Last week Volkswagen invited us to explore the new Tiguan in the beautiful city of Berlin. After experiencing the Tiguan in snowy conditions back in January it was time to test the capabilities of the car in the city. With the theme of the test-drive being ‘access all areas’ Volkswagen also built a special off-road track for the occasion to test the car’s off-road capabilities.
With the introduction of the new Tiguan the 8-year lifecycle of its predecessor comes to an end. So far, 2.8 million cars have been sold of which 240,000 units were from 2015, the new Tiguan definitely has a reputation to live up to. Around 25% of total production is expected to be sold in Germany, it is clear Volkswagen’s best selling SUV is truly popular in its home country.
Driving the new Tiguan in Berlin for the weekend didn’t go unnoticed. Especially when driving it in the Habanero Orange metallic color, a lot of people stopped to have a better look at it. And we have to say, with its completely new design and fancy color options, the new Tiguan was definitely a nice sight on the streets of Berlin.
The first morning we received the keys to a Pure White manual Tiguan. Our off-road experience was planned later in the afternoon therefore we had plenty of time to explore the car and search for nice photo opportunities in the city. The first location was at the business district near the Brandenburg gate. This location gave us the opportunity to have a good look at the new exterior of the car. Compared to the previous Tiguan the car is 60 mm longer and 30 mm wider, it’s further llowered by 33 mm. With its striking proportions, the new Tiguan exudes a powerful presence at first glance. The upright front end, prominent wheel arches and distinctive sill elements underline the masculine SUV styling. Another worthy detail is the high sculpture of the shoulder line which runs all the way to the full LED taillights. The rims which are available in sizes of up to 20 inch, give the finishing touch to the robust look of the car.
Just like the exterior, the interior got a big make-over. Due to smart design it is a lot more spacious than the previous Tiguan. In the back, the passengers have an additional 29 mm knee space. Being 1.86 m tall, had more than enough space while seated at the back. The boot has become bigger as well with a capacity of 520 liters, an extra 50 liters over the previous model. With the back seats folded down it increases to an impressive 1655 liters, which is 145 liters more than before.
A lot of attention was put into the driver’s cockpit. A 12.3-inch fully digital active info display with five information profiles gives the driver all the information they needs. I found the system very user friendly. The navigation and entertainment system is very responsive and easy to use. While stretching your hand to the screen a sensor detects the motion and shows all the different sub-menus as soon as your hand gets near the screen. The new Tiguan is the first SUV in the Volkswagen Tiguan to be provided with a head-up display as well. The new ergoactive seats feel very comfortable and even come with an optional massage feature.
After a morning of photography it was time to drive to the Mellowpark to test the Tiguan’s off-road capabilities. It was a 30 minutes drive via the Berlin motorway giving us the chance to put the adaptive cruise control into test. With just a push of a button the adaptive cruise control is activated. We set the ACC to the maximum speed limit leading to a smooth ride towards the off-road track. A lot of attention has been put into the safety of the passengers and other road users. Besides ACC additional driver assist systems are optional, there are numerous technologies put in place to make the car as safe as possible. With ACC already mentioned, lane assist, front assist with pedestrian recognition, dead angle side assist and a 360o area view are all available as well.
In case of contact with a pedestrian VW developed a new system called Active Bonnet. When an impact is inevitable a mechanism lifts the bonnet by 50 mm and slides it backwards by 30 mm, increasing the distance between the hard engine and the comparably soft bonnet and thus reducing the intensity of dangerous head injuries. All of this happens within just 25 milliseconds.
At the track we jumped into one off the off-road vehicles which were all fitted with the off-road package. The bumpers have an approaching angle of about 25% which makes it easier to climb steep hills or other high objects. The track consisted of several obstacles to put the car into test, including an ascent of about 40%, a side slope to test the tilt angle, diagonal furrows and an obstacle to test the area view of the car. Unsurprisingly the car did really well and actually felt really safe and comfortable throughout testing.
After some off-road fun it was time to head back to the hotel and enjoy the evening with a nice dinner.
On Sunday morning we were asked to leave the hotel early due to the Berlin marathon which took place that day. At 8 am we left the hotel, this time in the Habanero Orange metallic Tiguan. As you can tell by the pictures, this car has an even more striking appearance than the Pure White Tiguan. The Habanero Orange metallic Tiguan had the dual clutch DSG automatic gearbox which I prefer over the manual for city driving. Later on i got a tip for more photo locations from a friend who lives in Berlin.
When driving the new Tiguan in Sweden earlier this year we already found out it’s a great improvement over the first generation Tiguan. Loaded with some of the latest technologies and features the car performs really well in the city as well. Off-road objectives aren’t a problem either and with this Volkswagen seems to have created the perfect all-round SUV. Prices start from €30.075 (in Germany).