The Volkswagen Tiguan Drive Experience organised recently by Volkswagen and Wattayah Motors from Muscat to Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort, one of Oman’s most picturesque locations provided a closer look at the new Tiguan’s technology, state of the art features and experiencing its true capabilities first hand. Oommen John P reports
Distinctively designed, the new Tiguan, the first sport utility vehicle to be based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), sets new standards in design, comfort and functionality.
Select journalists from Oman media got a chance to take a closer look at the vehicle at the Volkswagen Tiguan Drive Experience from Muscat all the way to the stunning environs of Jabal Akhdar and Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort, one of Oman’s most picturesque locations.
With its new 4MOTION Active Control, the Tiguan guarantees superior acceleration capability and tremendous driving fun in every situation and on every type of driving surface. Individual tuning options and driving comfort reach a new level, especially in conjunction with the optionally available adaptive chassis control (DCC) and also optional progressive steering that is also available. A spacious interior paired with a significant gain in boot space and convenience features for practical everyday use – the new Tiguan concept and package represent a design that has been ergonomically improved in many details.
The design of the new Tiguan emphasises independence and dynamism. With this car, Volkswagen is introducing a completely new design character for its SUVs, which combines striking proportions with a clear commitment to sophistication and presence. This proactive attitude is systematically followed in details such as the horizontally aligned unit formed by the radiator grille and headlights, and the higher waist line compared to the previous model, resulting in a confident stance. The car integrates innovative safety technologies and assistance systems as standard. These include proactive occupant protection and an active bonnet to help safeguard pedestrians and cyclists. The new Tiguan packed with cutting-edge technology is available in five model configurations – S 1.4L, SE 1.4L, SE 2.0L, SEL 2.0L and Sport 2.0L with 220 HP.
The car combines excellent space and flexibility of use with superb comfort under all road conditions. Every detail follows the goal of making driving and road journeys more pleasant – from the optional 12 point seats to the lower load sill for easier cargo loading. Active Info Display and Area View ensure better all-round visibility, while Easy Open and Close make it simple to load the boot. The 3-zone climate control system including Climatronic air delivers precise multi-zone temperature control at all seats. The overall impression is of a carefully thought-out and much more sophisticated vehicle.
The 4MOTION all-wheel versions of the new Tiguan have secured European classification as an off-road vehicle by virtue of the 200 mm ground clearance between the axles. An impressive trailer load capacity of up to 2,500 kg, which is unique in the compact class, and the optional off-road front end with a 25-degree approach angle, set the standard. The new Tiguan becomes the benchmark in the compact SUV class. Occupants are “always on” in the new Tiguan thanks to the latest infotainment technology. The App Connect creates an optimal interface to a smartphone or tablet.
The SUV profile of the new Tiguan radiates power, confidence and control. This impression is created because the designers, under the leadership of Klaus Bischoff, applied this simple ethos: less is more. The new Tiguan naturally appeals through its elegant design. The proportions of the base model with front wheel drive give it a powerful stance on the road with a 33 mm reduction in height to 1,632 mm and a 30 mm growth in width to 1,839 mm. At 4,486 mm in length, it is also 60 mm longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase was extended to 2,681 mm – a gain of 77 mm. This creates a look that stirs the emotions. At the front, in particular, the unit formed by the radiator grille and the LED projection headlights reinforces the car’s powerful impression and upright stance.
When it comes to active and passive safety, the new MQB-based Tiguan is a premium class performer. Standard features in Europe include Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, active engine bonnet and Lane Assist. The safety equipment is completed by a network of seven airbags – including a knee airbag on the driver’s side. It sets standards, and not only for A-SUVs. The new Tiguan, in particular, like all Volkswagen cars based on the MQB platform, also comes with the automatic post-collision braking system which helps to avoid dangerous secondary collisions. Other examples of safety solutions include the Driver Alert System; and adaptive cruise control (ACC) up to 160 km/h included in the Highline.
At the sides, the waist and character lines as well as the eye-catching wheel arches attest to the creativity of the designers. The well thought-out production technology is similarly fascinating. For instance, the door handles have been integrated seamlessly. Meanwhile the Tiguan’s character line helps to define a rear section whose clear edges and horizontally aligned surfaces expertly continue the story of sporty all-rounders. The SUV design language is taken up consistently in the interior, too. The cockpit, for example, is now aligned towards the driver for better comfort and without constricting or disturbing the airy impression of the interior. At the same time, the wider centre console typical of SUVs is paired with the new 4MOTION Active Control rotary switch to create a defining interior element with a premium feel as in the Touareg. In the pleasant atmosphere of the ambient lighting, the sophisticated overall impression is completed by the panoramic roof (870 mm x 1,364 mm, available as an option) and details like the elegant door handles and smart trim strips.
Andrew Savvas, Volkswagen Director at Audi Volkswagen Middle East FZE says Volkswagen is already a well-established brand in the region. “A lot of effort has gone into the new Tiguan. What sets the new car apart is its innovative technology.”
The new model has made significant gains compared with the already comfortable previous model, from the larger interior – in which high-quality materials form a harmonious unit together with the completely redesigned cockpit – to the flexible and capacious boot space.
Andrew Squires, general manager of Wattayah Motors says, “The new Tiguan has generated a great deal of interest among the youth. The styling appeals not only to a younger audience, but also to those who are looking for a premier product. We are excited about the future for Tiguan.”
When Volkswagen introduced the original Tiguan in 2007 it wrote a compelling sales success story. Since then, 2.8 million customers worldwide have chosen the Tiguan. Customers value their Tiguan in more than 170 countries across the globe. This makes the Tiguan one of the key product pillars of the Volkswagen brand alongside the Golf, Passat and Polo.
Volkswagen is beginning to systematically extend its range of SUVs globally, starting with the new Tiguan. By the end of this decade, Volkswagen will offer one SUV model in every relevant segment. A show car recently presented in Geneva, the stylish T-Cross Breeze SUV convertible offered a first look at a future model. Another clear sign of its determination is that Volkswagen developed the Tiguan with two wheelbases to fulfil the wish for seven seats and more leg room in certain markets such as the USA and China. The mid-size SUV announced for these markets is also in the starting blocks. And the Touareg, an established premium SUV, will of course welcome a new edition in the next year. In the Polo class, beneath the Tiguan, the T-Cross Breeze will be followed by a production SUV model inspired by the T-Roc concept car.