#MONSOON TRAILS – VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN

This is the 4th time in the last one year, that I got an opportunity to spend time with one of my all-time favourite SUV’s the Volkswagen Tiguan. This is a car that is universally loved by whoever drives it…Snapseed(1).jpgAs part of our ongoing series #MonsoonTrails, we reviewed the Tiguan this time around. Over the course of 5 days we put it through different kinds of road conditions and terrain. How did it fare? Let’s find out…But before we do that, lets reacquaint ourselves with what the Tiguan is all about.

The hallmark of VW cars is how simple and clean the design always is. The Tiguan follows the same design language. Starting with the front you have the 3-slat chrome grille on which sits the VW badge. Accompanying that are the LED headlights and LED DRL’s which complete the look.Snapseed(3).jpgSnapseed(2).jpgWalk to the side and you see the silver finish 18-inch alloy wheels which offer a ground clearance of about 200mm. The shoulder line that runs from the front right to the rear reflect  the elegant design of the Tiguan along with LED tail lamps in the rear.IMG_5954.jpgThe Tiguan comes with a 2.0 litre TDI turbocharged diesel engine with a peak power output of 143 hp and 340 Nm of torque. This is based on Volkswagen’s MQB modular platform, making it lighter than other SUVs in that price range.

The all black interiors are rich and premium in feel and finish. The centre console comes with a host of features, colour touch screen, Apple car play and Android auto. The seats in the front offer good support and the cushioning is high quality. The Tiguan comes with a huge and panoramic sunroof which when fully opened offers a great view. The legroom and shoulder room in the rear is terrific. The headroom is good courtesy the design of the roof. The rear seats have a reclining feature with a 60:40 split.  There is 615 litres of boot space on offer in the Tiguan.IMG_5952.jpgIMG_5953.jpgThe 7 speed DSG transmission in the Tiguan is extremely refined in terms of upshifts and downshifts. Paddle shifters usually come into play mainly, when driving on the highway. The four driving modes available are Snow, Normal, Off road and Individual. The mode I started with in the city was Eco. In this mode the engine is tuned to deliver optimum efficiency in terms of overall engine performance. Once on the highway I switched between Normal and Sports depending on the traffic conditions there.Snapseed(6).jpgThere are 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Hill Descent and Auto hold available as part of the safety package. The Tiguan comes with a feature called the “active hood” which raises itself automatically by 3 inches, in the case of a collision with a pedestrian. This is to ensure the pedestrian doesn’t hit the hard parts of the vehicle in such an accident, minimising the level of injury.

The whole of last month Maharashtra has seen the kind of monsoons that haven’t been experienced in a long time. The roads are in pathetic shape, highways have huge craters in place of paved roads… All this can make driving on such roads a pathetic experience.Snapseed(5).jpgBut did this matter to the Tiguan? Not at all. It handled every kind of road thrown at it with the utmost ease. I was travelling with 3 other passengers in the car, not once did anyone complain about any discomfort. The handling of the Tiguan in and out of corners is very sharp, steering feedback is good. Overall visibility from the front cabin is impressive. The fuel efficiency numbers the Tiguan returned during this review were very good.Snapseed.jpgThe Tiguan is a SUV that offers comfort, safety, has excellent suspension, very good fuel efficiency and is fun to drive.

The Tiguan is available for 28 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai for the Comfortline(base) variant and 31 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai for the Highline variant.

 

#MONSOONTRAILS – THE JAGUAR XE WAY

THE HISTORY:

Jaguar Cars started its business in 1922 as Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before moving on to developing bodies for passenger cars. Once under the ownership of S. S. Cars Limited the business extended to complete cars made in association with Standard Motor Co, where many cars started having Jaguar as a name. In 1945 the company’s name was change from S.S. Cars to Jaguar Cars.  In 1966 this company merged with the British Motor Corporation creating a larger company which was renamed as British Motor Holding.

In 1968 BMH merged with Leyland Motor Corporation to became British Leyland. This organisation was, nationalised in 1975. Jaguar was then spun off from British Leyland and was acquired by Ford in 1990. Jaguar has manufactured cars for the British PM and holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.

In 2008 Ford sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors.

BIRTH OF THE JAGUAR XE:

The Jaguar XE is a rear or four-wheel drive, front-engine, four-door compact executive car designed by the legendary designer Ian Callum. It was first showcased at the Paris Motor Show in October 2014. The production started in 2015 when it was known as the X760.img 1.jpgThe XE is noted for its aluminium suspension componentry, as well as its bonded and riveted aluminium unitary structure — the first in its segment.

I first had the experience of driving the XE 2 years back at The Art of Performance event. TAOPT are customer experience events that Jaguar India organises across India. This gave me ample opportunity to drive the full range of Jaguar models in conditions designed to showcase the acceleration, handling, braking and driving capabilities of these cars.collage3.jpgThe XE is a sporty luxury sedan which takes on the A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class in its segment. Good looking with smooth flowing lines, the XE is a definite head turner. It comes with black radiator grille with chrome surrounds, Bi-function Xenon headlights with J-blade LED DRLs, chrome side windows.

The XE cabin is plush with a dual tone trim combination. Steering wheel is height and reach adjustable. The seats are comfortable, offer good under thigh and lumbar support. The dashboard is neat, with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and air- conditioning controls below it.collage int 2.jpgThe XE is loaded with features. One gets plush leather upholstery, interior mood lighting, meridian Sound system, cruise control and speed limiter, dark satin brushed aluminium inlays, power folding and auto-dimming heated door mirrors with memory function. The sloping roof-line of the XE means headroom can be a bit of an issue for people 6 feet and above. Leg and head room in the back row is a tad tight. The middle passenger will feel cramped due to the tall transmission tunnel and protruding rear air-conditioning vents. There is 455 litres of boot space available, with the space saver tyre tucked away under the floor.  collage int 1.jpgThe XE diesel is powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder Ingenium engine The motor produces 180 PS at 4000 RPM and 430 Nm at 1750 – 2500 RPM with a claimed 0-100km/hr in under 9 seconds and a top speed of 228km/hr. The XE performs best in the mid-range, starting at 2000rpm all the way upto 4000rpm. One gets a nice sporty sound from the twin exhausts, which is a welcome change compared to other cars in this segment. The XE comes with for driving modes- Normal, Eco, Winter and Dynamic. Eco and Normal are the modes used for regular city driving. Dynamic comes into play when one is driving on national highways. In this mode the gearbox ensures you get the best out of the turbo-diesel engine by selecting ratios that keep the rev-band near the 2000rpm mark.

The moment you shift modes one can feel a change in the engine, steering and AC setup. Upshifts and downshifts are very swift and smooth. The ride quality on the XE is top notch. Potholes and bad roads are handled with ease without any discomfort being felt in the cabin inside. The car’s handling and braking prowess is excellent, the XE remains glued to the road even at high speeds. Coming to a sudden stop is handled equally well.

The XE comes with lots of safety features. One gets multiple airbags, Surround Camera System (available only in top-end Portfolio trim), Start/Stop System, Torque Vectoring, Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control, ISOFIX child seat mounts, Hill Launch Assist and Keyless Entry (available only  in top-end Portfolio trim).collage4.jpgI drove it over almost 500 kms on this review on all sorts of road and weather conditions in and around Mumbai. It handled everything with ease, the driving comfort the XE offered in the stop-go traffic in Mumbai is fantastic, it’s very easy to manoeuvre in traffic. Jaguars are known worldwide for being very popular with driving enthusiasts. The way their cars are setup makes driving these Brit machines a fun experience.

The Jaguar XE is one of my favourite luxury sports saloons. It offers so much to the driver in terms of driving capabilities, comfort and pleasure.

The Jaguar XE Diesel Pure (Base Model) starts at Rs 41 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai and Rs 40 Lakhs ex-showroom for the XE Petrol Pure(Base Model)