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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 130TDI (4x4) review
OWNER RATING 8 /10
  • Performance; Size; Comfort
  • Apple CarPlay; Older technology; Volkswagen Customer Service
PRICE N/A
ANCAP RATING N/A

by Kirk Muddle

Well it’s the first anniversary of me and the Tiguan forming a relationship, after I swiped right on a well-known automotive website.

Firstly, I know the car looks like the previous model, but it is only a year old. Built 2015, but complied in 2017. Confused?

Remember that whole ‘Dieselgate’ thing? Well Volkswagen stopped selling diesels for a while, but (as is my understanding) they brought in the new Tiguan, and then someone at Volkswagen walked out to a holding yard and went “Aw crap, we forgot to sell these.”

Hence it fitted my requirements. Diesel, high-riding, spacious, under $40k. Given that I picked up an R-Line with 125km on it for $9k less than it was worth ‘new’, it was the buy of the century, and given that I was looking down the barrel of $2k+ on my four-year old Mazda 3 SP25 (rego, service, four new tyres, cut and polish) and I could buy it at the same payments, no residual.

So in 12 months I have whacked 31,785km on it. Ouch. But my commute two days a week is round trip of 225km, and the other days I am out in the car for work, sometimes clocking 300km in a day.

How has it been? It is great sitting up above the traffic again. The R-Line seats are sculpted and comfortable. The engine is incredibly responsive (bar that two-second turbo lag), and the R-Line suspension means you can corner hard and fast and it holds the road well. It’s not a BMW440i (the other car at home) but it holds itself well.

Size-wise, it is still a good size to ‘hold space’ in traffic, but small enough that you can reverse park it without too much drama.

It can hold four adult-sized humans, plus luggage, for a weekend without issues; the boot (with the seats folded flat) is cavernous. With the seats up, you do need to slide the back seat forward a touch, but you can still get four adults and four large suitcases in with little issue.

Fuel economy is great. Highway/city combined (50/50), I get low 6L/100km. City only, that blows out 9s, but I didn’t buy it for punting around the city.

Tech-wise, I know it misses some of good stuff (lane departure, blind spot, radar cruise) but what it has all works well… except Apple CarPlay which (and it’s an Apple issue) is about as reliable as a Lada. While it works mostly, when it won’t, it doesn’t matter what you do, you have to turn off the car, lock it, walk away, before it resets… UGH! Very inconvenient and frustrating when you have an afternoon commute ahead of you.

Servicing costs are okay. Servicing with Volkswagen is awful from a Customer Service point of view. Austral Volkswagen has all the customer service skills of Centrelink, so two services later I will look for another dealer until Fixed Price servicing is over at 90k (so another two years at this rate).

What would I change? Possibly not white again (clean it, drive it, looks filthy), I should not have been a tighta*se and spent the extra on the model with the sunroof and leather (there was one there, $5k more) as I do miss the sunroof from the Mazda, and leather would be easier to keep clean with dogs and people who eat lunch in the car (i.e. me).

I plan to keep this one to year four (one year before paid off and as per my accountant’s advice, when all my depreciation is gone) and another diesel Tiguan is likely at this stage (but not a seven-seat… waste of money!)

I’ll review the BMW 440i in the coming weeks. It’s almost two years old but has done half the mileage. So it shows the Tiguan is a good ‘family allrounder’ for general duties!



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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 130TDI (4x4) review Review
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