#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.

 

LIVING WITH THE TIGUAN

In the last year, I have spent a considerable amount of time with the Volkswagen Tiguan having driven it on road trips around Maharashtra. Recently I spent 2 weeks with it again. The Tiguan is one of the favourite SUV’s in my family. The space it offers, driving comfort and overall luxury has grown on all of us.

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How was it to drive around daily, in bumper to bumper traffic? Let’s find out…

VW cars all possess a similarity in the design language and driving dynamics of all their models. To start with, they are extremely safe, fuel efficient, and fun to drive. The Tiguan is a car that grows on you, the more time one spends with it.

The first few days with the Tiguan were spent going for meetings across the city. Not once did I feel that one was driving a SUV. The Tiguan is very refined, extremely easy to manoeuvre and hassle free to drive in traffic. Parking too is made easy with the parking assist feature.

2.jpg1The 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 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. In the city I stuck to the automatic transmission which worked perfectly well. The four driving modes available are Snow, Normal, Off road and Individual. The mode one usually uses is normal , which delivers optimum performance with good fuel efficiency.COLLAGE 2 - Copy.jpgSafety is one of the hallmarks of all VW cars. Their cars which I have experienced on the racetrack and in the real world are extremely safe. 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.

There are 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Hill Descent and Auto hold available as part of the safety package in the Tiguan.

Lots of SUV’s while large looking and imposing, don’t offer lots of legroom in the rear seat. The Tiguan isn’t one of them. It offers very good legroom which make cross country road trips a comfortable experience for the passengers. Boot space offered is 615 Litres capacity courtesy the reclining 60:40 rear seats split.

While driving the Tiguan I downloaded and installed the VW Connect App on my phone. The VW Connect is an intelligent vehicle assistant that offers a seamless connected car experience for VW drivers. The app works through a “Plug and Play” dongle which is fitted to the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port of the car. After which you connect to it, via Bluetooth to start using the app. The connect app is compatible with both, Android and iOS platforms and is available to download on Google Play and App store respectively.

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This app gave me insights about trip tracking, driving behaviour, location sharing. An SOS call option and fuel cost monitor are also available. Booking service appointments is also made easy using this app.

The 2 weeks with the Tiguan just flew by. Next time I look forward to going on a 1500km-2000 km road trip in this wonderful SUV discovering our beautiful country.

VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN EXPERIENTIAL DRIVE

The last week of October took me to an area and location I hadn’t visited in quite a while. I was driving out early on Saturday morning to the Volkswagen Tiguan Experiential Drive being held at Mukesh Mills in Colaba. For anybody who’s grown up watching movies, music videos in the 90’s Mukesh Mills is immediately recognisable. Countless films and videos have been shot there. Every part of this defunct mill has been used in films to depict all sorts of locations and situations.

Experiencing the Tiguan in such an environment would be interesting!

After the usual registration process, we were briefed by Dr. Tejas Kothari a well-known off-roading expert of what we would experience on the course.

The first obstacle that was created was the terrapod. This would get us to gauge the Tiguan’s ability to handle different alterations in height. How it manages to stay stable and clear this obstacle successfully. I went about doing this activity with the usual sense of caution. Tejas who was the instructor, goaded me on, making corrections when I was veering off. Being on 2 wheels in a moving car is always exciting. This was no different!

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The next obstacle we experienced was the axle breakers. Here one got to see first-hand, the ability of the Tiguan to transfer the requisite amount of torque between the wheels, while they were struggling to find traction. Tejas instructed me to go easy and slow on the throttle, that being the key to clearing this activity smoothly. I did just that.

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Now we moved to the final activity of the drive.
The last activity was to test the ABS of the Tiguan. How it reacts during sudden braking at fast speeds, while attempting a lane change. Tejas told me to step hard on the throttle and slam the brakes the moment we reach the braking marker. The Tiguan managed this activity with ease, showcasing how well the ABS works in such situations.

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At the end of this experiential drive one got a different appreciation of the Tiguan.

A SUV which I have spent lots of time driving in the recent past.

Style & Luxury – The TIGUAN way…

2017 marked the re-entry of the Volkswagen India group into the SUV market with the launch of the Tiguan. A SUV that has the trademark design lines of Volkswagen. Elegant and sophisticated are the words that came to mind when I first saw the Tiguan.

COLLAGE 6.jpgCOLLAGE 8.jpgThe hallmark of VW cars is how simple and clean the design always is. 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.

Walk to the side and one notices the silver finish 18-inch alloy wheels with a high ground clearance of about 200mm. The shoulder line that runs from the front right to the rear reflects the elegant design of the Tiguan along with LED tail lamps in the rear.

COLLAGE 5.jpgCOLLAGE 2.jpgVW is targeting the upmarket, premium and sophisticated customer for the Tiguan who pays more attention to the finer details of a car… This is not a SUV for someone who likes to be loud and aggressive in their car choices.

Step into the cabin and the all black interiors welcome you. They 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, something that makes long road trips very comfortable. The materials used reflect the luxury that VW is going for in the Tiguan. Now let’s come to the huge and panoramic sunroof which is probably the most opulent in this category. Its huge and when fully opened gives you a great view on clear cloudless nights.

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The legroom and shoulder room in the rear is fantastic. The headroom is good courtesy the design of the roof. The rear seats have a reclining feature with a 60:40 split. Something the passengers over long trips came to appreciate. In a SUV such as the Tiguan, can impressive boot space be far behind?. Not at all. There’s lots of room there and the foot gesture opening feature adds a unique touch to the regular standard. Makes it fun to open the boot without using one’s hands!

The Tiguan comes with a 2.0 litre TDI turbocharged diesel engine with a peak power output of 143 hp and 340 Nm of torque. Based on Volkswagen’s legendary MQB modular platform, the Tiguan is lighter than most SUVs in its price bracket. The result of this was very evident when I drove it in the city and highways. It moved about very effortlessly and smoothly. The 7 speed DSG transmission the Tiguan comes with is amongst the best in the business. The upshifts and downshifts are quick, efficient and smooth. The Tiguan comes with paddle shifters which makes driving a fun exercise on empty highways.

HOW DOES IT DRIVE?

I spent the first 3 days with the Tiguan in the city. Driving it in all sorts of traffic conditions was an easy and effortless exercise. Like most people living in Mumbai, I don’t like the experience of driving in the city most times because of  bad traffic. Somehow, I forgot that feeling when I drove the Tiguan.

Over the weekend, I had planned a trip to Sula Vineyards, one of India’s oldest and most well-known vineyards in Nashik, Maharashtra.

Sula Vineyards was established in 1999 by Rajeev Samant the first winery in Nashik. This has now paved the way for the emergence of Nashik to become India’s Wine Capital, with almost 35 other wineries setting up base there. Sula is one of the most Eco-friendly companies in India, with a significant amount of its resources committed to sustainable wine-making practices and ensuring fair livelihoods for Sula’s community of farmers across Maharashtra and Karnataka. Many Sula’s workers come from disadvantaged communities and have seen a significant change in their standard of living through their employment with the company.

COLLAGE 3.jpgCOLLAGE 4.jpgOn Saturday at the crack of dawn we set off for Sula. The moment we got onto the Eastern Express Highway towards Thane, the Tiguan came into its own. It also helps that the Mumbai – Nashik Expressway is very good and generally devoid of heavy traffic early in the morning.

The acceleration was very brisk and refined. I got to three-digit speeds very easily without any stress. The Tiguan is extremely planted at these speeds. The experience in the cabin was quiet, courtesy the well contained NVH levels.

The Tiguan comes with four driving modes – Snow, Normal, Off road and Individual. These modes alter the engine and gearbox response to handle different road conditions and terrain accordingly.

When you talk of Volkswagen, safety can’t be far behind. Their cars are known for being one of the safest in the world. The Tiguan is no different. It scores extremely high in that department. Starting with an active hood that automatically raises by 3 inches in the case of an accident with a pedestrian. This helps prevent the pedestrian from hitting the hard parts of the vehicle, minimising the level of injury. For people within the car the SUV comes with 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Hill Descent Control and Auto Hold. Auto hold helps hold the car indefinitely until the driver presses the accelerator.  The Tiguan also warns the driver every time a pedestrian/car/motorcycle is too close for comfort by beeping loudly.

Driving on the highways, on small village roads, in the city wherever I went with the Tiguan, I came back impressed. This is a SUV that you want to drive all the time. Efficient, smooth and refined is the Tiguan.  I spent a whole week with the car. It still didn’t feel enough!

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Priced a 27.98 for the Comfortline and 31.38 for the Highline, the Tiguan is for the customer who wants luxury combined with the practicality that a VW car comes with.

Would I buy this? Definitely!