Volkswagen Tiguan's refreshing design and array of features could give competitors a run for their money, says Joshua David Luther.
Even before I drove the Tiguan, I was excited to explore the new features of Volkswagen's latest SUV.
Sauve best describes its looks. Crisp and neat lines make the Tiguan sculpted and chiseled.
The facade gets a bold and butch look with a boxy design for the LED headlamps and DRLs, and the chrome finished grille integrates well.
A broad bumper adds class to the Tiguan.
It gets honeycomb air ducts as well as crafty fog lamps and cornering lights.
Prominent wheel arches, a pronounced shoulder line and a gently sloping roofline add to its visual appeal.
The rear looks classy with LED tail lamps and a high mounted LED stop lamp.
Compared to some of its competitors, the new Tiguan definitely stands out in the crowd. The finish is premium like its rivals.
We know Germans are obsessed with fine quality and it shows in their latest offering in India.
On offer are seats with inserts and bolsters in Vienna leather.
The front seats also get individual heating functions with three different levels of intensity.
Volkswagen has also added flat bottom leather wrapped multi-function steering and a leather wrapped gear shift knob.
To enhance the luxurious feel in the cabin, the car has a massive panoramic sunroof.
The cabin is airy and there is ample room to seat five adults .
It has three-zone automatic air conditioning, electrically adjustable driver seat with a memory function for seat position, ORVMs, self-sealing tyres, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, keyless entry with push button, electrically operated tailgate release, among a truckload of features.
Safety has been given a lot of attention.
The car features pedestrian protection -- wherein the hood gets raised by a few inches in case of a frontal impact with a pedestrian. This acts like a buffer cushion for the pedestrian.
Other safety features include driver and passenger curtains, front and side airbags, hill descent control, electronic stability control with driver steering recommendations, ABS, ASR, EDL, EDTC and a lot more.
All this ensures the car scores some solid points over its rivals.
At the heart of this posh SUV is a 2.0 litre, turbocharged, 4-cylinder diesel engine that churns out approximately 140hp and 340Nm of torque.
The engine has been mated to a slick 7-speed DSG transmission. The power delivery is smooth and linear.
Driving this SUV in the city or on the highways is seamless with smooth gear shifts. If you want to accelerate at the word go and milk the engine for more performance, you have the option of a sports mode that allows you to shift gears manually.
Adding a little more flavour to the sporty appeal are paddle shifters.
The car also has an AWD (all wheel drive) setup tucked under its belt in case you want to travel on some bumpy roads. The 4MOTION AWD gives the driver adequate torque distribution and enhanced off-road capability.
Also on offer are different drive modes, which can be selected via a dial on the centre floor panel.
The suspension of the SUV leans slightly towards the stiffer side.
It gets a McPherson strut with lower transverse link, stabiliser bar in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear.
The ride is smooth over most terrain and the suspension gobbles up undulations rather easily.
The in-cabin comfort is also at par with other premium offerings.
Volkswagen has bolted on disc brakes in the front and rear, which ensure that braking is rock solid.
I feel the steering could have been fine-tuned to get a better feedback from the wheels.
Nonetheless, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a pleasure to drive.
Report: Motown India; www.motownindia.com