Review: 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace Highline 1.4 - No ADAS but has 7 seats, a better CR-V?
Arif · Oct 10, 2020 08:00 AM
The perfect family car should be able to do the school run, the grocery run, endure the might of tiny eager hands, have tremendous amount of cubby space, provide safety for all occupants, and while doing all that, be a reliable car. A good family car, just like a good dog, becomes part of the family.
Having tested the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan AllspaceHighline 1.4 TSI, I must say that it is a very attractive candidate for a family car. My only gripe with this car? There's no form of ADAS. The car is practical, sufficiently powered, and comfort is satisfactory. It's also got 7 seats, which is something not many C-segment SUVs offer in Malaysia for the time being.
2020 VW Tiguan Allspace is the affordable German choice in the field of Japanese C-segment SUVs. Locally assembled in Pekan, the price tag is still quite expensive compared to its 7-seater rivals. With the SST on hold, price of 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace starts at RM 165,030, for the turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI powered variant seen here.
For context,the 7-seater Nissan X-Trail 2.0L 2WD X-tremer starts at RM 135,630 (without SST) and the 7-seater Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 4WD starts at RM 133,491 (without SST). Both have naturally aspirated engines.
While power, agility, and driving engagement are not top-priority characteristics of this particular segment, the VW Tiguan offers a slight hint of serious handling for those who desire such things. There's decent power (150 PS / 250 Nm) and handling is above average but the car rides a little stiff.
The VW Tiguan joins the turbocharged camp with the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Proton X70. The 1.4-litre TSI engine is not tremendously powerful, but packs decent power and torque. All power is sent to the front wheels only via a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
"Tiguan" is an amalgamation of the words "tiger" and "iguana". This is not Volkswagen's first car that has been named after an animal. And while a tiger and an iguana are interesting creatures, the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is not very interesting to look at.
It blends into the urban environment with its rigid lines and rectangular face. If anything, the Tiguan looks like it should be named with numbers and letters.
The panel surfaces of the Tiguan are not busy and the car doesn't have an angry face. While it may not look striking or attention-seeking, cars with non-busy design languages tend to stay relevant for quite a while (2nd gen Tiguan has been around since 2016).
Something new on the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace is a different-coloured side mirror. This was previously exclusive to R-line variants of Volkswagen cars only.
Thanks to the slightly extended wheelbase, the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace gets a rather sleek side profile. The roofline looks lower and the car has a more relaxed stance (The RAV4 looks like it's about to pounce and the Forester looks awkwardly tall). If the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace were to ride lower, it would almost look like a station wagon.
There's a newer facelifted version of the Tiguan with chiselled headlights and a wider grill, but we'll have to settle with the current face for the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace. As far as we know, there are no RHD versions yet of this facelifted Tiguan.
The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is an easy favourite when it comes to storage space. Not only are they plenty, they're also quite clever and help to hide clutter very well.
The side door bins are huge, there are overhead storage compartments, the glovebox is decently sized, and the centre console cupholders are nifty.
Adding to the convenience in the cabin of the2020 VW Tiguan Allspace are stowable trays for the second-row passengers. As a family car, it is pretty obvious that the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace has your convenience in mind.
Things are very well put together in the cabin and the materials are decent. There's a slight hint of piano black and that's fine as long as used in moderation.
Other nice things that you get in the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace include a fully digital gauge cluster and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.
The seats are not too soft such that you sink into them. They are moderate and there's very good side support.
With the second row pushed all the way back, legroom and headroom are decent. With a 177 cm tall adult in the second row, legroom is about two tennis balls and head room is about 1.5 tennis balls.
Third row is really tight for adults. 7 adults in a 2020 VW Tiguan AllSpace is feasible but uncomfortable. Being right in the middle of the rear wheel arches, a good amount of effort has been applied to make the third row as comfortable as possible.
With the second row pushed to the far front, there's some decent legroom for the third row. Headroom, however, is extremely tight. It is impossible to sit completely upright without touching the headliner. Good for kids, though.
If you want a fast C-segment SUV, just get the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace R-line. That does 0-100 km/h in about 7.4 seconds. The 1.4 TSI Tiguan AllSpace is almost three seconds slower with a century sprint time of 10.1 seconds (our test). That's still decent.
The 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace has sharp steering, a slightly stiff suspension, and decent acceleration. The 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace utilises Volkswagen's speed sensitive power steering which means the steering is a little bit quicker at lower speeds.
You'd have to try it yourself to feel the sharpness of the Tiguan's steering. It is one of those SUVs that you can chuck around corners with very little issues.
With 7 adults on board, the 1.4-litre engine feels a bit sluggish, but an easy remedy for that would be to get the 2.0-litre turbo R-line.
While being a decent cruiser, 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace leans just a little bit into the sportier side of things.
Although sporting a smaller displacement, the 1.4-litre turbo engine of the Tiguan Allspace produces a decent maximum torque. The 1.4-litre unit manages 250 Nm of maximum torque, which is more than the 243 Nm produced by the 1.5-litre turbo Honda CR-V. Maximum power is rated at 150 PS.
2020 VW Tiguan Allspace is a decent family cruiser, but the lack of ADAS might make you second -guess your decision.
The ride is firm – assuring, but maybe a little too stiff for those with preference for floaty rides. That just comes naturally with the sharp-ish handling. Unlike the R-line variant, Volkswagen's Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) is not available here. You only have one choice for damping and that is "firm".
Cabin noise levels are satisfactory. At 110 km/h, our sound meter detected 68 dB of cabin noise. Wind noise is also not intrusive.
As a front-row passenger, the seats are very ergonomic. The seating position is very natural and the armrests (door and centre) are very well placed.
After travelling 123 km in 50% urban and 50% highway conditions, the Tiguan AllSpace used up 12.722 litres of fuel. That's 10.34 l/100km. It's not as fuel efficient as the Honda CR-V, but the 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace makes up for that by being a more refined car with better build quality.
The 2020 VW Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI is practical, refined, and firm. It's main strength would be the practical storage space and the refined build quality. It’s a decent family SUV, although the third-row seats may barely get any action.
Being priced similarly with the Honda CR-V, deciding between the Tiguan and the CR-V is deciding between 2 extra seats and a full suite of ADAS.
The ride is satisfying, the build quality is decent, and there's ample power for cruising.
Previously an engineer in an automotive manufacturing company and a highway concessionaire. A part-time research student on biofuels and diesel engines. Obsessed with vehicle electrification and the future of transportation.