It has more overall length, at 4701mm (+215mm), a longer wheelbase (+109mm), and 106mm more rear overhang. All of which allows for the addition of two seats in a third row but with the same width as the five-seater.
Cleverly it still has a boot capacity of 230 litres with all the seats in use. Some competitors have most of their boot space disappearing when a rearmost row of seats is installed. With the third row seats folded down the boot goes up a very useful 700 litres.
Interestingly, the Allspace is the only seven-seater in the Volkswagen SUV range as the larger Touareg is still a five-seater.
Despite the impressively low prices – from $45,490 to $60,427 – the equipment levels are high in both models: three-zone climate-control air conditioning, keyless entry and start as well as an electronic tailgate. There is even a rechargeable torch in luggage area.
Highline adds electrically adjustable front seats with memory function, heated front and second row two outer seats and Vienna leather appointed upholstery. Ambient interior lighting give it a real feeling of prestige.
We do like the sharp edged styling which is very much like that of big brother Audi. In particular the front end with its single horizontal area that encompasses the headlights and grille.
The added length does give the Allspace a surprisingly different look thanks to a raised bonnet above the radiator grille, silver painted door mirror shells, wider rear doors and a revised C-pillar design.
It rides on 18-inch Kingston alloy wheels on the Comfortline, and Auckland 19s on the Highline.
A Volkswagen Discover Media navigation system is operated through an 8-inch touchscreen with App-Connect, Media Control. Apple Carplay And Android Auto is standard in both models as is Bluetooth.
Allspace Highline upgrades to a 9.2-inch screen and Discover Pro satellite navigation system.
Audio entertainment in our test vehicle was by way of the optional Dynaudio Excite premium sound system and was a delight to listen to.
There are only three USB ports, we reckon an extra couple would make more sense in a vehicle designed for multiple kid carting.
Tiguan Allspace is available with a variety of petrol and diesel engines:
The range begins with the Comfortline grade with a 110kW/250Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, six-speed DSG automatic and front-wheel drive.
Next is a version of the same 2.0 tuned for 132kW/320Nm, with a seven-speed DSG and 4MOTION all-wheel drive.
Finally, the Comfortline can be powered by a110kW/340Nm turbo-diesel, again with a seven-speed DSG and 4MOTION.
Tiguan Allspace Highline has a VW Golf GTI-derived 162kW/350Nm turbo-petrol, or a 140kW/400Nm turbo-diesel. Both have a seven-speed DSG and 4MOTION. Our road test car had this engine.
Note that the 110kW petrol and both turbo-diesel engines will not be available until later this year due to delays caused by the introduction of the new WLTP fuel consumption and CO2 emission process.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace has been given a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The second row seats have three top tether points and IsoFix mounts in the outboard positions.
Driver assist features include city autonomous emergency braking, multi-collision braking, pedestrian monitoring, lane assist, park assist, a rear view camera and front and rear sensors.
To these safety features, the Allspace Highline adds side assist, rear traffic alert and traffic jam assist.
What VW calls ‘Manoeuvre Braking’ brakes the Tiguan if somebody walks behind it while you’re reversing. Very useful when people are wandering about carparks totally immersed in their phones.
Automatic headlights and wipers are part of the safety package.
Though there are seats for seven it’s obvious the Allspace is a stretched five-seater. The front and middle rows have ample legroom and headroom, but the rear pair of seats are best left for preteen kids. Fair enough, you have to compromise somewhere and the better than average cargo space is due to the smallish seats back there.
Having said that getting the kids into the back seats is easy because of the extra-long rear doors.
As is the norm, I found the kick-to-open back door didn’t work for me – I’ve almost a 100 per cent failure rate with this allegedly useful feature in every vehicle tested. Don’t worry, I’m a persistent bloke and will conquer them one day. Jokes aside, try before you buy…
The engine is responsive, with minimal turbo lag and real willingness to get up and go when you want to. It’s happy to hang onto gears and use torque to keep you moving, but will change down promptly if give it a bit of a stab.
Fuel consumption was typically in the six to eight litres per hundred kilometres range on motorways and easy paced country roads. If you do get stuck into it usage is likely to climb dramatically into the 10 to 13 litres range. The latter seems high but keep mind this is a have people mover that can do the zero to 100 km/h run in under seven seconds.
As is often the way with VW double-clutch gearboxes it can be irritating at parking speeds, particularly if you’ve got full lock on and the 225mm wide tyres aren’t keen on changing direction.
On the road comfort is good, with the typical solid feel we’ve admired in Volkswagens for many decades.
Handling is impressive for a medium-large SUV and the Tiguan holds onto the road at speeds likely to be tackled by most drivers. Particularly if the driver has his wife and children on board.
Steering feel is good, perhaps a little lighter than some would like in a semi-performance vehicle like this, but we were happy with it.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace R-line is an attractive, comfortable people mover with a hint of sportiness in its makeup. The R-Line costs a fair bit more than the more basic versions, but if you can justify the extra bucks it’s worth it.
AT A GLANCE
Allspace 132 TSI Comfortline: $45,490
Allspace 162 TSI Highline: $57,527
Allspace 162 TSI Highline R-Line: $60,427
Note: These are drive-away prices and include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Volkswagen dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162 TSI Highline R-Line)
Capacity: 1.984 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 162 kW @ 4300 rpm
Maximum Torque: 350 Nm @ 1600 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 191 g/km
DRIVELINE: Seven-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4701 mm
Wheelbase: 2790 mm
Width: 1839 mm
Height: 1665 mm
Turning Circle: 11.9 metres
Kerb Mass: 1769 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres