Volkswagen Tiguan 2020 allspace 162 tsi highline

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Highline review

Rating: 8.3
$47,640 $56,650 Dealer
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At $1500 more than a regular Tiguan 162TSI Highline, is the larger seven-seat Allspace the smart choice?
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More than one-third of all Volkswagen Tiguans sold in Australia in 2020 are the Allspace version. That makes sense given it is only $1500 more than the regular wheelbase, five-seat variant.

It begs the question, why isn't that ratio far higher?

I mean, these are family SUVs we're talking about here. I've never once met a family that's said, "Ah, my car has enough space. I don't need any more at all". You're not just buying a seven-seat version of the same car with the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. You're also buying more space.

Either way, at an uptick of $1500 versus a regular Tiguan, it seems like the smart choice. We quite fancy the Tiguan Allspace here at CarAdvice. We gave it the victory in a head-to-head comparison against the expensive Mercedes-Benz GLB250, which you can read here.

So, what's to love? Plenty.

As the top dog in the Tiguan family, this version gets the most athletic powertrain offered in our market. As the name suggests, its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine produces 162kW of power and a decent 350Nm of torque from 1600 to 4200rpm. All of this is fed through Volkswagen's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and '4Motion' all-wheel-drive system. It is not a permanent all-wheel-drive solution, like what Subaru offers, more a front-wheel-drive set-up that can task the rear wheels when needed. Consider it all-wheel drive on demand.

Regardless of that fact, you'll never find yourself requesting more grip or extra performance either for that matter. I'd go as far as saying there's a small slice of GTI embedded somewhere in this 162TSI version. It's a great powertrain that feels strong and puts on speed enjoyably so. It doesn't mind being revved out until the red area of the tacho either.

As for fuel usage, over the duration of the loan, the Tiguan Allspace returned 8.4 litres of fuel use per every 100km travelled – just 0.1 litres more than the official combined-cycle claim of 8.3L/100km. An excellent result.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI
Engine 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol
Power and torque162kW @ 6200rpm, 350Nm @ 1600-4200rpm
Transmissionseven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drive type all-wheel drive
Tare mass1769kg
Fuel claim combined (ADR)8.3L/100km
fuel use on test8.4L/100km
Boot volume (All seats up / third row down / all down)230L / 700L / 1775L
Turning circle11.9 metres
ANCAP safety rating5 (tested 2016)
Warranty5 years / unlimited km
Main competitorsPeugeot 5008, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes-Benz GLB
Price as tested (ex on-road costs)$59,990

Not that it's any form of priority with this sort of vehicle, but this large, overly boxy SUV will get up and go from 0–100km/h in 6.8 seconds. If you're a family of two cars looking to consolidate into one do-it-all package complete with a gutsy powertrain, then this may just be the car for you.

We Australians have a soft spot for a family car with some go, and the Volkswagen Tiguan family is testament to that fact. Almost 70 per cent of all seven-seat Tiguans sold feature this exact powertrain. Unnecessary? Possibly. Highly desirable? Most definitely.

Coming to the aid of the powertrain, and somewhat boosting the experience, is the way the chassis feels on the road. Adaptive suspension control comes as standard and has three modes of operation. In the most comfortable setting, the ride ironically is firm, but never intrusive or uncomfortable.

Even in its softest setting, it still exhibits excellent body control, which goes a long way to pacify your mind during long stints behind the wheel. There's no vagueness, bobbing, or any apparent inconsistencies to the way its rides. It's a calm, relaxing experience that would suit frequent rural tourers and metro dwellers equally so.

The more aggressive sport suspension settings do liven up the package, but for the most part the default, and most frequently used comfort setting, is probably the pick of the three. As it should be.

Despite getting on in age, and due for an update later in 2021, the Tiguan Allspace still compares well to other European seven-seat SUVs in this light. As per our twin-test against the Mercedes-Benz GLB250, the Tiguan offers better on-road manners. Compared to a Land Rover Discovery Sport it's a close call, but the Tiguan would arguably be just as comfortable.

As for a comparison to a French number, namely Peugeot's 5008, it would again be a hard one to decide on, as the Peugeot also rides fantastically. In saying that, I'd concur that the Tiguan maintains the edge in terms of overall handling versus the 5008.

Tough competition vying for your money, it would appear. Of this small sub-set of almost premium and truly premium offerings, the Tiguan Allspace is one of the cheaper options.

In 162TSI Highline specification it kicks off from $53,190 before on-road costs. Our test car was absolutely loaded to the gills with extras, which took its price right up to $59,990 before you affix a numberplate and drive it out of the dealership.

That $6800 worth of options consists of two equipment packs and premium paint. Some of the items buried in the rather long lists of additional equipment are nice-to-haves, whereas others come across as surprising given they're not included as standard.

For example, a digital instrument cluster forms part of the $3000 Sound & Vision package. Peugeot offers this as standard on the entire 5008 range, as does the Volkswagen-owned Skoda brand on the similarly sized Kodiaq.

Out of all three option packs offered, the 'R-Line' exterior styling package looks to cram in the most bang for your buck. By opting for this $3000 option, you get 11 extra items of equipment, including big-ticket items such as 20-inch alloy wheels and R-design exterior upgrades and badging. If you can make the stretch and afford any extras with your Tiguan Allspace, opt for this one. Its residual value will also thank you for it.

The cabin experience, regardless of how much you decide to doll up your example, is typical of a Volkswagen. The materials used are of good quality, the layout of buttons and access to in-car functionality are simple, and most importantly of all it's a comfortable place to reside. The only downside to the Tiguan Allspace nowadays is that its overall interior design is starting to show its age.

Some may prefer its conventional theme, however. Being old-fashioned in nature means that this cabin continues to feature such ergonomic joys like dedicated buttons for its air-conditioning system, as well as always-on separate temperature readouts, too, for that matter.

The traditionalists amongst us will be sad to know that both of these items are slowly disappearing from the cabins of modern European cars.

The 9.2-inch infotainment system feels fresh, however, and in keeping with the more modern screens found in newer SUVs.

It features the usual in terms of connectivity, with smartphone integration courtesy of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an onboard navigation system as a backup. Electrically adjustable leather seats also come as standard, four of which are heated – the front two, as well as the two outboard seats in the second row.

Clever touches find themselves littered throughout the whole cabin, such as a large centre console that sports a pair of modular cupholders, as well as overhead storage for four sets of sunglasses. Out in the second row, you'll notice a pair of foldable tray tables complete with flip-out cupholders.

As a young parent, I always praise the installation of tray tables in family SUVs. They're just so handy, and genuinely help to make the chores of parenthood quick and easy. Lunchtime, change time, even playtime, those trays paid their rent over the course of the loan. As for other fun things, second-row guests will have a third zone of climate control to play with, alongside one USB port and a 12-volt power outlet for their devices.

General space in the second row is decent, as is expected from an SUV of this class. Knee room and toe room behind a 180cm driver are both satisfactory, as is general head room, too. It's worth noting that the stretched Tiguan Allspace does do better in the second row when compared to a regular Tiguan.

If your kids are grown up and entering the later stages of schooling, they'll still find the proportions of the second row both easily habitable as well as comfortable. One thing that stands out, and greatly assists this notion, is the overall size of the second-row seat squab. Its depth and size result in your thighs being well supported.

The sizable squab goes on to assist younger kids, too. Even the youngest of young. You'll find the second-row bench accepting a rearward-facing child seat, or capsule, with relative ease. The door aperture is wide and tall, too, meaning slotting baby in between the roof line and the seat itself, while asleep, would be a mission worth embarking on.

Bear in mind that with a child seat installed in the recommended position, which is behind the front passenger seat, results in ingress into the third row becoming completely compromised. This won't bother those who are buying an Allspace for the extra 85L of boot it offers over a regular Tiguan, but it will faze those who genuinely plan to use the third row, even if occasionally so.

Either wise up and become masterful at installing child seats into your Tiguan Allspace or forever hold your peace. Or train your better half. All are good solutions to the problem.

One must remember that calling the Tiguan a 5+2 is a more accurate way to describe its nature. Despite that, the third row is somewhat tolerable for taller folk. Just make sure you only burden people with such a chore seldomly and shortly.

I found my 182cm self able to hop back into the third row easily enough. However, ensuring that I had a tolerable amount of knee room resulted in the second-row bench being slid quite far forward. This means that passengers in the second row lost most of their leg room in a quest to divvy it up for both of us to share. Kids 150cm and below are probably as tall as you'd go for frequent third-row use.

Cargo room is a strong point, and reason enough to pucker up $1500 to upgrade from a regular Tiguan. The Allspace version has 700L of boot space when in five-seat mode, and a respectable 230L when in seven-seat mode. Drop them all and flick it to hauler mode and you get 1775L at a maximum.

Let's focus on five-seat mode for a second, as this is where the Tiguan Allspace shines most. Its party trick is the amount of depth its boot offers. This means slotting things in longways, like a stroller or pram, or chucking in a mountain bike, wheels and all, both become simple affairs. It's the sort of well-proportioned cargo area that a young family has fiery dreams about.

Which to me sums up why you would opt for an Allspace versus the regular car.

It has better proportions in two key areas: second row and boot. No doubt if you pick the regular Tiguan, you'll likely be defeated by IKEA or Gumtree when you go to pick up something that just doesn't quite fit. In that inevitable scenario, you'll wish you paid the extra $1500.

As a compact 5+2, it also bowls over the competition. Its third row is more comfortable than the one found in a Mercedes-Benz GLB, it's also more spacious than the one found in a Peugeot 5008, and the dearer Discovery Sport doesn't offer much more in the way of rational third-row benefits.

Extra space, seven seats, however you cut it, spend the $1500 and get an Allspace.

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