2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-line | road test

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 by
2014 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 153,000
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  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 10, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 70%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 80%
  • Features
    Editor: 90%
  • Performance
    Editor: 70%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

Priced at AED 153,000, this is definitely not the cheapest small SUV in the market. However, as a value proposition, this is easily an excellent deal. Essentially, this is nothing but a downrated Audi Q3 in slightly cheaper (still very good, mind you) clothing.

Pros

R-Line package is loaded with tech, compact yet spacious

Cons

Turbo lag, not the cheapest small crossover.

Introduction & Summary

With the creation of the crossover segment, most manufacturers have struck gold. Obviously that means it is also one of the most heavily populated segments in todays market. In an attempt to stand out from the crowd, have recently launched the R-Line trim for the already successful Tiguan. Before you begin wondering, apart from the sport suspension, the R-Line option only offers cosmetic upgrades. So don’t expect this to be seen at the Autodrome. With the Tiguan being hugely successful, the R-Line surely should be an improvement. Right?

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line front side

Styling & Design

On the outside, the Volkswagen Tiguan adds colour coded side skirts, extended black wheel arch extensions and 19” R-Line wheels with just a tiny R badge on the chrome grill. On the inside, you get a flat bottomed steering wheel and embroidered R logos on the headrest. Subtle touches mostly, making it stand out without being too loud. Let’s face it, crossovers aren’t the best looking vehicles. So on a relative scale, the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line is not too bad looking. The R-Line bodykit and the wheels do a decent job at trying to shed the boring image that you would associate with a car in this segment.

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line rear

Features

Our test model came fully loaded with all the possible options available on the Tiguan. Obviously that meant the cabin is definitely a great place to be in. The options list rivals that of the Audi Q3. Keyless go, panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights with static and cornering lights, heated seats, rear view camera, parallel park assist (for the parallel parking challenged), a 30 gig hard drive infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity and a multifunction display in the dash. Comparing it to the Audi Q3 we drove a few months ago, there is very little difference in the equipment really. The quality of materials used on the interior was definitely better in the Audi but that hardly means the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan is cheaply built. The only thing missing was the Bose speakers and the LED light equipment package which was an excellent feature in the Audi. With regards to everything else, almost identical. Definitely a good thing!

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line interior

Performance, Ride & Handling

The Tiguan is available as a 1.4L FWD option or a 2.0L AWD (4motion) option. The R-Line obviously uses the 2.0L engine mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox that is good for 200 hp and 281 Nm of torque. With a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 207 km/h this little guy is fairly quick on his feet. Around town in the normal driving mode, the suspension does a decent job at isolating minor bumps and road imperfections keeping the cabin reasonably comfortable. There is a bit of turbo lag at low revs which can be a little annoying at times. In sport mode, the body roll is further reduced, upshifts are delayed and the steering wheel is slightly stiffer allowing for the occasional spirited drive. The electronically controlled steering feels a little disconnected with the lack of any feedback, but then again that will hardly be a deal breaker for anyone shopping for a car in this segment.

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line side

Comfort & Practicality

Practicality is what gave birth to this segment and the Tiguan does a good job at scoring high in this department. With an elevated seating position, ingress and egress is easy. Driving position is excellent while there is plenty of storage space to keep your wallet, coins, mobile phone within easy reach. Rear passengers won’t have much to complain either while the quality of materials and build quality is excellent. There are nice touches like the rear view camera and the park assist which makes parking extremely easy. (And amusing the first few times you see the car park itself!) The multi function steering wheel allows you to access most features through the display located in the dash and has readouts for almost any kind of information you would want to know. The touchscreen infotainment can be a little slow at times and may not be the easiest to use while driving but that is something we noticed even with the new Golf.

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line rear seat

Price & Verdict

Priced at AED 153,000, this is definitely not the cheapest small SUV in the market. However, as a value proposition, this is easily an excellent deal. Essentially, this is nothing but a downrated Audi Q3 in slightly cheaper (still very good, mind you) clothing. While the Audi has marginally more power, the 200 horsepower engine in the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan is more than capable. For a small family that is looking for the space and practicality an SUV offers and isn’t too fussed about the brand, at nearly AED 50,000 cheaper, this is a bargain Q3.

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line front

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