The all-new 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan is exactly what is says on the box – all-new. But amongst the plethora of new features and extra kit, there are some standouts.
After spending plenty of time in the all-new Tiguan, these key features leapt out at us, begging for attention.
So what are these standout features? Here's our pick of the seven cool things about the stylish medium SUV you simply can't ignore.
1) It's big!
It’s 30mm wider than the previous-generation Tiguan, which is especially noticeable when three adults are seated in the back without shoving shoulders, and it’s even possible to cross your legs because the second row can slide forwards and backwards.
The seats-up cargo space is a sizeable 520 litres, which Volkswagen claims to be 53 per cent larger than the sales-leading model in this segment (Mazda CX-5). That said, it does fall short of other popular offerings like the Rav4 (577 litres) and X-Trail (550 litres).
The Tiguan is also 65 kilograms lighter than the previous model, so with all that extra luggage space, there’s no need to worry about weighing the car down too much.
2) The rear-view camera
This is no ordinary rear-view camera. If you've bravely taken your Tiguan off the asphalt or perhaps it’s been caught in heavy rain, selecting reverse could leave you with a muddy or fuggy image on the display screen. Not anymore.
Once the windscreen wiper stalk has been pushed to activate the rear window washer, it also automatically cleans the camera with a jet-powered spray. Watch our video of this feature in action.
3) The open/close boot
We've seen it before – when the car senses that you’re in range, it unlocks. Then, you wave your foot under the car for the boot to open (or it might just open when you stand behind it).
But, Volkswagen has gone one step further. On the key fob, and on the boot lid, are two buttons. One is to leave the boot open when you walk away, and the other is to have the boot close itself once you step away from the vehicle.
This is especially handy when you have child on arm, phone on ear, dog on leg and no hands to press the automatic close button. If you forgot something in the car and walk back while the boot is still closing, it will stop. Every car in the world needs this, stat!
4) R-Line Pack
Get it. Get it now. For $4000, you can buy a whole lot of sexy.
It includes the R-Line body kit which matches perfectly with the 20-inch alloy wheels that fill out the guards nicely. Sit inside and you’ll spy the R-Line interior trim, with neat grey piping on the black leather seats and grey embroidered R logos. One feature that isn’t grey is the headlining, which the R-Line pack replaces with black.
But it’s just not the things that are in front of your face that matter. The pack also includes progressive steering and adaptive chassis control, which softens up the ride in comfort mode and makes it feel more sporty in sport mode.
A lot of kit for $4000, huh? It's available on the diesel and petrol Highline variants only, though, so get ready to spend up.
5) Active Info Display
This is a first for the Tiguan, and is only available on the Highline and Comfortline variants when bought with the Driver Assistance Package - so, as with R-Line, it doesn't come cheap.
What is it? The traditional instrument cluster and gauges are replaced with a crisp and clear high-definition digital display that can be tailored to suit you.
On the huge 12.3-inch screen you can choose to view different elements: satellite navigation mapping, off-road information readouts, drive assistance details and car performance info. Really, the sat-nav is so big you don’t need to even look at the centre infotainment screen for your next turn – it’s all in front of your eyes. Neat.
6) Five engines
No other SUV in this segment has a choice of five engines. All engines come with BlueMotion fuel-saving technology, including stop-start.
There are three entry-level 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines, and - as far as factory claims go - they are incredibly economical, listing between 6.0 and 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres, with the top-end petrol engine pumping out 132kW of power. The next step up is the 110TDI four-cylinder inline turbo diesel in the Comfortline, which has 40Nm of torque more than the petrol, at 340Nm.
And if you want some added performance, the 140TDI diesel is available in the Highline, with a 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds – just 0.2sec shy of the 132TSI Comfortline petrol engine.
There's a 162TSI engine coming soon, too: a 2.0-litre petrol with 162kW/350Nm – the same outputs as the VW Golf GTI.
7) Tray tables
One of the best inventions on an airplane is the tray table. Not only does it make for a great cuppa holder, but it’s also handy for the laptop or a book.
Well, Volkswagen has brought an element of the airplane to the Tiguan, by featuring tray tables attached to the back of the front seats, and there are pop-out cup holders in the sides of them, too.
These handy tray tables first appeared in the first-generation Tiguan, and they are fitted to the Comfortline and Highline variants.
There you have it: seven features of the new Tiguan that caught our fancy. What do you think of Volkswagen's new mid-sized SUV?