Volkswagen Australia's research suggests at least one-in-five Tiguan buyers will go for the hotted-up 162TSI Highline derivative.

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The pseudo Golf GTI on stilts will arrive next week at a starting price of $48,490 plus on-road costs, around $54k drive-away, slotting it just below the 140TDI Highline.

Yet the Tiguan 162TSI is shaping up to be a top-seller within its line-up. VW Australia believes 25 per cent of initial Tiguan orders will be for this performance derivative, while in the longer-term it's expected to sustain a 20 per cent share. This is miles above the global average.

This ratio is about the same as the GTI within the Golf range, though some cannibalisation is to be expected. Which of these performance models becomes the better seller remains to be seen.

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Under the 162TSI Highline's bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine as the Golf GTI hot hatch, producing 162kW of power at 6200rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1500 and 4400rpm. This engine is matched as standard to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with paddle-shifters.

Unlike the front-wheel drive Golf GTI, the Tiguan 162TSI uses a 4Motion on-demand all-wheel drive system with electronically activated multi-plate clutch and a front-wheel bias, though both models sit upon the same modular architecture/platform.

All-paw grip translates to more traction on bad surfaces, and also off the line. Despite the Tiguan's 300kg weight penalty over the $4650 cheaper Golf GTI, both have the same 6.5 second 0-100km/h sprint time.

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This bold claim is also a full second quicker than the more potent 177kW/350Nm Subaru Forester XT Premium.

The Tiguan 162TSI Highline's base price matches the Subie, however there are a number of options that will take the German's drive-away price north of $60k and into luxury territory.

These include the Audi-Style full digital gauges (part of the wider $2000 driver assistance package) and the R-Line sports styling pack with adaptive dampers ($4000, with 70 per cent take-up so far).

Yet VW says that only 10 per cent of Highline buyers so far (who've taken delivery or placed ore-orders) haven't splashed out on at least one package.

We'll be reviewing the Tiguan 162TSI next week, so stay tuned. 

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2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI Highline equipment:

Seven airbags

ISOFIX

Multi-collision brake

Auto Hold

Front Assist with City Emergency Brake

Lane assist

Park Assist

Rear-view camera

Tyre pressure indicator

8.0-inch Discover Pro satellite-navigation system

App-Connect (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto)

Cruise control

Three-zone climate control

Leather multi-function steering wheel

Keyless access

Vienna leather-appointed upholstery

Heated/electric front seats

Interior ambient lighting and LED reading lights

Colour multi-function display

Folding table on front seat backrests

Storage drawer under the front seats

Luggage floor net

Driving profile selection with 4Motion Active Control

Chrome roof rails and window surrounds

LED headlights with dynamic cornering lights

18-inch alloy wheels

Electronically-operated tailgate

Power folding door mirrors

Dark-tinted rear windows

Options packages:

Driver Assistance package ($2000)

Adaptive cruise control, Side Assist with Rear Traffic Alert, Active Info display, and area view camera mode

R-Line Package ($4000)

R-Line body kit, R-Line interior, 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive chassis control (adjustable dampers) and progressive steering

Panoramic Electric Glass Sunroof ($2000)