Volkswagen Tiguan Pros
Volkswagen Tiguan Cons
Want a seven-seat SUV, but not willing to pilot a hulking bus in the city?
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is one of a few Tiguan options. Built on a stretched version of the five-seat Tiguan platform, the Allspace features a bigger boot when the third row is folded flat… and a spare pair of seats for when it's your turn to shoulder the school run carpool.
Although the next-generation version of its five-seat sibling has been revealed, we don't yet know what the Allspace's replacement will look like.
What we do know is, you can actually buy an Allspace without long waits. Unlike the German-made five-seat Tiguan, which has been hard to come by, the Mexican-made Allspace is in stronger supply.
The catch? 2023 models are missing blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, although both features are coming back for 2024. It's also getting quite long in the tooth, with a successor slated for reveal in 2024.
That doesn't mean it has nothing to offer, though.
The Tiguan Allspace has been hit by a number of price rises in the last 12 months, although each has been small relative to what we've seen elsewhere in the industry.
The 132TSI Life on test here is priced from $48,890 before on-road costs. That puts the Allspace head-to-head with the Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed AWD ($54,490).
2024 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace pricing:
Prices exclude on-road costs
The Tiguan shows its age inside, where it's still practical… but looks a bit workmanlike.
Yes, the beige interior trim on our tester differentiates it slightly from the pack, but otherwise it's solid, unremarkable Volkswagen fare in there.
The generously padded, leather-trimmed seats are set nice and high for a commanding view of the road ahead. There's enough adjustment in all the controls to allow taller drivers to get comfortable, and the leather-trimmed wheel is a quality item.
The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the dashboard looks small alongside what's on offer elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group, although the inclusion of proper volume and tuning dials on the dash is a rare win in 2023.
If you're in a hurry with screaming kids in the back of the car, the simplicity of the system is a win.
All the major parts you touch feel soft and expensive, although there are some hard plastics strewn throughout in the cabin.
The infotainment system is good; the digital instrument binnacle standard on the Allspace is excellent. It has all the information you need, is capable of displaying maps on the move, and can be customised to within an inch of its life.
Volkswagen's software is clean and simple to navigate, and the graphics are modern enough, but it feels serviceable rather than flashy or standout.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both premium inclusions, and the pair of USB-C ports work with a wireless charger to make sure any devices are fully juiced.
Although it's a bit dull, there's no escaping how practical and sensible the Tiguan feels up front.
From the proper climate controls (yes, even though they're touch-based) to the big storage space on the transmission tunnel, the massive overhead console, and the hidden drawers beneath the front seats, it feels as if all the parents at Volkswagen got together and really thought hard about all the things they'd like to see in a car, and then put them in.
The rear seats are spacious in the Allspace, and the sliding bench allows you to prioritise boot space or legroom. You'll get adults behind adults, and the wide-opening doors make fitting children into rear-facing seats simpler than in the five-seat model.
There are air vents, temperature controls, and USB-C charge points back there, along with a 12V slot for accessories. The fold-down central armrest features cupholders, and is a handy way to keep the kids separated on long road trips.
Access to the third row is relatively simple, and once you're there the amount of legroom will better accomodate older kids or teenagers. Headroom remains solid for the class, despite the Allspace's advancing age.
Raising or lowering the rear seats is simple, and when they're flat you have a load bay that's comparable to a Touareg's, based on its claimed capacity.
The luggage cover fits beneath an insert in the floor, and the floor itself is close to flat. Beware the cutouts behind the wheel arches though; they'll swallow loose items if you aren't careful.
Volkswagen says there's 230L of luggage space with all three rows up. This increases to 700L with the second row dropped and 1775L with the second and third rows folded.
The Tiguan Allspace 132TSI Life is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 132kW of power and 320Nm of torque.
It's mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like the cheaper, less powerful 132TSI model, the 162TSI is offered only with 4Motion all-wheel drive.
The engine drinks 95 RON premium unleaded petrol, and the car has a 58 litre fuel tank. Claimed fuel economy is 8.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
The seven-seat Tiguan is quietly competent.
Unlike its sportier-looking R-Line cousins, the Allspace Life doesn't feature a suspension tune designed to make it feel like an oversized Golf. It's tuned to feel like a relaxed family car, which is no bad thing.
On pimply city roads littered with potholes and speed bumps, it floats along more quietly and comfortably than you'd expect. There's no pretence of sportiness here, and the ride is all the better for it.
The standard variable-ratio steering is effortlessly light at parking speeds, making what's quite a big car easy to pilot in tight spaces, while the standard range of driver assist features makes it easier to know what's happening in your blind-spot.
Volkswagen offers more powerful versions of the Allspace, but the 132TSI represents a sweet spot. The base 110TSI feels underpowered at times, while the 162TSI has more punch than the average family really needs.
This engine has enough of a punch to get you off the mark in a hurry, and it's more comfortable overtaking at highway speeds with a family and luggage on board than the base model. The extra performance from the more expensive 162TSI engine is nice to have, but it's not strictly necessary.
Volkswagen's dual-clutch transmission is a smooth mover, despite their reputation for awkwardness. There's no hesitation off the mark, and once you're up and rolling it shuffles through the gears smartly.
It generally defaults to the tallest gear possible to save fuel, but put your foot down and the transmission quickly drops one, two, three gears to drop you into the heart of the engine's torque band. You're also able to flick the transmission into manual and take charge if you're in a hurry to make the family sick.
At highway speeds the Allspace is quiet and refined, with less road roar than you get on models with bigger wheels and lower-profile tyres on Australian back roads. It deals with big crests and dips in one movement, although it's not quite as tied down as the limited-edition Allspace Adventure – which pairs similar wheels with a sportier suspension setup.
Traction from the 4Motion all-wheel drive system is solid, although it's still an on-demand setup that defaults to front-biased operation when you're cruising to save fuel.
Volkswagen's suite of driver assists are smart. The adaptive cruise control smartly maintains a gap to the car in front, and the lane-keep assist isn't too hands on.
Thankfully, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic assist are returning for 2024, after being left off the spec sheet for MY23 due to component shortages.
Tiguan Allspace Life highlights:
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing carried out in 2016 – though it has expired from 2023 onwards.
The Tiguan scored 96 per cent for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 68 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 68 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety equipment includes:
The Volkswagen Tiguan is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres. Volkswagen offers two prepaid servicing options for the Tiguan Allspace, in the form of three- and five-year plans.
The three-year plan costs $1500 regardless of engine, and the five-year plan costs $2580 for 132TSI.
There's a new Tiguan coming soon, and a new seven-seat SUV to replace the Tiguan Allspace will also follow.
That doesn't mean the current model doesn't have anything to offer. Although its interior isn't particularly flashy, it is very practical – and age hasn't wearied the polished, Germanic way it drives.
The only question we have surrounds the price, given the 132TSI Allspace Life is now in line with the much newer Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail seven-seaters in reasonably high-end guise.
Content originally sourced from: CarExpert.com.au
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