Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Test Drive (with Video) : 2017-2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI Highline With Optional Accessories - Revisiting the Tiguan

I was offered another go at the Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI recently. Those that follow this blog would remember that I actually wrote about this in April last year (2017). I initially road tested the Tiguan then during the media drive in conjunction with its Malaysian launch. I came away satisfied with its overall feel and performance to say the least. Somehow, I now found myself in another one courtesy of the friendly people at Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia. This time its a 2017-2018 Malaysian specced Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI Highline edition. 

I drove it around town and other places for nearly a week or so to basically see whether the initial attraction I felt with it had waned. I wanted to see whether this German C segment Crossover would still tickle my fancy as something suitable for the daily commute in and outside of town. I wanted to see whether my eyes were just impressed with the initial first contact and somewhat like after a heavy night of partying with an attractive lady it would still be a pleasant experience waking up beside her the next day.

Let me start with the exterior, again. This generation of Tiguan still looks mightly impressive with its squared off looks. It has that purposeful SUV styling. Couple that with the current clean lines of Volkswagen's design language it looks good. This Highline specified vehicle gets extra bits as standard like the nicer looking 18 inch alloy wheels and tyres and those very integrated looking front LED headlights. It is a very cohesive design and there is nothing offensive about it and even if you see a parking lot full of Tiguans it wouldn't look all bad. And yes, the styling isn't something bland. It is styled to look like it just has that right amount of bling in terms of chrome, shiny bits and it has that right amount of chunky styling that a crossover or SUV needs. 

As for the interior, it is still super user friendly. The layout is typically Volkswagen Group, in that everything seems to be logical and your hand does not need to stretch out too much or you don't need much searching even if you actually stepped into it and drove off right away. The instruments are legible and the AID, no, its not a disease as it actually stands for Active Instrument Display, is actually helpful in that all important information can be customised to suit your needs. 

With all the information and controls right in front of you on the AID screen and steering integrated controls, you can keep your eyes in front of you almost all of the time. The only gripe I have with the steering wheel controls is that it could be a tad big larger but after a few minutes or so familiarising the controls, things are fine. That being said, you still can jump into the car and drive away before doing so and you'd still do fine as these controls are also repeated where they usually are on the center console (radio etc).

Engine performance is good for a 1.4liter. The Malaysian specced Tiguan only comes with one petrol engined variant - the 1.4 TSI engine. This is a 1.4liter turbocharged direct injected 4 cylinder engine which makes 150ps and a very usable 250Nm worth of torque. Performance isn't blistering as 0-100kmh can be done in 8.9seconds whilst it maxes out close to 200kmh (198kmh). The mid-range pull is good and it is actually all you need to travel on Malaysian roads.

The ride and handling is sweet. Being a crossover vehicle there is lots of suspension clearance for it to traverse on most roads. Everything from the usual pot-holed streets of a Klang Valley suburb, the highways as well as most dirt roads (when it is dry or just slightly soggy). Don't expect hardcore off-roading as it is only front wheel driven. The ride is good and whilst it is so, there is minimal body roll. Do expect excellent highway manners though.

I have actually mentioned most of the above in my initial review. It does feel the same after getting reacquainted with it after awhile. There is still some rustling of wind around the A-pillars at speeds higher than the national speed limit but aside from that, the Tiguan Highline is a splendid drive. Just make sure that you don't put on that bicycle rack option if you do not have a bicycle or do not intend to carry one all the time. 

It does make a noticeable howl at speeds as low as 80kmh. It's like having a pontianak, aka the Malaysian version of a banshee, on your roof. Of course, sometimes it would be okay to  just check and see if there is really one on the roof when you're driving on a quiet, dark stretch of road, lah. OR not.

So there you go, a big boot with a powered tailgate, a lot of space inside front and back, picnic tables at the rear, clear and easy to read instruments, a lot of usable technology and equipment and chunky good looks. Whats not to like? Of course, do be prepared for everything and buy what your wallet can really afford first folks.

So for RM169,000 or thereabouts, the Tiguan 1.4 TSI Highline could be one of the better SUV crossovers out there. It still is after having a second go at it.

Here is a short video on the Tiguan. This is for those who prefer a more visual way of engagement... 

Specifications and more photos are below - 

2017-2018 Malaysian Specification Volkswagen 1.4 TSI Highline

Highline: from RM168,990 (without insurance)
1.4liter TSI direct injection turbocharged
250Nm torque

6 speed wet clutch dual clutch gearbox

1485kg unladen

0-100kmh in 8.9 seconds
Max Speed:

Fuel Consumption:
Combined manufacturer's figure: 6.7liters/100km
Heavy footed, long idle times, enthusiastic journalists in car figure: 10.3liters/100km. (A reasonable figure of 7-8.5liters/100km should be easy to achieve)

1.4TSI Highline

8-inch touchscreen 'Discover Media' entertainment system with navigation, USB and iPod interface, SD card slot, AUX-IN, Bluetooth and 8 speakers, with optional App-Connect upgrade

12.3-inch full colour Active Info Display with five modes

'Air Care Climatronic' air-conditioning system with 3-zone temperature control

'Vienna' combination leather seat upholstery

Driver seat with electric 12-way adjustment and powered 4-way lumbar support

'Keyless Access' keyless locking and starting system

Electric tailgate

Park Assist 3.0

Multi-view rear-view camera

'Kingston' alloy wheels 7J x 18"

Adaptive LED lighting system

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