Unlike the 5-seat Tiguan - that has exited locally - the longer Tiguan Allspace SUV packs in 3-rows-and-7 seats as the main selling point.
Both have the same width but the Allspace is a little longer (+215mm) and taller along with having a longer wheelbase (+110mm), all the better to slot in a third row.
For those looking for something other than from the Japanese and Korean menus, the Allspace is worth adding to the shortlist.
Beyond quality considerations, German cars have gained a reputation for their engineering and performance as well as driving fun. Not always true in every case certainly, as it depends on said car in the spotlight.
Since the start of production of the Allspace in 2017, around 1.5 million units of the long-wheelbase Tiguan have been sold worldwide. And locally, the Allspace has been a resounding bestseller for VW.
Despite being a stretched Tiguan, the Allspace doesn’t appear awkward or ungainly. On the contrary, it still looks seriously attractive in its chunky proportions.
The test unit is the entry-level 1.4-litre Highline variant; a 2.0-litre R-Line is also available for the performance-seekers.
The Allspace exterior is bolstered by a significantly high bonnet position with sharper lines that run across the bonnet and front bumper.
LED headlamps with dynamic headlight range control and LED tail lights with 3D effect set up the exterior for a premium look. That’s enhanced with eletric-folding wing mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels. Contrast mirror housings and chrome roof rails add a nice touch.
The test unit, in “Silk Blue”, is also available in white, silver, grey or black.
Step into the SUV and it’s immediately familiar in its conventionality. But it doesn’t look low rent.
We have seen the multi-functional steering wheel in other models before. The Allpspace gets a digital cockpit, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, which supports wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Leather upholstery and soft touchpoints in the upper section of the dash and doors plus comfortable seats make for an interior that feels good to spend time in. As in most SUVs with third rows, the last two seats are really for children.
Space is plenty for front row and second rows. In particular, the bench seats in second offers good headroom and legroom, with seats on rails. The backrest can also be reclined for added comfort. The foldable tray tops in second row is useful for quick bites on the go.
With stretched dimensions, the Allspace is being pitched as ideal for family-oriented buyers and people with an active lifestyle.
As such, it offers multiple seat configurations. With third-row seats folded, boot space is 700 litres; folding the second and third row seats offers the best in its segment boot space of 1,775 litres.
We also appreciate the abundant cubbyholes spread all around.
The Tiguan Allspace Highline features a 1.4-litre TSI engine with 148hp and 250Nm of torque, which drives the front wheels.
Peak torque is available from a low 1,500rpm to 3,500rpm.
The 4-pot turbocharged engine is a carryover from the Tiguan and now nests in a heavier vehicle.
Power delivery is adequate but the base Allspace suffers from an initial lag at a standing start. However, it improves markedly once at highway speeds, with quick lane changes and overtaking executed without drama.
You do get a measure of sporty driving in manual mode by flicking through the gears via the paddle shifters, which are tiny and you could have easily missed them if you didn’t look hard. For everyday driving, automatic mode is smooth and quick.
There’s some body roll when taking corners or when driving through patchy surfaces but they are restrained. The SUV hews to its German character with a firm ride. In city driving, it’s easily maneovrable and parking back-to-the-wall is a cinch aided by a reverse camera with dynamic guide lines.
The lack of noise intrusion even at triple-digit speeds speaks well of the cabin insulation.
The SUV comes with a panoply of safety kit such as 6 airbags, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with with Brake Assist, Driver Alert System, Electronic Stability Control, and Traction control (ASR) with Electronic differential lock.
Another safety feature is the included multi-collision brake system, which triggers after the initial collision to stop follow-on collisions or lessen the consequences. While it’s helpful, a preventive safety tech like automatic emergency braking, called Front Assist in VW lingo, would have been better but is not offered in the local Allspace line-up.
On balance, the locally assembled Allspace Highline is a decent offering. It drives reasonably well and exudes versatility in a premium package - ideal for the school run or the weekend holiday trip. Indeed, the Allspace has all the space for a family adventure.
Add on the bonus of an undemanding road tax from a small, fuel efficient engine.
Online rebates and other savings mean the Allspace can be bought for less than sticker price. VW AG has already unveiled a facelifted model but it will have to wait its turn to go local.
For now, it’s the pre-facelifted Allspace’s time to shine.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Highline 1.4 TSI
Engine: 1,395cc, inline-4 turbocharged
Maximum power: 148hp from 5,000-6,000rpm
Maximum torque: 250Nm from 1,500-3,500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed dual clutch automatic
Boot: 230 litres, expandable to 1,775l
Combined fuel consumption (official): 7.3l/100km
Features: Six airbags, front-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, Digital Cockpit, 8 speakers sound system, ambient light, App-Connect, Chrome roof rails, Climatronic air conditioning with 3 zones, cruise control with speed limiter, electrically foldable exterior mirrors, electric tailgate, electric driver seat with memory including electric lumbar support, electric parking brake with Auto Hold, front and rear fog lights, front full LED headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED rear lights, multifunctional steering wheel in leather with shift paddles, park distance control front and rear with rear view camera, radio touchscreen 8” SD and USB, Start Stop button with Keyless Entry, safety aides ABS, BA, ESC, ASR, ICRS
Price: RM165,031 (on-the-road without insurance)