Anyone who gets caught speeding in the new Volkswagen Tiguan deserves everything they get.
For depending on how you set up the huge digital instrument panel in front of you, you can have your speed displayed in up to three places – including a fighter pilot-style, retractable head-up display.
The technology jammed into every corner of this compact SUV is only part of the appeal of a vehicle that builds on the success of the 2008 original, which has become Volkswagen’s third best-seller in the UK behind the Golf and Polo.
High-riding, solid and spacious, it is not hard to understand the growing success of the Tiguan, particularly as a go-anywhere family vehicle.
Priced from just over £23,000, the new Tiguan sits on Volkswagen’s so-called MQB platform and shares much of its underpinnings with the Golf, Passat and Touran, coming in five trim levels and a choice of three petrol and four diesel engines. Depending on the choice of engine, it can tow up to a maximum weight of 2.5 tons.
The 190 horsepower R-Line test model that sits on striking 20-inch alloy wheels at the top of the range, is hugely well equipped as befits a car that, with optional extras added, carries a price tag topping £40,000.
Sports suspension, body-coloured spoiler and ‘R Line’ styling pack, all give the car added external pizzazz, while interior upgrades range from aluminium-look decorative inserts in the dash and door panels, to black roof lining and stainless steel pedals.
All versions have safety as a priority and come fitted with driver and front passenger airbags, an airbag curtain system and front seat side impact airbags. Hazard lights flash automatically under hard braking, while electronic stability control, traction control and trailer assist are all standard.
Competing against the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Qashqai and Honda HR-V, the Tiguan is the first Volkswagen model to be offered with an active bonnet that reduces the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists by lifting 50mm upwards in the event of an impact.
Manual air conditioning, electric front and rear windows, rain-sensing wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror, cruise control and daytime running lights with low beam assist, are also among the standard features on all models, along with lane assist, front assist, dusk sensor and city emergency braking.
Space and versatility are paramount in a practical five-seater and the Tiguan’s spacious interior is matched by a boost in boot space.
The test model also came equipped with a rugged all-wheel drive system that makes the car a competent off-road performer. A flick of a switch between the front seats alters the 4x4 system to cope with everything from mud to snow.
Six different views are available for the 12.3-inch digital dashboard display and the Tiguan has a special off-road display complete with compass. The optional head-up display projects information such as driving speed, current speed limit and direction arrows for navigation directly on to the display in your line of sight.
More than 2.8 million Tiguans have been sold since the model was launched in February 2008, with more than 100,000 of those finding homes in the UK and the new model spearheads what Volkswagen described as a ‘comprehensive SUV offensive’ in the coming years.
Model: Volkswagen Tiguan R Line 2.0 TDI 4MOTION
Insurance group: 21E (1-50)
Fuel consumption (combined): 49.6mpg
Top speed: 131mph
Luggage capacity: 21.7 cu ft
Fuel tank capacity: 13.2 gallons/60 litres
CO2 emissions: 149g/km
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles