An all-new Volkswagen Tiguan has arrived in Ireland at a time when it looks like we are going crazy for crossovers and compact SUVs. Ireland’s bestselling car in 2016 is so far the Hyundai Tucson, overtaking perennials like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus in the process.

This segment is huge with all the major manufacturers offering some sort of jacked up hatchback in their range. Now Volkswagen is having a second shot with the new generation 2016 Tiguan.

It’s the first Volkswagen Group SUV to be built on the MQB platform, which is shared with the Golf and a host of other VW Group products. Gone are the soft curves of the first generation Tiguan. The new Volkswagen Tiguan is altogether more angular, and even aggressive when viewed straight on. You couldn’t really say any of those things about the previous generation. It’s all classic Volkswagen styling but the new Tiguan has just the right presence for this market – it looks premium and shall we say a cut above the rest? It’s not as avant-garde as the new Kia Sportage or as friendly looking as the Renault Kadjar but something about those crisp lines and classic VW grille is still refreshing in this segment!

Volkswagen Tiguan Review Ireland
Volkswagen Tiguan is sharper all round and looking all the better for it

Inside, there is nothing particularly exciting about the interior design but it is faultless in regard to quality and navigability, with all models receiving a touchscreen infotainment system that’s one of the best in the business. Another highlight is the Active Info Display digital instrument cluster, though it’s not standard on base models. There is seating for five in the Tiguan and generous legroom for rear passengers, while the boot can carry up to 615 litres, which is up 145 litres on the old model.

Powering the new Tiguan range are a 125hp 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol and 2.0-litre diesels with a range of outputs from 115hp to 240hp. Manual and automatic transmissions are available, as well as a four wheel drive option. The petrol comes in at €29,085 on the base Trendline trim, while diesels start at €30,985. Comfortline line models start at €32,960 and Highline models start at €36,870.

Volkswagen Tiguan Review Ireland
The interior of the Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the best in the class with a simple, intuitive design and good quality materials

On the road the new Volkswagen Tiguan is a smooth and agile drive for an SUV, and the 2.0-litre TDI 150hp diesel on test goes about its business with minimal noise intrusion into the cabin. The Tiguan is a hard one to fault. It’s comfortable over Irish roads yet there’s not too much lean in the corners and the steering is spot on too. The overall refinement of the driving experience suggests a well-engineered car. The 2.0-litre diesel with 150hp is a powerful offering in the new Tiguan but the 115hp version is of course cheaper to buy and both versions have similar running costs.

Standard equipment on new Tiguan includes leather steering wheel, 17” alloy wheels, LED rear lights, roof rails, 5” touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth, electric parking brake and hill start assist, electric windows and mirrors, air con and safety equipment including lane departure warning, pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking. A mid range Comfortline adds adaptive cruise control, an 8” touchscreen, front fog lights, parking sensors, tri zone climate control, auto high beam and some more styling and interior comfort updates.

The new Volkswagen Tiguan sits at the pricier end of the SUV/crossover market, but make no mistake: this is a quality product that really does justify the premium tag. Whether compact SUV buyers will flock to it in the same way the likes of the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai have captured the hearts and minds of Irish buyers is another story, as those cars are great value for money and do the same job as the Tiguan. Yet the new Volkswagen Tiguan has an all-round polish that just lifts it above the competition and it does it in considerable style.

Volkswagen Tiguan Review Ireland
Volkswagen Tiguan: A polish all round that makes it very desirable if you’re willing to pay for it

Model tested: Volkswagen Tiguan Highline 2.0TDI 150hp
€36,870 ( Range starts at €29,085)
2.0-litre turbo diesel
9.3 seconds
CO2 emissions:  
Tax band:
€270 per year

Caroline Kidd