MOTION four-wheel drive.  The robust axle geometry has already been proven in a similar form in the Passat 4MOTION, though the Tiguan utilises a high-strength steel subframe to enable it to handle off-road conditions.  Newly developed suspension dampers with increased oil volume to maintain the right temperature are also used in the rear suspension. 

Two-wheel drive models

The 1.4-litre 160 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models are available with two-wheel drive offering improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 levels.  Two-wheel drive Tiguan models use the same 4MOTION rear axle as the four-wheel drive version.  The propshaft, rear-axle differential and the drive shafts are simply omitted and the wheel bearings for the front-wheel drive version are fitted.

4MOTION four-wheel drive

Most Tiguan models are available with the latest generation 4MOTION four-wheel drive technology, which has been designed and adapted to satisfy the highest standards for on-road driving and safety, while simultaneously offering optimal traction off-road.  

Even on models with 4MOTION four-wheel drive, the front axle is driven in most cases; the rear axle only gets 10 per cent of propulsive power, which saves on fuel.  Not until necessary – based on the specific powertrain and carriageway situation – is the rear axle brought into play, step by step.  This is done by an electrohydraulic all-wheel drive clutch.  An important difference compared to the previous generation 4MOTION: no speed differences are needed between the front and rear axles to activate the all-wheel drive clutch, since pressure is built up via an electric pump.

The multi-plate clutch system itself is integrated in the rear differential.  The pressure reservoir is supplied with oil by an electric pump with a working pressure of 30 bar.  An electronic control unit computes the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and regulates, via a valve, how much oil pressure is transferred to the working piston of the multi-plate clutch.  Here, the surface pressure on the clutch plates is proportional to the torque desired at the rear axle.  The amount of transferred torque may be continuously varied by altering the magnitude of the pressure applied to the clutch plates.  The system operates independent of wheel slip, since the working pressure is always available.  When the Tiguan is driven off from a standstill or accelerated, wheelspin of the front wheels is fully prevented, since the control unit regulates the torque distribution based on dynamic axle loads.  In extreme cases, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

[Please note, the Tiguan’s Haldex ‘wet’ clutch system is not the same as the 4MOTION used in the Phaeton and Touareg which employ alternative four-wheel drive technology with an electrically-controlled gear-type centre differential.]

The Tiguan off-road

Most Tiguan models have an 18 degree angle of approach.  On Escape models, this is 28 degrees.  All models have a rear departure angle of 25 degrees and the so-called ramp, or break-over, angle between the two axles is 20 degrees.  Ground clearance on all models (even those with sports suspension) is 195 mm.

The off-road mode – a standard feature on all Escape models – significantly improves and simplifies control of the vehicle in off-road situations and the concept of the off-road switch was motivated by the idea of activating all important off-road assistance systems at the press of a button.

This switch activates the hill descent assistant (optimal control in descents), modifies accelerator pedal characteristics (finer control of engine torque), increases sensitivity of the cross-axle braking system that provides the same effect as a differential lock (EDS) and adapts the ABS function to operation on loose surfaces.  At the same time, it invokes hill climb assistance to protect the clutch with manual transmission and provide optimal engine braking with an automatic gearbox.

The switch itself is connected to the central engine control unit (ECU).  From there, the ‘off-road message’ is communicated to the other ECUs via the vehicle’s CANbus system.  For safety reasons, the off-road function must be reactivated each time after the ignition has been switched on; for this reason, there is no visual indicator of off-road mode in the central facia.  However, the Tiguan can detect an off-road stall – a not uncommon event when off-roading, even for experienced drivers.  In this event, rather than deactivating the off-road mode, a stall is recognised and when the engine is restarted, all off-road assistance systems are immediately and automatically switched on.

Sports suspension

The R-Line Tiguan is fitted as standard with sports suspension, also an option on SE and Escape variants, which stiffens the springs and damper to give a more sporty ride.  Unlike most sports set-ups, in the Tiguan the application of sports suspension does not involve lowering the ride, in order to maintain the car’s off-road capability.

Electro-mechanical power steering

Volkswagen’s familiar electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) features on the Tiguan.  The Tiguan has a turning circle of 12 metres.

Braking system

The Tiguan features a sophisticated braking system, with ABSPlus, BAS (Brake Assist System) and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) standard across the range.

At the front, the Tiguan employs a sliding-calliper disc brake system with ventilated discs measuring 312 mm in diameter.  Solid discs with a diameter of 286 mm are fitted at the rear. 

The Tiguan’s ABS has been specially adapted to shorten braking distances on loose surfaces such as gravel.  On loose surfaces, by taking into account various parameters including pedal effort, wheel speeds and vehicle deceleration, the system induces alternate phases of high levels of slip and lesser slip, and this makes it possible to achieve reduced braking distance, braking stability and steering control. 

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP

Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

The ESP fitted to the Tiguan also has a trailer stabilisation function which is standard with the factory fitted towbar and can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer if a retailer supplied towbar is specified.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESP purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors. 

This function greatly improves stability when towing by sensing the onset of a snaking motion and then neutralising it.  When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESP control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle / trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

XDS electronic differential lock

Available as an option on all Tiguan models is XDS, an electronic differential lock designed to offer improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESP system.

Its benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESP sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion. 

Brake Assist System

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of Brake Assist recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, Brake Assist automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of Brake Assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Parking brake with auto-hold function

All Tiguan models have an electronic parking brake with standard auto-hold function.  This function is activated by a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic.  In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Tiguan is available in four trim levels: S, SE, R-Line and Escape.  The key specification highlights are listed below – for comprehensive details please see the latest price list.

S 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT (BlueMotion Technology) 2WD
S 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION
S 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS BMT 2WD
S 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION

All the above models have the following standard features:

  • ABSPlus anti-lock brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake pressure Distribution) and BAS (Brake Assist System)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (traction control)
  • driver’s and front passenger’s front airbags with passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • front seat side impact airbags; curtain airbag system
  • three-point seat belts and head restraints for three rear passengers
  • Isofix child seat preparation for two outer rear seats
  • automatic hazard light activation under emergency braking
  • transponder-based electronic engine immobiliser
  • remote control central locking, plus alarm with interior protection
  • electronic parking brake with auto-hold function
  • multi-function computer
  • front and rear electric windows; electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • RCD 310 DAB radio/MP3 compatible CD player with 8 speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external multimedia source (eg iPod of MP3)
  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • height and reach adjustable steering column; driver’s seat height adjustment
  • sliding and reclining 60:40 split/fold rear seats
  • steel space saver spare wheel; black roof rails
  • body-coloured front bumpers, door handles and door mirrors with integrated indicators; black side and rear protection pack
  • 6½J x 16 ‘Portland’ alloy wheels with 215/65 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

S BlueMotion Technology (BMT) models add:

  • battery regeneration
  • multifunction computer (Highline) with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • Stop/Start function
  • ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging

SE 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT 2WD
SE 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION
SE 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS 4MOTION
SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 2WD
SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION
SE 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS 4MOTION

SE models gain the following features over the S model:

  • leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and gear knob
  • driver’s and front passenger’s under seat drawer; front centre armrest
  • folding tables on the back of front seats
  • front centre armrest with storage ad cup holders
  • front comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • 2Zone electronic climate control
  • RCD 510 touchscreen DAB radio/dash-mounted MP3 compatible 6 CD autochanger with eight speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external multi-media source
  • rain sensor
  • tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Park Assist – sensor controlled steering aid plus parking sensors front and rear
  • MDI – Multi Device Interface with USB and iPod connection cables
  • Driver Alert system
  • Bluetooth telephone prep
  • automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
  • dusk sensor – automatic driving lights
  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • chrome side window surrounds; chrome-plated roof rails
  • heat insulating tinted glass from B-pillar backwards
  • side and rear protection pack (including wheelarch protection) – black with chrome-plated insert
  • 7J x 17 ‘Philadelphia’ alloy wheels with 235/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

SE BlueMotion Technology (BMT) models add:

  • battery regeneration
  • multifunction computer (Highline) with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • Stop/Start function
  • ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging

R-Line 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS 4MOTION
R-Line 2.0-litre TDI 140 BMT 4MOTION
R-Line 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS 4MOTION

In addition to those items standard on SE, R-Line models gain:

  • front sports seats with height and lumbar adjustment, two-tone upholstery and R-Line embroidered logo
  • sports suspension (not lowered)
  • bi-xenon headlights including LED daytime running lights, automatic range adjustment, dynamic curve lighting and headlight washers
  • R-Line styling pack: unique front and rear bumpers, black wheelarch extensions, body-coloured side skirts with matt chrome trim
  • leather-trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with aluminium inserts and R-Line logo
  • 8J x 18 ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels with 235/50 R18 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

R-Line BlueMotion Technology (BMT) models add:

  • battery regeneration
  • multifunction computer (Highline) with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • Stop/Start function
  • ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging

Escape 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION

Escape variants add a number of items of standard equipment which make them more suited to off-road applications.  These include:

  • 28 degree front module with shorter front overhang
  • protective side bump strips; protective element over front radiator grille
  • sump guard and underbody protection
  • off-road setting including hill descent assistant, optimised engine speed control when climbing, more precise monitoring of accelerator pedal and gear preselect for automatic transmission
  • compass; flat tyre indicator
  • 7J x 17 ‘Tunis’ alloy wheels with 235/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Tiguan, allowing buyers to create a bespoke car to suit their needs and tastes.  These include a winter pack and mirror pack, electric panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, a Park Assist function, a towbar, satellite navigation systems and leather upholstery, as well as Adaptive Chassis Control, High Beam Assist and Lane Assist.  For full details of availability, please see the latest price list.

Panoramic sunroof

Optional on all Tiguan models is a panoramic sunroof which is made of high-strength compound glass and offers 300 per cent more roof cut-out area than a conventional sunroof to give a light, airy atmosphere inside the cabin.  It measures approximately 1,360 x 870 mm and the glass area covers around 1.1 sq m.

The aerodynamically and acoustically optimised sunroof consists of a front glass section that can be opened and a fixed glass rear section.  It can be opened to varying degrees and adjusted in a wide variety of ways via the controls in the roof lining.  The roof has a pinch protection, or rollback, function for added safety and a continuous, electrically-operated sun shade to prevent the interior becoming very hot in direct sunlight.

Gas-discharge headlights

Ultra-efficient gas discharge (bi-xenon) headlights are offered as an option on all Tiguans (standard on R-Line).  These provide a well focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights.  This option includes a self-levelling mechanism and high pressure headlight wash.  It also incorporates dynamic curve lighting which turns with the steering to a maximum swivelling angle of 15 degrees to provide better visibility around bends.  When the vehicle is static, these are able to turn to 35 degrees in relation to the car’s axis, useful, for example, when manoeuvring into tight parking spaces.

Park Assist and parking sensors

Park Assist (standard on SE and R-Line, optional on S and Escape) is an automated steering assistance system for parallel parking and reverse parking into spaces at 90 degrees to the road.  Using a series of sensors mounted on the front, rear and side of the Tiguan, the system plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space measuring just 1.1 metres more than the Tiguan, either to the right or left of the vehicle. 

When driving at speeds of under around 18 mph and within an appropriate parking environment, an ultrasonic sensor system detects spaces.  A control unit then notifies the driver an appropriate space has been found and calculates the ideal parking path.  Once in the recommended ‘start’ position, the driver engages reverse gear.  During the parking process the driver has no steering input – he or she simply accelerates and brakes as appropriate.  Once reverse gear is engaged, the whole operation generally takes no more than 15 seconds.  This system also incorporates audible parking sensors with volume reduction when activated and optical parking display via the vehicle’s audio system. 

RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation/radio system

All Tiguans can be specified with Volkswagen’s RNS 315 satellite navigation system.  The installation uses a five-inch touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  Key features include a CD drive for navigation disc or audio CDs, playback with title display for MP3 files and an integrated SD memory card reader from which files can be retrieved.

The navigation function offers a moving map in the colour display panel, integrated direction symbols as well as spoken instructions.  For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

RNS 510 DVD touchscreen satellite navigation/radio system

Also available for a premium over the RNS 315 is the RNS 510 satellite navigation system.  This features a six and a half inch colour screen plus integrated voice control system which responds to spoken voice commands for navigation, CD and radio functions.  As well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit.  The hard-drive is also used to store navigation mapping.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.

It is also possible to specify a high-end Dynaudio sound system, a 300 watt premium entertainment system from the Danish hi-fi specialist, which provides exceptional sound quality, especially compared with other systems in the sector.  The 10 channel system delivers up to a true 300 watts RMS without generating unwanted vibrations in the vehicle’s structure. 

Finally, this option also includes a rear-view camera.  This is located just above the rear numberplate and transmits a real-time, distortion-free image of what is behind the car to the RNS 510 central display.  This allows the driver to see and recognise obstacles behind the car, and manoeuvre into the tightest parking spaces.  While moving, the screen marks out the car’s steering movements with coloured orientation lines.  This is particularly useful when hooking up to a tow hitch.

Adaptive Chassis Control – ACC

Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce a chassis that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  This is now available for the Tiguan, which can be specified with an Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system.  Here not only can the suspension’s damping characteristics be controlled at the touch of a button, but the electro-mechanical power steering and accelerator response are also modified at the same time.

ACC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Tiguan – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the steering assistance is reduced, the damping is hardened and the throttle responses are sharpened as the mapping changes.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened and the steering assistance is increased to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving.

Bluetooth preparation (optional on S, standard on all others)

The Tiguan is available with the option of preparation for Bluetooth HFP (Hands Free Profile) enabled telephones.  Here, the driver’s mobile phone is integrated into the vehicle’s systems without it being removed from a jacket pocket, for example.  The phone functions in the car are dealt with by a fixed telephone installation that obtains the necessary data from the SIM card of the mobile phone.  The telephone is controlled using a separate keyboard, the multifunction steering wheel or by voice command. 

Lane Assist (optional on all except S)

This warning system prevents drivers from drifting unintentionally out of their chosen lane.  Research shows approximately 14 per cent of accidents involving injuries are caused by a vehicle leaving its lane.  Road markings are monitored via a camera located in the rear-view mirror or rain sensor, and if at speeds above around 40 mph the system detects that the vehicle is leaving the lane, it helps it to stay in place with a gentle countersteer movement as well as alerting the driver with audible and visible warning signals.  The system is switched off as soon as the indicators are switched on and the driver can override the system at any time using a decisive steering input.

High Beam Assist

This system which is available as a low cost option on SE and Escape trim senses the lights from oncoming vehicles and switches between main and dipped beam accordingly.  It also detects vehicles being approached from the rear and ensures dipped beam is selected in order not to dazzle vehicles in front. 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The previous Tiguan model attained a maximum five star rating in crash testing by the European consumer protection organisation EuroNCAP (New Car Assessment Programme).  The American IIHC (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) also named the SUV its TOP SAFETY PICK; this evaluation covers extensive measures in the areas of active and passive safety.  The latest version of the Tiguan is definitely one of the safest cars as well, with its credentials built on the strong foundation of its rigid occupant cell, its deformation zones and the restraint systems that are tuned to them.

All Tiguan models have five head restraints that can adjust very high and are optimised to protect against whiplash as well as two front airbags, two side airbags (front) and two head/thorax airbags – the latter cover the entire lateral surface of the windows.  Two side airbags can also be ordered for the rear as an option.  It is always possible to deactivate the front passenger airbag when a small child is travelling in a rear-facing seat.  The status of this airbag is reported to the driver by an indicator light.  Standard Isofix fitting points in the rear seating locations complete the protective measures for children.

Integrated at the front and outer rear seating positions are seatbelt force limiters that reduce chest loads.  Belt tensioners for the front seats, which are electrically ignited by a central control module in an accident of sufficient severity, ensure that the movements of occupants are coordinated to vehicle deceleration early on.  Along with rear side airbags, the optional rear safety pack includes belt tensioners for the outer rear seats.  The systems are networked with one another: the airbag triggering system, for example, interfaces with all relevant control modules and ensures that the hazard lights are activated, all doors are unlocked, the interior lights are switched on and the fuel pump is deactivated in the case of a crash.

Driver Alert system (standard on SE, R-Line and Escape)

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  What’s more, the results of fatigue related crashes are often more severe because the driver’s reaction times are delayed or they have failed to make any manoeuvres to avoid a crash.

For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative Driver Alert system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.  

The Tiguan’s system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.  

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its security and safety features, the Tiguan has secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

S
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT 2WD                18E
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION                 18E
2.0-litre TDI 110 PS BMT 2WD                14E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 2WD                17E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E

SE
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT 2WD                18E
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION                 18E
2.0-litre TSI 180 PS 4MOTION                 20E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 2WD                18E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E
2.0-litre TDI 177 PS BMT 4MOTION         23E

R-Line
2.0-litre TSI 210 PS 4MOTION                 22E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E
2.0-litre TDI 177 PS BMT 4MOTION         23E

Escape
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E

WARRANTIES

The Tiguan has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer. 

(ends)

Tiguan / KT / 0513

When it went on sale in February 2008, the Tiguan represented Volkswagen’s first entry into the growing compact SUV market.  And it proved a huge success worldwide, selling in high volumes across Europe, Russia, the USA, China, Brazil and Australia and global sales topping 572,000 units between autumn 2007 and the start of 2011 when a new model was announced just ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in March. 

Like the previous model, the latest Tiguan is unique in being available not only with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive, but also with the option of two front ends.  One has a front end biased towards on-road driving with an 18 degree angle of approach while an ‘Escape’ model has a 28 degree angle of approach and additional technologies for off-road driving.

Whichever version is chosen, all new Tiguans feature a new look dominated by horizontal lines on the front grille, bringing the model into line with other new Volkswagen models.  The Tiguan now also once again bears a strong resemblance to its ‘big brother’ the Touareg.  At the rear, new two-part light clusters give the Tiguan a distinctive appearance.  Again, similar to those of the Touareg, they form an ‘L’ shape, while the lower border of the lights also follows a horizontal geometry.

From Model Year 2014 (cars built from May 2013), four trim levels are available: S, SE, R-Line and Escape.  All models are well equipped, with 16-inch alloy wheels, ABSPlus and ESP, Climatic air conditioning, DAB radio and alarm standard on even the entry-level S.  SE adds 17-inch alloys, 2Zone electronic air conditioning, Park Assist, iPod and Bluetooth preparation plus Driver Alert system as standard.  R-Line versions gain 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, R-Line styling pack inside and out and sports suspension.  The Escape model features comfort and convenience features (including Bluetooth and multi-function steering wheel) which were not previously standard, reflecting a change in customer demands for off-road capability as well as a high level of equipment.

Six engines are available, three petrol and three diesel.  These are: a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS, 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS and 2.0-litre TSI with 210 PS; plus 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS (2WD only), 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS.  Both the 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models, as well as the 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS with two-wheel drive are designated BlueMotion Technology models.  As such they feature Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The latest Tiguan retains all the versatility and practicality for which the previous model was renowned, being a four-door, five-seater.  The rear seat is a 60:40 split bench that can be adjusted forwards and backwards by up to 16 cm and also reclined, while cargo capacity ranges from 470 to 1,510 litres.

The model went on sale in the UK in September 2011.  As popular as ever, the Tiguan is Volkswagen’s fifth best-selling model – after the Golf, Polo, Passat and up!.  In 2012, 10,477 Tiguan found homes in the UK. 

SUMMARY

  • Latest generation Tiguan premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011; on sale in the UK in September of that year
  • Tiguan is Volkswagen’s fifth best-selling model (after Golf, Polo, up! and Passat)
  • The Tiguan is a compact SUV available with two- or four-wheel drive
  • Two versions are available: one with a front end biased towards on-road driving with an 18 degree angle of approach and an Escape model which has a 28 degree angle of approach and additional technologies for off-road driving.  All Tiguans have a rear angle of departure of 25 degrees
  • Both versions feature a new look dominated by horizontal lines on the front grille, which brings the Tiguan in line with other new Volkswagen models.  The Tiguan bears a strong resemblance to its ‘big brother’ the Touareg
  • At the rear, new two-part light clusters give the Tiguan a distinctive appearance.  Similar to those of the Touareg, they form an ‘L’ shape, while the lower border of the lights also follows a horizontal geometry
  • Six engines are available, three petrol and three diesel
  • Petrols are a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS, 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS and 2.0-litre TSI with 210 PS
  • Diesels are a 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS (2WD only), 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS
  • Both the 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models, as well as the 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS with two-wheel drive are designated BlueMotion Technology models, featuring Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions
  • Diesel engines account for around 90 per cent of Tiguan sales; the best-selling derivative is the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS
  • Four trim levels available: S, SE, R-Line and Escape
  • High level options are available on the Tiguan, including Keyless Entry and Start System, the RNS 315 satellite navigation system, Lane Assist (which helps prevent accidents caused by the driver drifting out of the lane) and Light Assist which switches between dipped and main beam depending on oncoming traffic
  • The Tiguan is a four-door, five-seater.  The rear seat is a 60:40 split bench that can be adjusted forwards and backwards by up to 16 cm and also reclined.  Cargo capacity ranges from 470 to 1,510 litres
  • The Tiguan is built at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory in Germany

Market information

The Tiguan competes in the compact SUV sector, a direct rival to cars such as the BMW X1 and X3, Toyota RAV4, Land Rover Freelander, Nissan Qashqai, Honda CRV and Ford Kuga. 

The best-selling Tiguan is the 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS unit combined with SE trim and manual gearbox which accounts for around 37 per cent of sales.  The same model but with DSG takes a further 14 per cent, meaning the SE 2.0-litre TDI is makes up over 50 per cent of Tiguan sales.  R-Line, which replaced Sport trim in 2012, accounts for around 10 per cent.  Just 1.5 per cent are Escape trim, while three per cent are petrol-powered.

Production

Situated on the banks of Mittellandkanal, an inland artificial waterway, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is the world’s largest single car-manufacturing complex and covers an area of more than six square kilometres – that's an area large enough to accommodate the entire Principality of Monaco.  The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities covers a distance of 75 kilometres, with 70 kilometres of railway tracks accommodating seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse.

The Tiguan is built here, along with the Golf, Golf Plus and Touran.  In addition to these whole models, the site also makes components – an important mainstay on the plant portfolio – such as cardan drive shafts and injection-moulded parts, which are either used in production at the plant itself or supplied to other Group production sites.  Around 744,000 vehicles were built at Wolfsburg in 2010 and some 50,000 people were employed there.

The two power stations operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate supplies not only for the Volkswagen plant, but they also supply power and district heating to the City of Wolfsburg.  Both power stations have an installed electricity capacity of 442 megawatts at their disposal.

The history of the Wolfsburg plant is closely linked to the history of the City of Wolfsburg, since both were founded in the same year.  Close co-operation continues to exist between Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the city.  A mutual enterprise, Wolfsburg AG, was founded in 1999 as a product of this close attachment.  A public-private partnership, the initiative was launched as a means of realising the AutoVision aim to strengthen Wolfsburg’s economic standing for the long term.  By providing support for company start-ups and incentives for established companies to set up business in Wolfsburg, by creating concepts for and establishing recreational attractions and health projects and by providing human-resource services, the Wolfsburg AG initiative has helped to create and secure more than 11,000 jobs to date.

AutoVision GmbH was founded in 2001 as a platform on which to implement the AutoVision concept.  A 100 percent subsidiary of Volkswagen, the mission of AutoVision GmbH is to help give the Group even more competitive edge.  Its activities are concentrated in the fields of ‘administration and technical services’ and ‘human-resource services’.  The company also offers this portfolio of services on the external market.

Additional areas of operation dedicated exclusively to the Volkswagen Group include venture-capital undertakings and the provision of development support for process innovations.

DESIGN

Exterior

In designing the original Tiguan, Klaus Bischoff, head of design for the Volkswagen Brand said: ‘It was very important for us to have the car appear powerful and muscular.  For us that was a higher priority than anything else.’  This philosophy has been carried through the Tiguan’s design and into the new model, which continues to have a purposeful appearance and bears strong similarities to its ‘big brother’, the Touareg. 

The Tiguan adopts Volkswagen’s now familiar ‘design DNA’, meaning a front end which is dominated by horizontal lines, and like on the larger Touareg, the grille has two double chrome louvres. 

The Tiguan is offered in two body versions with different angles of approach.  While the classic version, with an angle of 18 degrees, was designed more for traditional urban use, the Tiguan with the larger 28 degree angle of approach is ideal for all those who frequently drive their Volkswagen in tough terrain.

Because their front ends differ, the two versions have different lengths: the Tiguan with an 18-degree front measures 4,426 mm, while its counterpart with a 28-degree front measures 4,433 mm. However, they are identical in width (1,809 mm without door mirrors and 2,041 mm with door mirrors) and in height (1,703 mm).  Also identical are their wheelbases (2,604 mm) and track widths (front 1,569 mm, rear 1,571 mm).

Since the Tiguan is designed to accommodate 4MOTION four-wheel drive the styling of the vehicle needed to reflect its utilitarian purpose, while functional design changes were made to make the vehicle more adept at coping with the rigours of off-road and, just as important, on-road use.  For example, the squared-off wheelarches feature small plastic surrounds that can be quickly and efficiently unclipped and, if necessary, replaced following off-road use.  This both protects the Tiguan’s bodywork and substantially reduces time and money spent repairing the vehicle.  The Tiguan’s clamshell bonnet also allows greater access to the engine bay and reduces the likelihood of water ingress.

In designing the original model Volkswagen incorporated innovative solutions to simple problems in this sector.  One such example included moving the lower shut-lines for the front and rear doors beneath the vehicle.  This means that following prolonged off-road use or simply when the vehicle has picked up road grime its occupants avoid picking up dirt from the sill plate as they enter and exit the car.  

All these developments bring the production Tiguan a long way from the original Concept A design study which was styled at Volkswagen’s North American studios in Santa Monica in a project overseen by lead designer Derek Jenkins and shown at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show.  Following its Geneva debut, Concept A then evolved into Concept Tiguan, first seen at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2006, and the shape we now know as the production Tiguan. 

Front end

In its latest iteration, the Tiguan’s front-end styling was redesigned to give more differentiation between the two body versions (on-road and Escape).  In the standard 18 degree model, beneath the lateral surface of the painted bumper, the ‘urban’ front end exhibits a broad grille in the middle and two smaller openings towards the sides incorporating the front fog lights (standard on all models except S).  A rugged black front spoiler finishes the lower section. 

On 28 degree or Escape models, the Tiguan can handle even greater challenges off-road.  Beneath the rugged redesigned bumper, underbody protection ensures the well-being of the powertrain components while the central air intake is also designed to be very flat to aid underbody protection.  Here too, the bumper is bordered by the protected, integrated fog lights towards the sides of the SUV.  The grey underbody protection itself, which has three distinctive openings, is framed on both sides by black air-flow guides. 

Rear section

Part of Volkswagen’s new ‘design DNA’ ethos is not solely to focus on the front of the car but also the back – hence distinctive rear lights become a frequent feature on new models.  This also applies to the redesigned two-part rear lights of the Tiguan.  Inside, the lights now reflect the look of the Touareg’s rear lights with dual L-shaped elements.  The lower border of the rear lights, now consistently following a horizontal line, makes for a new, even cleaner design in the area of the C-pillars that gives the entire rear section a higher-end appearance.

At the rear, all Tiguan versions have an angle of departure of 25 degrees.  (This angle may of course be reduced by vehicle payload (the same is true of the approach angle at the front end).)

Side profile

A clear, powerful design dominates the Tiguan’s side profile too, incorporating solid yet modestly trimmed wheel housings, a window line that rises towards the rear, distinctive door and wing surfaces, and – also typically Volkswagen – unmistakable C-pillars. 

In side profile, chrome trims highlight the profile of the higher-equipped models, along with, from SE trim upwards, chrome roof rails.  All models share a ramp angle of 20 degrees and 200 mm ground clearance.

Torsional rigidity

Like all Volkswagens, the Tiguan was designed and manufactured to exude quality and to experience this on- and off-road as well as in the cabin, a torsionally rigid body structure is crucial.  Laser welding is used in production to ensure tight panel fits and the strongest possible body structure.

Static torsional rigidity (to the value of 34,000 Nm) ensures passive safety; while dynamic rigidity is also essential for first-class driving dynamics and reducing noise, vibration and harshness.  The Tiguan’s so-called torsional resonant frequency of 45 Hz and bending resonant frequency of 52 Hz are also class-leading values.

Interior

Inside the Tiguan’s cabin, all the controls for the driver are designed to be intuitive to use and easy to reach.  In the main instrument panel, the radio and navigation panel is at the top, so it can be easily seen by both driver and front passenger.  The main functions are controlled by well-sized and clearly-marked keys and knobs, while on SE models and above the new standard RCD 510 system uses touchscreen technology to simplify further the control panel.  Switches for the heating and ventilation system are laid out below, still easily within reach of driver and front passenger.

The seat design depends on the specification level chosen.  From SE upwards, all Tiguan models have under seat drawers for driver and front passenger to maximise interior storage space, plus comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment.  Both driver and front passenger doors can accommodate a sizeable drinks bottle.

In the rear, all Tiguans have a 60:40 split/fold rear bench which can slide fore and aft by 16 cm to maximise legroom for rear passengers or luggage space in the boot as required.  The rear bench is also fitted slightly higher than the front seats: this is a particular boon for customers with children as young passengers can not only see more through the windows, but fitting their seat belts is also easier.  For added comfort for all rear passengers, each of the rear seat backs can also be reclined individually by up to 23 degrees.

If the rear middle seat is not occupied, the centre section of the rear bench can be folded down to make an armrest and cup holder; alternatively there is a load-through provision to enable long items to be transported with two rear passengers seated.

The Tiguan’s loadspace is both functional and easily accessible.  Even with a full complement of passengers, the Tiguan offers 470 litres of luggage space; fold the rear seats flat and 1,510 litres are liberated, with a maximum payload of up to 670 kg.  Five load lashing points plus a 12V socket in the boot further boost practicality, while a removable luggage compartment cover aids security.  A luggage net to prevent objects shifting from the loadspace into the cabin is also optional for those customers who regularly carry loads which are taller than the rear seat backs.

Climate control

The Tiguan comes as standard with ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air.  The car’s sophisticated heating and ventilation systems increase airflow into the front and rear passenger compartments, and incorporate a pollen filter which operates in both ‘fresh-air’ and ‘recirculating-air’ modes as well as the coolable glovebox. 

Standard on SE and R-Line models and available as an option on S and Escape, is a fully automatic 2Zone electronic air conditioning system.  This factory-fitted option is a two-zone device, with driver and front-seat passenger able to adjust their own climates individually and independently.  Temperatures within the two zones are maintained to an accuracy of a degree, with no readjustment necessary whatever the outside conditions.  The 2Zone’s intelligent control system even takes into account the amount of sunlight penetration into the cabin, and makes separate calculations to compensate for it on both the driver and passenger sides.

ENGINES

The Tiguan is available with a choice of six engines – three petrol and three diesel.  These are: a 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS, 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS and 2.0-litre TSI with 210 PS; plus 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS (2WD only), 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS.  Both the 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models, as well as the 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS with two-wheel drive are designated BlueMotion Technology models.  As such they feature Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.

All the Tiguan’s diesel engines use common rail technology, comply with Euro V emissions legislation and are fitted with a standard DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). 

The technically advanced designs of Volkswagen’s TSI and TDI powerplants result in competitive efficiency and therefore lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  This is not only better for the environment, but also for the wallet, with lower Vehicle Excise Duty for cars which emit less CO2.  All Tiguan models have a 64 litre (14 gallon) fuel tank.

TSI petrol engine technology

The TSI name describes all of Volkswagen’s pioneering forced-induction petrol engines.  These units produce high levels of power with low emissions and fuel consumption from a relatively small capacity.  Where FSI uses the direct injection of petrol into the combustion chamber to improve efficiency and hence reduce fuel consumption and emissions, TSI takes this a step further and uses an FSI engine which is then either dual-charged through a combination of an engine driven supercharger and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series for higher power outputs, or simply turbocharged for lower power outputs and lower cost.

Key to the TSI’s success is that direct injection allows an abnormally high compression ratio of 10:1 to be used in conjunction with high maximum boost pressure of up to 2.5 bar absolute.  This enables the relatively small engine to use very long gearing to provide exceptional fuel efficiency for a petrol engine, particularly at motorway cruising speeds.  As an additional bonus, the TSI engine provides driver enjoyment, producing high power and torque across a rev range from 1,000 to 6,500 rpm.

TSI technology has received international acclaim.  After being recognised in the International Engine of the Year Awards since 2006 when it was named Best New Engine, it has subsequently won a number of high profile accolades.

1.4-litre 1,390 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 160 PS

This 1.4-litre engine uses twin-charging (supercharging and turbocharging) technology to generate 160 PS at 5,800 rpm and a maximum 177 lbs ft (240 Nm) of torque from 1,500 up to 4,500 rpm.  It is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox only.

This engine is available in a BlueMotion Technology variant (see separate section for details) with two-wheel drive.  Here it has a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 126 mph.  Its combined fuel consumption figure is 42.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 156 g/km. 

Also on offer is this 1.4-litre 160 PS engine with 4MOTION four-wheel drive.  Here, zero to 62 mph takes 9.2 seconds and top speed is 123 mph.  Combined economy is recorded at 37.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 178 g/km.

2.0-litre 1,984 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 180 PS

Moving up the range, customers have the option of a 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS petrol engine, available with standard 4MOTION four-wheel drive, and linked to a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.  This engine is turbocharged but not supercharged. 

Developing 180 PS from 4,500 to 6,200 rpm and 207 lbs ft (280 Nm) of torque from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm, the 1,984 cc engine allows the Tiguan to achieve a 0 to 62 mph time of 8.3 seconds (7.9 DSG) before reaching a top speed of 126 mph (125 DSG).  The combined fuel consumption figure is 33.2 mpg (32.8 DSG) with CO2emissions of 199 g/km (same for DSG).

2.0-litre 1,984 cc TSI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 210 PS

The most powerful petrol engine in the Tiguan range, the 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS is available in R-Line trim only and is offered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.

The four-cylinder engine is boosted by a turbocharger and intercooler, produces 207 lbs ft (280 Nm) of torque from 1,700 through to 5,200 rpm and yet still returns 33.2 mpg on the combined cycle for the standard six-speed manual gearbox (32.8 DSG).  Standstill to 62 mph takes 7.8 seconds (7.3 DSG) and this car has a top speed of 134 mph (132 DSG).

Diesel engines

2.0-litre 1,968 cc TDI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 110 PS

This engine is an excellent option for those customers who want excellent value and put a high priority on maximum fuel economy.  Always combined with BlueMotion Technology modifications, front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox, this 2.0-litre unit produces 110 PS between 2,750 and 4,200 rpm, and 207 lbs ft (280 Nm) between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm.  Standstill to 62 mph takes 11.9 seconds and top speed is 109 mph.  It rewards drivers with 53.3 mpg on the combined cycle, equivalent to 139 g/km of carbon dioxide.

2.0-litre 1,968 cc TDI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 140 PS

Moving up the range, customer have the option of this 2.0-litre TDI unit which produces 140 PS at 4,200 rpm and 236 lbs ft (320 Nm) of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. 

This engine uses common rail diesel technology with piezo injectors for maximum efficiency, with up to 1,800 bar of injection pressure and special eight-hole injector nozzles producing especially fine atomisation of the fuel. 

The nozzles are driven by the latest generation of piezo in-line injectors, in which electrically controllable piezo crystals initiate injection in fractions of a second, assisted by a hydraulic component.  Compared to conventional solenoid valves, piezo technology enables more flexible injection processes with smaller amounts of fuel and more precise metering. 

The advantages to the driver are a very quiet and smooth-running engine, remarkably spontaneous response behaviour and competitive fuel consumption and emissions.  Also having a positive effect on noise reduction is the completely maintenance-free toothed belt drive for the camshaft. 

It is available in two configurations.  The first is as a two-wheel drive with BlueMotion Technology modifications and a six-speed manual gearbox where it has a top speed of 120 mph, 0 to 62 mph time of 10.2 seconds, combined economy of 53.3 mpg and 139 g/km of CO2.  The second also offers BlueMotion Technology modifications, but this time with 4MOTION four-wheel drive and the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.  Here it goes from 0 to 62 mph in 10.2 seconds, has a top speed of 116 mph (117 DSG) and returns a combined economy figure of 48.7 mpg (47.1 DSG) with carbon dioxide emissions of 150 g/km (158 DSG).

2.0-litre 1,968 cc TDI, 16-valve 4-cyl, 177 PS

The most powerful diesel in the line-up, this adaptation of the 2.0-litre TDI engine produces 177 PS (up from the previous 170 PS) at 4,200 rpm and 280 lbs ft (380 Nm) of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm.  Despite its impressive performance – 125 mph top speed and 0 to 62 in just 8.9 seconds – combined fuel consumption is 48.1 mpg (47.1 DSG) with CO2 emissions of 151 g/km (159 DSG).

This engine is only available in combination with a six-speed manual gearbox and standard 4MOTION four-wheel drive.

BlueMotion Technology

As detailed above, a number of Tiguan models are designated BlueMotion Technology variants.  BlueMotion Technology models are a range of vehicles developed by Volkswagen that strike a balance between the highly focussed BlueMotion vehicles (in Polo, Golf and Passat ranges) and the conventional products on which they are based.  The range, carrying ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging, combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet remain practical and stylish as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain.

The breadth of BlueMotion Technology modifications varies from range to range.  In the Tiguan, it incorporates a multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption as well as Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.

The Tiguan’s automatic Stop/Start system is operated through the clutch pedal.  When coming to a halt at traffic lights, for example, the driver depresses the clutch and selects neutral.  When the clutch is released, the engine shuts down and a ‘Start/Stop’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display.  In order to move away, the driver simply depresses the clutch once again to select first gear and the engine restarts automatically.  With the DSG gearbox, the Stop/Start system is activated through the brake pedal.  The system can be deactivated through a switch, if necessary.

The battery regeneration system is designed to help utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.  In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery.  Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at constant speed.  It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

Gearboxes

All Tiguan models are offered as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox featuring a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements.  Three-cone synchromesh for the lower gears ensures a pleasant shift action.  Reduced-friction bearings further increase the efficiency of the unit and cut fuel consumption.  The Tiguan is also available in some configurations with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

Both transmissions have been adapted to enable them to perform as well off- as on-road.  The manual, for example, can be driven at an engine speed of just 1,000 rpm, which is roughly walking speed in first gear and almost equivalent to the lowest speed in the crawler gear with an auxiliary reduction gearbox.  Both gearboxes in the Tiguan are filled with lifetime oil and need no routine maintenance.

DSG – automatic gearbox

First launched in 2005, Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox combines the comfort of an automatic gearbox with the responsiveness and economy of a manual unit. 

Originally available with six speeds only, the DSG unit has two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation.  One clutch controls the ‘odd’ gears plus reverse, while the other operates the ‘even’ gears.  Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.

With this clutch management system, the interruptions in power that are typical of even an automatic-shift manual gearbox no longer occur.  This is achieved by an intelligent hydraulic and electronic (mechatronic) gearbox control system, the two wet-type clutches and the two input and output shafts in each half of the gearbox.

This combination enables the next-higher gear ratio to remain engaged but on standby until it is actually selected.  In other words, if the car is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated.  As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.

Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second.  In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic function to permit manual gear selection. 

Another world-first for Volkswagen, was a seven-speed version of its DSG transmission which uses a pair of dry clutches (as opposed to the wet ones in the six-speed version) to improve fuel efficiency and performance.  The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system.  Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg including the dual-mass flywheel the gearbox is remarkably compact. 

In adopting seven speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill.  By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.

The volume of oil contained within the gearbox has also been reduced by 75 per cent.  The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil.  As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators.  Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from seven litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Tiguan.  They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use. 

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months. 

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys.  The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.  In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service.  A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed. 

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 18,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes.  An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

 

RUNNING GEAR

Front axle

At the front, the Tiguan employs a strut type suspension system, with lower wishbones and wheel-locating struts.  The front suspension is mounted on a one-piece aluminium subframe.

Rear axle

Volkswagen’s four-link rear suspension system was tuned for the Tiguan’s intelligent 4MOTION four-wheel drive.  The robust axle geometry has already been proven in a similar form in the Passat 4MOTION, though the Tiguan utilises a high-strength steel subframe to enable it to handle off-road conditions.  Newly developed suspension dampers with increased oil volume to maintain the right temperature are also used in the rear suspension. 

Two-wheel drive models

The 1.4-litre 160 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 110 and 140 PS models are available with two-wheel drive offering improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 levels.  Two-wheel drive Tiguan models use the same 4MOTION rear axle as the four-wheel drive version.  The propshaft, rear-axle differential and the drive shafts are simply omitted and the wheel bearings for the front-wheel drive version are fitted.

4MOTION four-wheel drive

Most Tiguan models are available with the latest generation 4MOTION four-wheel drive technology, which has been designed and adapted to satisfy the highest standards for on-road driving and safety, while simultaneously offering optimal traction off-road.  

Even on models with 4MOTION four-wheel drive, the front axle is driven in most cases; the rear axle only gets 10 per cent of propulsive power, which saves on fuel.  Not until necessary – based on the specific powertrain and carriageway situation – is the rear axle brought into play, step by step.  This is done by an electrohydraulic all-wheel drive clutch.  An important difference compared to the previous generation 4MOTION: no speed differences are needed between the front and rear axles to activate the all-wheel drive clutch, since pressure is built up via an electric pump.

The multi-plate clutch system itself is integrated in the rear differential.  The pressure reservoir is supplied with oil by an electric pump with a working pressure of 30 bar.  An electronic control unit computes the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and regulates, via a valve, how much oil pressure is transferred to the working piston of the multi-plate clutch.  Here, the surface pressure on the clutch plates is proportional to the torque desired at the rear axle.  The amount of transferred torque may be continuously varied by altering the magnitude of the pressure applied to the clutch plates.  The system operates independent of wheel slip, since the working pressure is always available.  When the Tiguan is driven off from a standstill or accelerated, wheelspin of the front wheels is fully prevented, since the control unit regulates the torque distribution based on dynamic axle loads.  In extreme cases, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle.

[Please note, the Tiguan’s Haldex ‘wet’ clutch system is not the same as the 4MOTION used in the Phaeton and Touareg which employ alternative four-wheel drive technology with an electrically-controlled gear-type centre differential.]

The Tiguan off-road

Most Tiguan models have an 18 degree angle of approach.  On Escape models, this is 28 degrees.  All models have a rear departure angle of 25 degrees and the so-called ramp, or break-over, angle between the two axles is 20 degrees.  Ground clearance on all models (even those with sports suspension) is 195 mm.

The off-road mode – a standard feature on all Escape models – significantly improves and simplifies control of the vehicle in off-road situations and the concept of the off-road switch was motivated by the idea of activating all important off-road assistance systems at the press of a button.

This switch activates the hill descent assistant (optimal control in descents), modifies accelerator pedal characteristics (finer control of engine torque), increases sensitivity of the cross-axle braking system that provides the same effect as a differential lock (EDS) and adapts the ABS function to operation on loose surfaces.  At the same time, it invokes hill climb assistance to protect the clutch with manual transmission and provide optimal engine braking with an automatic gearbox.

The switch itself is connected to the central engine control unit (ECU).  From there, the ‘off-road message’ is communicated to the other ECUs via the vehicle’s CANbus system.  For safety reasons, the off-road function must be reactivated each time after the ignition has been switched on; for this reason, there is no visual indicator of off-road mode in the central facia.  However, the Tiguan can detect an off-road stall – a not uncommon event when off-roading, even for experienced drivers.  In this event, rather than deactivating the off-road mode, a stall is recognised and when the engine is restarted, all off-road assistance systems are immediately and automatically switched on.

Sports suspension

The R-Line Tiguan is fitted as standard with sports suspension, also an option on SE and Escape variants, which stiffens the springs and damper to give a more sporty ride.  Unlike most sports set-ups, in the Tiguan the application of sports suspension does not involve lowering the ride, in order to maintain the car’s off-road capability.

Electro-mechanical power steering

Volkswagen’s familiar electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) features on the Tiguan.  The Tiguan has a turning circle of 12 metres.

Braking system

The Tiguan features a sophisticated braking system, with ABSPlus, BAS (Brake Assist System) and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) standard across the range.

At the front, the Tiguan employs a sliding-calliper disc brake system with ventilated discs measuring 312 mm in diameter.  Solid discs with a diameter of 286 mm are fitted at the rear. 

The Tiguan’s ABS has been specially adapted to shorten braking distances on loose surfaces such as gravel.  On loose surfaces, by taking into account various parameters including pedal effort, wheel speeds and vehicle deceleration, the system induces alternate phases of high levels of slip and lesser slip, and this makes it possible to achieve reduced braking distance, braking stability and steering control. 

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP

Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

The ESP fitted to the Tiguan also has a trailer stabilisation function which is standard with the factory fitted towbar and can be activated by a Volkswagen Retailer if a retailer supplied towbar is specified.  This system extends the capability of the normal ESP purely through a software extension.  It does not require additional sensors. 

This function greatly improves stability when towing by sensing the onset of a snaking motion and then neutralising it.  When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESP control module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle / trailer combination.  When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control.  During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

XDS electronic differential lock

Available as an option on all Tiguan models is XDS, an electronic differential lock designed to offer improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESP system.

Its benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESP sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion. 

Brake Assist System

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, this latest form of Brake Assist recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop.  In the event of an emergency stop, Brake Assist automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions.  The application of Brake Assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by around 25 per cent.

Parking brake with auto-hold function

All Tiguan models have an electronic parking brake with standard auto-hold function.  This function is activated by a button near the gear lever and is useful when the car is regularly stopping for short periods, for example when driving in heavy traffic.  In this case, the parking brake is applied automatically whenever the vehicle is brought to rest on the footbrake, preventing it from rolling forwards or backwards.  The brake is then released as soon as the accelerator is pressed.

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Tiguan is available in four trim levels: S, SE, R-Line and Escape.  The key specification highlights are listed below – for comprehensive details please see the latest price list.

S 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT (BlueMotion Technology) 2WD
S 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION
S 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS BMT 2WD
S 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION

All the above models have the following standard features:

  • ABSPlus anti-lock brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake pressure Distribution) and BAS (Brake Assist System)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (traction control)
  • driver’s and front passenger’s front airbags with passenger airbag deactivation switch
  • front seat side impact airbags; curtain airbag system
  • three-point seat belts and head restraints for three rear passengers
  • Isofix child seat preparation for two outer rear seats
  • automatic hazard light activation under emergency braking
  • transponder-based electronic engine immobiliser
  • remote control central locking, plus alarm with interior protection
  • electronic parking brake with auto-hold function
  • multi-function computer
  • front and rear electric windows; electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • RCD 310 DAB radio/MP3 compatible CD player with 8 speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external multimedia source (eg iPod of MP3)
  • ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic air conditioning
  • height and reach adjustable steering column; driver’s seat height adjustment
  • sliding and reclining 60:40 split/fold rear seats
  • steel space saver spare wheel; black roof rails
  • body-coloured front bumpers, door handles and door mirrors with integrated indicators; black side and rear protection pack
  • 6½J x 16 ‘Portland’ alloy wheels with 215/65 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts

S BlueMotion Technology (BMT) models add:

  • battery regeneration
  • multifunction computer (Highline) with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • Stop/Start function
  • ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging

SE 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT 2WD
SE 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION
SE 2.0-litre TSI 180 PS 4MOTION
SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 2WD
SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION
SE 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS 4MOTION

SE models gain the following features over the S model:

  • leather trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and gear knob
  • driver’s and front passenger’s under seat drawer; front centre armrest
  • folding tables on the back of front seats
  • front centre armrest with storage ad cup holders
  • front comfort seats with height and lumbar adjustment
  • 2Zone electronic climate control
  • RCD 510 touchscreen DAB radio/dash-mounted MP3 compatible 6 CD autochanger with eight speakers and AUX-in socket for connection to an external multi-media source
  • rain sensor
  • tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Park Assist – sensor controlled steering aid plus parking sensors front and rear
  • MDI – Multi Device Interface with USB and iPod connection cables
  • Driver Alert system
  • Bluetooth telephone prep
  • automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
  • dusk sensor – automatic driving lights
  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • chrome side window surrounds; chrome-plated roof rails
  • heat insulating tinted glass from B-pillar backwards
  • side and rear protection pack (including wheelarch protection) – black with chrome-plated insert
  • 7J x 17 ‘Philadelphia’ alloy wheels with 235/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

SE BlueMotion Technology (BMT) models add:

  • battery regeneration
  • multifunction computer (Highline) with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • Stop/Start function
  • ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging

R-Line 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS 4MOTION
R-Line 2.0-litre TDI 140 BMT 4MOTION
R-Line 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS 4MOTION

In addition to those items standard on SE, R-Line models gain:

  • front sports seats with height and lumbar adjustment, two-tone upholstery and R-Line embroidered logo
  • sports suspension (not lowered)
  • bi-xenon headlights including LED daytime running lights, automatic range adjustment, dynamic curve lighting and headlight washers
  • R-Line styling pack: unique front and rear bumpers, black wheelarch extensions, body-coloured side skirts with matt chrome trim
  • leather-trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with aluminium inserts and R-Line logo
  • 8J x 18 ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels with 235/50 R18 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

R-Line BlueMotion Technology (BMT) models add:

  • battery regeneration
  • multifunction computer (Highline) with visual gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption
  • Stop/Start function
  • ‘BlueMotion Technology’ badging

Escape 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION

Escape variants add a number of items of standard equipment which make them more suited to off-road applications.  These include:

  • 28 degree front module with shorter front overhang
  • protective side bump strips; protective element over front radiator grille
  • sump guard and underbody protection
  • off-road setting including hill descent assistant, optimised engine speed control when climbing, more precise monitoring of accelerator pedal and gear preselect for automatic transmission
  • compass; flat tyre indicator
  • 7J x 17 ‘Tunis’ alloy wheels with 235/55 R17 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Tiguan, allowing buyers to create a bespoke car to suit their needs and tastes.  These include a winter pack and mirror pack, electric panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, a Park Assist function, a towbar, satellite navigation systems and leather upholstery, as well as Adaptive Chassis Control, High Beam Assist and Lane Assist.  For full details of availability, please see the latest price list.

Panoramic sunroof

Optional on all Tiguan models is a panoramic sunroof which is made of high-strength compound glass and offers 300 per cent more roof cut-out area than a conventional sunroof to give a light, airy atmosphere inside the cabin.  It measures approximately 1,360 x 870 mm and the glass area covers around 1.1 sq m.

The aerodynamically and acoustically optimised sunroof consists of a front glass section that can be opened and a fixed glass rear section.  It can be opened to varying degrees and adjusted in a wide variety of ways via the controls in the roof lining.  The roof has a pinch protection, or rollback, function for added safety and a continuous, electrically-operated sun shade to prevent the interior becoming very hot in direct sunlight.

Gas-discharge headlights

Ultra-efficient gas discharge (bi-xenon) headlights are offered as an option on all Tiguans (standard on R-Line).  These provide a well focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights.  This option includes a self-levelling mechanism and high pressure headlight wash.  It also incorporates dynamic curve lighting which turns with the steering to a maximum swivelling angle of 15 degrees to provide better visibility around bends.  When the vehicle is static, these are able to turn to 35 degrees in relation to the car’s axis, useful, for example, when manoeuvring into tight parking spaces.

Park Assist and parking sensors

Park Assist (standard on SE and R-Line, optional on S and Escape) is an automated steering assistance system for parallel parking and reverse parking into spaces at 90 degrees to the road.  Using a series of sensors mounted on the front, rear and side of the Tiguan, the system plots the ideal manoeuvring path into a parallel space measuring just 1.1 metres more than the Tiguan, either to the right or left of the vehicle. 

When driving at speeds of under around 18 mph and within an appropriate parking environment, an ultrasonic sensor system detects spaces.  A control unit then notifies the driver an appropriate space has been found and calculates the ideal parking path.  Once in the recommended ‘start’ position, the driver engages reverse gear.  During the parking process the driver has no steering input – he or she simply accelerates and brakes as appropriate.  Once reverse gear is engaged, the whole operation generally takes no more than 15 seconds.  This system also incorporates audible parking sensors with volume reduction when activated and optical parking display via the vehicle’s audio system. 

RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation/radio system

All Tiguans can be specified with Volkswagen’s RNS 315 satellite navigation system.  The installation uses a five-inch touchscreen for fast, intuitive operation of the entertainment and navigation menus and displaying of information.  Key features include a CD drive for navigation disc or audio CDs, playback with title display for MP3 files and an integrated SD memory card reader from which files can be retrieved.

The navigation function offers a moving map in the colour display panel, integrated direction symbols as well as spoken instructions.  For the navigation to function, rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way roof aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth.

RNS 510 DVD touchscreen satellite navigation/radio system

Also available for a premium over the RNS 315 is the RNS 510 satellite navigation system.  This features a six and a half inch colour screen plus integrated voice control system which responds to spoken voice commands for navigation, CD and radio functions.  As well as playing CDs in the usual manner, favourite tracks can also be stored onto the internal, 30 GB hard-drive via an SD card slot in the front of the unit.  The hard-drive is also used to store navigation mapping.  In addition routes can be recorded while driving and then re-traced by following guidance provided by the stored waypoints.

It is also possible to specify a high-end Dynaudio sound system, a 300 watt premium entertainment system from the Danish hi-fi specialist, which provides exceptional sound quality, especially compared with other systems in the sector.  The 10 channel system delivers up to a true 300 watts RMS without generating unwanted vibrations in the vehicle’s structure. 

Finally, this option also includes a rear-view camera.  This is located just above the rear numberplate and transmits a real-time, distortion-free image of what is behind the car to the RNS 510 central display.  This allows the driver to see and recognise obstacles behind the car, and manoeuvre into the tightest parking spaces.  While moving, the screen marks out the car’s steering movements with coloured orientation lines.  This is particularly useful when hooking up to a tow hitch.

Adaptive Chassis Control – ACC

Engineers have in the past been constrained to design a suspension system which is biased either towards comfort or sportiness, always resulting in some form of compromise.  The ideal, it was decided, would be to produce a chassis that could continually adapt to road conditions and the particular wishes of the driver or passengers.  This is now available for the Tiguan, which can be specified with an Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system.  Here not only can the suspension’s damping characteristics be controlled at the touch of a button, but the electro-mechanical power steering and accelerator response are also modified at the same time.

ACC functions via a set of four electrically adjustable dampers operated through pneumatic valves.  Each damper is fitted with characteristic map control, a gateway control module that serves as an interface with the CAN data networks in the Tiguan – these comprise three sensors for measuring wheel displacement, three sensors for measuring movements of the body structure and a control module for the damping.

These sensors constantly (up to 1,000 times per second) measure the vehicle’s behaviour – be it under braking, acceleration or cornering – and react almost instantaneously to ensure the optimum mix of chassis agility and comfort at all times.  The vehicle defaults to ‘Normal’ mode in which the system strikes a balance for general use.  Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode the steering assistance is reduced, the damping is hardened and the throttle responses are sharpened as the mapping changes.  This is intended for either twisty roads or track driving.  In ‘Comfort’ the damping is softened and the steering assistance is increased to provide a smooth and controlled ride best suited to motorway driving.

Bluetooth preparation (optional on S, standard on all others)

The Tiguan is available with the option of preparation for Bluetooth HFP (Hands Free Profile) enabled telephones.  Here, the driver’s mobile phone is integrated into the vehicle’s systems without it being removed from a jacket pocket, for example.  The phone functions in the car are dealt with by a fixed telephone installation that obtains the necessary data from the SIM card of the mobile phone.  The telephone is controlled using a separate keyboard, the multifunction steering wheel or by voice command. 

Lane Assist (optional on all except S)

This warning system prevents drivers from drifting unintentionally out of their chosen lane.  Research shows approximately 14 per cent of accidents involving injuries are caused by a vehicle leaving its lane.  Road markings are monitored via a camera located in the rear-view mirror or rain sensor, and if at speeds above around 40 mph the system detects that the vehicle is leaving the lane, it helps it to stay in place with a gentle countersteer movement as well as alerting the driver with audible and visible warning signals.  The system is switched off as soon as the indicators are switched on and the driver can override the system at any time using a decisive steering input.

High Beam Assist

This system which is available as a low cost option on SE and Escape trim senses the lights from oncoming vehicles and switches between main and dipped beam accordingly.  It also detects vehicles being approached from the rear and ensures dipped beam is selected in order not to dazzle vehicles in front. 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The previous Tiguan model attained a maximum five star rating in crash testing by the European consumer protection organisation EuroNCAP (New Car Assessment Programme).  The American IIHC (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) also named the SUV its TOP SAFETY PICK; this evaluation covers extensive measures in the areas of active and passive safety.  The latest version of the Tiguan is definitely one of the safest cars as well, with its credentials built on the strong foundation of its rigid occupant cell, its deformation zones and the restraint systems that are tuned to them.

All Tiguan models have five head restraints that can adjust very high and are optimised to protect against whiplash as well as two front airbags, two side airbags (front) and two head/thorax airbags – the latter cover the entire lateral surface of the windows.  Two side airbags can also be ordered for the rear as an option.  It is always possible to deactivate the front passenger airbag when a small child is travelling in a rear-facing seat.  The status of this airbag is reported to the driver by an indicator light.  Standard Isofix fitting points in the rear seating locations complete the protective measures for children.

Integrated at the front and outer rear seating positions are seatbelt force limiters that reduce chest loads.  Belt tensioners for the front seats, which are electrically ignited by a central control module in an accident of sufficient severity, ensure that the movements of occupants are coordinated to vehicle deceleration early on.  Along with rear side airbags, the optional rear safety pack includes belt tensioners for the outer rear seats.  The systems are networked with one another: the airbag triggering system, for example, interfaces with all relevant control modules and ensures that the hazard lights are activated, all doors are unlocked, the interior lights are switched on and the fuel pump is deactivated in the case of a crash.

Driver Alert system (standard on SE, R-Line and Escape)

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  What’s more, the results of fatigue related crashes are often more severe because the driver’s reaction times are delayed or they have failed to make any manoeuvres to avoid a crash.

For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative Driver Alert system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break.  

The Tiguan’s system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated.  

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its security and safety features, the Tiguan has secured the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system.  The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

S
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT 2WD                18E
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION                 18E
2.0-litre TDI 110 PS BMT 2WD                14E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 2WD                17E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E

SE
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS BMT 2WD                18E
1.4-litre TSI 160 PS 4MOTION                 18E
2.0-litre TSI 180 PS 4MOTION                 20E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 2WD                18E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E
2.0-litre TDI 177 PS BMT 4MOTION         23E

R-Line
2.0-litre TSI 210 PS 4MOTION                 22E
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E
2.0-litre TDI 177 PS BMT 4MOTION         23E

Escape
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS BMT 4MOTION         18E

WARRANTIES

The Tiguan has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer. 

(ends)

Tiguan / KT / 0513

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