A competitively priced continental sports utility vehicle (SUV) for the Malaysian masses may sound too good to be true but German marque Volkswagen made it happen. The all-new Volkswagen Tiguan, which is offered in two variants, Comfortline and Highline, now comes priced at RM148,990 and RM168,990 respectively putting it in the same bracket as its Japanese competitors.
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM), the distributor of Volkswagen cars in Malaysia, achieved such low prices by locally assembling the new Tiguan in its plant in Pekan, Pahang as well as being certified as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV).
Both variants feature the same powertrain - a 1.4 litre TSI engine mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
It produces 150PS and 250Nm of torque from 1,500rpm to 3,500rpm. It is also frugal with the official fuel consumption figure at 6.7 litres per 100km.
The new Tiguan is bigger in every way compared to its predecessor.
It is 60mm longer, 30mm wider and its wheelbase is 77mm longer.
Being over 50kg lighter than before, this keeps fuel economy high.
Looks-wise, the new Tiguan is now sharper and leaner with an atheletic stance while still maintaining very clean lines across the body.
Between the variants, the big difference can be seen with the headlamps.
The Highline has a sleeker more distinct LED headlamps and daytime running lamps and the grille is decked out in chrome while the Comfortline comes with the no-frills halogen reflector headlamps.
However, both variants offer a lot of features for the price.
The safety elements comes standard with six airbags, driver alert system (rest assist), electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system with brake assist, multi-collision brakes and ISOFIX mounts.
The base-variant Comfortline comes equipped with 17-inch Montana alloys, black roof rails, Park Distance Control, auto lights and wipers, LED tail lamps, Rhombus fabric upholstery, Composition Media eight-inch touchscreen head unit with Bluetooth, SD card, USB, AUX-in, eight speakers and steering paddle shifters.
The Highline has a more premium interior thanks to the Vienna leather upholstery and a fully digital 12.3-inch Active Info Display instrument panel.
There’s also 18-inch Kingston alloys, silver roof rails and LED headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and Dynamic Cornering Assist, and electric tailgate. 3-Zone Climatronic air-conditioning, Park Assist 3.0 for parallel and perpendicular auto parking, ambient lighting, an eight-inch touchscreen system with navigation and reverse camera and an option for MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
The new Tiguan is a five-seater and has a roomy interior for front and rear passengers.
Plus, rear occupants have access to fold up trays with cupholders which are mounted on the back of the front seats.
It is also very practical as it offers a boot space of 615 litres and if you need more space, the rear seats fold 60:40 for a terrific 1,655 litres.
Even the front passenger seat can be folded flat for extra long cargo.
We tried out the new Tiguan recently with a drive to Ipoh, Perak in both the Comfortline and Highline variants.
As both variants feature the same powertrain under the hood, they drive quite similarly and I could hardly tell the ride quality difference between the 17-inch and 18-inch wheels.
The Highline variant has a more premium feel with its leather interior.
Otherwise, both cars offer very low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels and very comfortable rides.
They pull away nicely at low rpms and are fun to drive even on windy trunk roads.
There was a slalom course set up when we arrived in Ipoh and we discovered the handling and turning radius of the Tiguan to be impressive for its class.
The only thing that didn’t impress me was the exhaust note which tended to sound a bit tepid but that’s a minor complaint.
If you are in the market for a continental SUV, the new Tiguan will definitely impress you with its price, performance and features.
And where aftersales is concerned, VPCM includes five years factory warranty with five years of free roadside assistance and a service interval of 15,000km.