RE: VW Tiguan R-Line 2.0 TSI 230: Driven

RE: VW Tiguan R-Line 2.0 TSI 230: Driven

Wednesday 22nd May

VW Tiguan R-Line 2.0 TSI 230: Driven

Golf GTI power and all-wheel drive make this the liveliest Tiguan - but certainly not the cheapest



Buyer appetite for sporty SUVs is growing at such a rate that few models exist without a breathed-on range-topper. In the case of the Volkswagen Group, the economies of scale for MQB models make it easy to pluck a more potent powertrain from one car and slot it into another, hence the arrival of a 230hp Tiguan, which arrives with the same variant of 2.0-litre TSI unit once used by the Golf GTI (hence our curiosity). In the Tiguan it drives through Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system and DSG hardware so you've got a 1.7-tonne SUV that can hit 62mph in 6.3 seconds, and, in upmarket R-Line trim, the image to match. Until the full-blown R arrives, this variant is the most sporting Tiguan on sale.

Add the word 'Tech' into the trim designation and the car comes fully kitted - as it should with a starting price of £38,910. Alongside GTI power you get standard-fit DCC adaptive damping and 20-inch alloy wheels, not to mention silver slats on the front grille, thicker bumpers and silver surrounds for the exhaust exits, as well as silver roof rails and black wheel arch surrounds for what could justly be called "the full effect". It's as butch as a bouncer's dog.

Inside, it's all familiar VW Group stuff, albeit with the very latest and plushest kit that includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and digital instrument cluster. The finish is very good, with little in the way of visual drama, but great functionality nonetheless (think high spec Golf and you're 90 per cent of the way there). The electric leather seats are supportive and offer enough adjustment, although it goes without saying that your torso's angle of attack is too upright to feel remotely sporting. The elevated hip point makes getting in and out very convenient; it also places the road at an unreasonable distance from your arse cheeks.


That sets the tone for the Tiguan's character when left in Normal mode. The 2.0-litre unit may ultimately produce the same peak power as a GTI, but Volkswagen has a) swaddled it in a feather duvet made of sound-deadening and b) had its throttle response downgraded from 'stabbed rat' to 'lawn bowls delivery'. The result is very refined and certainly not unpleasant. But anyone hoping for Q-car-style burliness from the get-go will likely feel a bit shortchanged by the Tiguan's determination to prevent you emptying the fuel tank too quickly.

Go for its Sport mode instead and the gearbox keeps the engine spinning at more productive speeds, making the car a bit more eager to pull its socks up. 'Brisk' probably covers it; 'effective' too because you tend to stay in that in-gear, 30-50mph zone that turbocharged motors with lots of slick gear ratios eat for breakfast. But the feeling rarely gets all the way to 'potent' - as it does with the more powerful (and admittedly smaller) Cupra Ateca.

The SEAT-built alternative is the better handling prospect, too. Sure, the Tiguan changes direction adroitly enough and there's admirable grip on offer - but the body hasn't been tied down with anything like Cupra's diligence. Added to which, you can only wind off the stability control so much, which means that any whimsical attempt to find the chassis's mechanical limit is met with pinched brakes before either axle gets to show its true colours.


Not that the R-Line is nudging you in this direction anyway. Plainly the bigger engine is there to get you to decent, fairly undramatic cross-country pace that bit quicker - not unlike the bigger diesel lumps that have presumably fallen out of favour. In fairness, once it's there the Tiguan does rather well. Even with the damping firmed up in Sport the ride is good; you're conscious of a few more road ridges and body roll is noticeably reduced, but there's enough tyre wall around the rims and sympathy in the suspension for the Tiguan to feel relaxed at pace. It's not particularly communicative, although it's easy to place the car on a road and is no more effort to drive at the national limit than a Golf.

It's Volkswagen's much more famous hatchback which comes to mind when you're ticking off all-rounder virtues, too: practical, spacious, good-looking, well-equipped, well-made, able, obliging etc etc. Many if not most of the Tiguan's attributes are not in doubt - but the one we drove was £41,425 with options. For that money, we'd want its on-paper power and performance to be as prominent as any other listable merit. But it's not. Or not often enough at any rate.

In some ways the 230hp engine feels like it did in the original Mk7 GTI, which is to say 'adequate' - or better yet, 'appropriate' for a hatchback of its size and ability. That's the way the (heavier, taller) 230hp Tiguan feels - not fast or slow, merely sufficient for you not to fall into a coma. And like the Golf, it probably makes any other stripe of Tiguan feel as spiritless as a Lighthouse Family song. The good news is that you can also have the bigger motor in middling SEL trim from £36,395, which Volkswagen never let you do with the hatchback. Or you could have a faster, sharper Cupra Ateca from £35,915. Or you could wait for the even more expensive Tiguan R. Or throw out the baby with the bath water and buy a Golf R, which is available from £36,150. Guess which one we recommend...


SPECIFICATION - VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN R-LINE TECH 2.0 TSI 230 4MOTION DSG
Engine:
1,984cc, four-cyl turbo
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 230@5,000-6,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@1,500-4,300rpm
0-62mph: 6.3 seconds
Top speed: 141mph (limited)
Weight: 1,710kg ('in running condition with driver')
MPG: 30
CO2: 175g/km
Price: £38,910







Author
Discussion

marcom44

Original Poster:

11 posts

46 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
My Dad is 80 he has a Honda CRV, which he can get in and out of easily. He moans it's too slow and would probably enjoy this SUV.
I watched him struggle to get out of my A3 and comment on the harder ride. And with the roads around here being in some cases absolutely shocking I get his needs.
I love the thought of owning a Golf R but with the pot holed roads, all the traffic and cyclists on narrow roads why bother (but I still want one).

Blanchimont

3,705 posts

64 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
That's Cupra Ateca money, which has an extra 70hp and is hardly spartan inside. Seems a bit daft price point, as I suspect people wanting a decent pace SUV will go for an Ateca instead.

It'll still sell in its millions though.

wab172uk

1,317 posts

169 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Like them or hate them, but the Tiguan is one of the best looking SUV's you can buy.

I had the MK1 170 TDI R-Line many years ago. Really good cars, and it handled pretty damn good for what it was.

The full blown Tiguan R will be a good and quick SUV. But the price will be silly.

Sheepshanks

17,329 posts

61 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
marcom44 said:
My Dad is 80 he has a Honda CRV, which he can get in and out of easily. He moans it's too slow and would probably enjoy this SUV.
I watched him struggle to get out of my A3 and comment on the harder ride. And with the roads around here being in some cases absolutely shocking I get his needs.
I love the thought of owning a Golf R but with the pot holed roads, all the traffic and cyclists on narrow roads why bother (but I still want one).
Compared to a CRV he'd probably hate the ride in this.

wab172uk said:
The full blown Tiguan R will be a good and quick SUV. But the price will be silly.
They're going to have to be careful - Macan might be a better financial proposition.

Sford

126 posts

92 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
We've got one of these and it's great. Does everything well and is comfy. The digi-dash is great as is all of the infotainment system. The panoramic roof is excellent too. Only gripes I have is that is is a bit underwhelming on the driving dynamics, not the most engaging with the DSG box. But it covers ground well and is comfortable. Looking forward to the hot version when it arrives as that'll be great!
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Nerdherder

719 posts

39 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Sheepshanks said:
They're going to have to be careful - Macan might be a better financial proposition.
If so then the choice is clear.
The Tiguan looks good imho but as above the price needs to be right.

CX53

2,036 posts

52 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
marcom44 said:
My Dad is 80 he has a Honda CRV, which he can get in and out of easily. He moans it's too slow and would probably enjoy this SUV.
I watched him struggle to get out of my A3 and comment on the harder ride. And with the roads around here being in some cases absolutely shocking I get his needs.
I love the thought of owning a Golf R but with the pot holed roads, all the traffic and cyclists on narrow roads why bother (but I still want one).
I find my golf R perfectly fine on potholed roads. Do you have a glass back or something?

Sford

126 posts

92 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
If so then the choice is clear.
The Tiguan looks good imho but as above the price needs to be right.
The Macan might not cost much more but I bet the servicing and consumables will be more. And the price of the Macan will probably jump up.

Twoshoe

455 posts

126 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Seems strange that it is 16-reg.

Burwood

12,486 posts

188 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Twoshoe said:
Seems strange that it is 16-reg.
It's a stock photo of the original New Tiguan. 3 years old now.

To those suggesting a Macan is 'not much more money'. You can achieve 16% off a Tiguan. £36k gets you the R Line 240 TDi. The Macan would set you back at least £50K and £55 with similar options.

dukebox9reg

1,258 posts

90 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
'But the feeling rarely gets all the way to 'potent' - as it does with the more powerful (and admittedly smaller) Cupra Ateca.'

Erm isn't it the same car with a different badge?

Burwood

12,486 posts

188 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
dukebox9reg said:
'But the feeling rarely gets all the way to 'potent' - as it does with the more powerful (and admittedly smaller) Cupra Ateca.'

Erm isn't it the same car with a different badge?
It's a rather pointless comparison given the Atecha has a lot more power (60hp) and can sprint to 62 in 5 sec.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the Tiguan R given it will have well over 300hp. It's no light weight and VW's R division is meant to be the AMG/RS equivalent. I'll have a guess at 2.0L with 350hp

Edited by Burwood on Wednesday 22 May 13:42

wab172uk

1,317 posts

169 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Burwood said:
dukebox9reg said:
'But the feeling rarely gets all the way to 'potent' - as it does with the more powerful (and admittedly smaller) Cupra Ateca.'

Erm isn't it the same car with a different badge?
It's a rather pointless comparison given the Atecha has a lot more power (60hp) and can sprint to 62 in 5 sec.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the Tiguan R given it will have well over 300hp. It's no light weight and VW's R division is meant to be the AMG/RS equivalent. I'll have a guess at 2.0L with 350hp

Edited by Burwood on Wednesday 22 May 13:42
I'd still prefer the 5-pot out of the RS3, but think that'll go the the frankly ugly Q3-RS. Tiguan, as you say will get the S3/Golf R 2.0l engine with 300bhp. Can't see it being 350bhp, as it'll be more powerful than the Golf.

Andy20vt

856 posts

128 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Bland as a bowl of porridge!

WCZ

6,615 posts

136 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Blanchimont said:
That's Cupra Ateca money, which has an extra 70hp and is hardly spartan inside. Seems a bit daft price point, as I suspect people wanting a decent pace SUV will go for an Ateca instead.

It'll still sell in its millions though.
no one cares, they want the VW badge!

Burwood

12,486 posts

188 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
wab172uk said:
Burwood said:
dukebox9reg said:
'But the feeling rarely gets all the way to 'potent' - as it does with the more powerful (and admittedly smaller) Cupra Ateca.'

Erm isn't it the same car with a different badge?
It's a rather pointless comparison given the Atecha has a lot more power (60hp) and can sprint to 62 in 5 sec.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the Tiguan R given it will have well over 300hp. It's no light weight and VW's R division is meant to be the AMG/RS equivalent. I'll have a guess at 2.0L with 350hp

Edited by Burwood on Wednesday 22 May 13:42
I'd still prefer the 5-pot out of the RS3, but think that'll go the the frankly ugly Q3-RS. Tiguan, as you say will get the S3/Golf R 2.0l engine with 300bhp. Can't see it being 350bhp, as it'll be more powerful than the Golf.
It won't be released until the Mark 8 Golf is out. And there is strong suggestion it will have well above 300 because it won't be worth of the R badge to won't be quick enough and the R plus golf will have close to 400hp. Who knows

SweptVolume

350 posts

35 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
That side profile reminds me of the classic 'sit up and beg' design.



For example the Morris Eight:




wab172uk

1,317 posts

169 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Andy20vt said:
Bland as a bowl of porridge!
You're right. Pack all the kids and suitcases into an Evora. Cramped yes, but just think of the ride quality and feedback through the steering wheel?

Sford

126 posts

92 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Also, the Atecha looks awful. It's just missing a tribal tattoo for the full slav look.

tigger1

8,269 posts

163 months

Wednesday 22nd May
quotequote all
Is 230bhp in a golf really only "adequate" in a family hatch?

The modern-SUV's are very popular. It makes sense to offer them with a decent performing engine. This will sell in decent volumes as the diesel variants fall in sales numbers.

41k though. I'd take a golf R estate (or similar non-SUV) every day...but I'm not the target market.