There’s a lot to like about our long-term Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline. Since lobbing in our long-term garage in April, it’s been smooth sailing with barely a fingernail-down-the-blackboard moment of irritation. Simply, there’s not a lot it does wrong.
And that rings true of its infotainment system, too.
Our Tiggy rolls out of the showroom at a touch over $42k plus on-roads and for that coin you get a loaded infotainment system that wants for very little.
Centred around an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, our Tiguan comes standard with Volkswagen’s Discover media audio and satellite navigation system. There’s a CD player too, tucked away neatly in the glovebox, not that you’ll ever use it in this day and age of streaming music.
Pairing your phone via Bluetooth is a cinch and once paired, your smartphone reconnects quickly and without a hitch. It’s so hassle-free, that by the time I have unlocked the door and slid into the driver’s seat, my phone is paired and ready to rock’n’roll. It really is that quick. And voice commands for telephony and navigation works a treat, too.
The sound quality too, is top notch, both for telephone and music streaming through the eight-speaker sound system.
The centre console houses a single USB input as well as a lone auxiliary plug and a 12V outlet. What is a bit of letdown is the lack of USB inputs in the back row, although there is a 12V plug; small consolation.
Connecting your phone via the USB plug does, however, give you Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality, for those that prefer connecting that way.
My CarAdvice colleague Dom Wiseman, who spent a bit of time in our Tiguan, was especially impressed with the system’s ability to interpret text messages: “I was impressed with the sound which is crisp with a good dose of distortion free bass. It will also read your messages and I did have a laugh when it read me a message from a friend that went something like this – ‘Glenn Silburn has sent you an image of a hand with the middle finger extended’.”
Dom was less impressed with the navigation functionality using Apple CarPlay.
“The navigation feature on your smartphone can be used through screen too, although it is hindered somewhat by the fact you could only select previously visited locations.
“If you’re looking for a new location and prefer to type it in, you have to unplug the phone and type in the address before re-connecting the phone. Clunky and irritating if you’re looking for a camping spot.”
Luckily, you can also use Apple’s Siri system to request directions by voice. The Apple platform’s voice recognition is fairly accurate, and with CarPlay designed mostly to motivate you to use voice instead of the display, it does the job well.
Still, if this new fandangled tech isn’t to your liking, the Tiguan’s proprietary sat-nav system is good. It’s simple to use and accurate, and can be initiated using the Tiguan’s similarly excellent voice command system.
The Tiguan’s nav system is also Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s worst nightmare, as it has repeatedly tried to send me through a restricted Border Control facility. This is no fault of the system, to be honest, as the facility has only recently been turned over to the government and declared ‘off limits’ for the general public. And Tiguans. An updated would fix this.
The instrument cluster features an analogue tachometer and speedometer, while nestled between the pair is a digital driver information screen which provides a wealth of data, accessed via the steering wheel mounted controls. No surprise though, in today’s speed-obsessed society, the digital speedo gets the biggest work-out.
And so does the rear-view camera which is, in short, excellent. The image displayed on the 8.0-inch screen is crisp and clear and, importantly, not at all laggy. It displays as soon as Reverse is selected, making parallel parking a cinch (which it should be for everyone, even without a rear-view camera, but that’s another story).
Overall, the Tiguan in this Comfortline spec wants for little in regards to infotainment, with enough information at your fingertips to not leave you wanting.
There is the option of an Audi-style Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, but that’s part of a $2250 driver assistance package. If we’re being honest, and we are, we’d settle for the standard package which has everything you need at your fingertips, albeit with a typically German utilitarian design and functionality.
Click on the Photos tab for more images by Sam Venn.