2008 Volkswagen Tiguan 103TDI Review & Road Test
Ready to tackle the concrete jungle
Performance, Economy, European Styling, Build Quality
Waiting List, Tall First Gear, Bluetooth Availability
- by Matt Brogan
The oddly named Tiguan gains origins not blowing in the wind like most other Volkswagens (Polo, Golf, Jetta, Passat), but rather from combining the two German animal names for Tiger (Tiger) and Leguan (Iguana) through a public vote of 350,000 people held by Auto Blid magazine.
In a market spoilt for choice (Ford Escape, Mitsubishi Outlander, KIA Sportage, Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Holden Captiva, Toyota RAV4, BMW X3, Land Rover Freelander, Mazda CX7, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Dodge Nitro, Nissan X Trail, Suzuki Vitara – need I go on), the Tiguan stands out for not only representing extraordinary value for money, but for delivering surprising fuel economy without losing valuable, sensible power.
Under the bonnet an adroit 2.0 litre turbo diesel four cylinder makes 103kW @ 4,000rpm and offers a very generous 320Nm from just 1,750 revs. Power delivery is effortless when pandering around town but by the same token isn’t afraid to snap in to the higher reaches of the tacho for spirited overtaking or runs from the lights.
Fuel consumption around town runs consistently between 8.4 and 8.6 litres per hundred k, which is only one litre above the combined ADR result of 7.4 litres. Out on the open road Tiguan merely sips fuel in the mid 4 litre range making anyone doing a lot of highway miles mad to consider anything but the diesel option.
Perhaps my only qualm with Tiguan’s drive (if any), is that first gear does seem quite tall in many normal situations and unless the vehicle is fully loaded or you’re faced with a precipitous incline, second will do just nicely.
The amount of space available is well utilised and easily as flexible as the next SUV boasting some 395 litres with seats up (to window height) or 1,510 litres with the 60/40 split fold rear seat down. This area can also be further increased by removing the spare wheel cradle to include the under floor space – very nifty for nursery runs or a trip to Bunnings.
A slake list of optional extras is also available, including the brilliant RNS510 satellite navigation and reverse camera package as shown in our test vehicle. You can also tick a six speed automatic transmission, heated leather trim, dynaudio 300W stereo upgrade package, sunroof, 18” alloys and xenon headlamps, though sadly a Bluetooth integration package is not yet available in Australia.
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