Ryan Blake and Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink writers
The 2012 model of the Tiguan has been slightly restyled with the aim of bringing the vehicle visually in line with the current offerings of the Volkswagen family; it now closely resembles the current Touareg. The name Tiguan was derived from the combination of the German words tiger (tiger) and leguan (iguana).
The Tiguan is available in the following trims: Trend & Fun, Sport & Style and Track & Field. The one provided for our test drive was the Tiguan Sport & Style.
This model is fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome roof rails and accents, sport seating with height-adjustable lumbar supports, centre console with folding and height-adjustable armrest, folding front passenger seat, drawers under the seats, folding table and storage pockets on the backs of the front seats, leather steering wheel and shift knobs. This is in addition to regular comforts such as a factory alarm with internal motion sensors and deadlocks, as well as an impressive touch-screen audio system that allows for mobile phone/ iPod integration.
Powering the Tiguan is a turbo charged 2-litre petrol TSI I4 engine, paired to a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission producing just about 200 horsepower. The 4Motion technology gives the car permanent four-wheel drive and transfers the required power to the wheels when necessary. The engine is very responsive and launches from zero to 60 with ease, even on a steep incline.
This model is fitted with all the creature comforts one may need.
How it handles
The ride/handling of the Tiguan is excellent and this was challenged several times on the way to our Greenwich, Blue Mountain, destination. Rory McDonald, sales representative at ATL Autohaus, stated that most first-time drivers are blown away by the Tiguan's acceleration and handing. The transmission gained a lot of respect in Sport mode as it quickly upshifted as the gas pedal was punched. As the brakes were applied it geared down and the compression was felt and heard. The vehicle is also equipped with a 'Hill Hold Assist' which ensures that the vehicle maintains a constant speed on inclines and deploys rear brakes to prevent it from being stuck or rolling back on slopes.
The rain-sensing wipers and auto-headlamps assisted us as we made the journey through the winding road with ever-changing weather conditions. The instrument panel is neat, classy and easy to operate. Steering-mounted controls and voice commands make the Tiguan stand out against its segment rivals.
The Tiguan Sport & Style was definitely cultured with the racing DNA of the Golf GTi and this was evident in the vehicle's ability to manoeuvre and accelerate on demand. This test model is available at ATL Autohaus for $5.6m.
The folding trays behind the front seats provide a flat surface on which rear passengers can rest their tablet computers while watching a movie.
There's also ample leg and head room for a crossover SUV.
What can be improved
It would have been nice if the car had come with an integrated navigation system and a keyless entry and start option.
The major disappointment experienced with the Tiguan was a 'clicking' sound made by the horn panel when it was pressed.
It is ideal for ...
The outdoorsman - the Tiguan provides an ideal blend for the daily commuter and a light off-roader. Young professionals would also love it.
Powering the Tiguan is a turbo-charged 2-litre petrol TSI I4 engine, paired to a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission producing just about 200 horsepower.