2008 Volkswagen Tiguan 103TDI Review

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2008 Volkswagen Tiguan 103TDI Review & Road Test

Ready to tackle the concrete jungle

  • Volkswagen Tiguan 103TDI 4MOTION Wagon 6 Speed Manual - $35,990 (RRP)

Performance, Economy, European Styling, Build Quality
Waiting List, Tall First Gear, Bluetooth Availability

CarAdvice Rating:

- 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.

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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.

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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.

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:

  • Engine: 1968cc turbo diesel four cylinder
  • Power: 103kW @ 4,000rpm
  • Torque: 320Nm @ 1,750rpm
  • Transmission: Six Speed Manual
  • Driven Wheels: All Wheel Drive
  • Brakes: Disc with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • 0-100km: 10.5 seconds
  • Fuel Type: Diesel
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 64 litres
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.4 litres / 100km (Combined)
  • Safety: ESP; TCS; Front, Side & Curtain Airbags
  • NCAP Rating: Five Star
  • Spare Wheel: Space Saver
  • Towing Capacity: 2,500kg (Braked)
  • Turning Circle: 12.0 metres
  • Warranty: 3 Year / 100,000km
  • Weight: 1,676kg (Tare)
  • Wheels: Alloy 16 x 6.5”
  • Tiguan 125TSI Manual $33,990
  • Tiguan 125TSI Automatic $36,290
  • Tiguan 103TDI Manual $35,990
  • Tiguan 103TDI Automatic $38,290
  • Tiguan 147TSI Automatic $42,990
  • Metallic Paint $790
  • Sunroof $1,990
  • RNS510 & RVC $3,490 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • RNS510 & RVC $2,990 (147TSI)
  • RNS510, RVC & Dynaudio $4,780 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • RNS510, RVC & Dynaudio $4,280 (147TSI)
  • Six CD Player $790
  • Dynaudio $1,790 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • Dynaudio $1,290 (147TSI)
  • Park Assist $1,390 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • Park Assist $890 (147TSI)
  • Bi-Xenon Headlamps $1,990
  • Alarm System $590
  • Leather Trim $3,990 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • Leather Trim $3,690 (147TSI)
  • Front Fog Lamps $390 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • 18" Alloy Wheels $2,290 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • 18" Alloy Wheels $1,490 (147TSI)
  • Comfort Package $990 (125TSI & 103TDI)
  • Off Road Package $290