Volkswagen Tiguan Preview

Volkswagen India are set to storm the Indian car markets with their compact cross over SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan. Volkswagen India have a big line up of cars from their international division coming to India. There are also indigenously developed cars for India like the Volkswagen Vento and so on. The Volkswagen Tiguan would be Volkswagen second foray into the SUV segment, the first been the classy Touareg. The Tiguan has won accolades world over for its superb German interiors, ergonomics and engine. The name for the SUV would be Tiguan even in India. Its name is a mish-mash of a Tiger and an Iguana. Really strange and we aren’t sure how they came up with this name. In India, the Volkswagen Tiguan would compete against the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe and Chevrolet Captiva. This would be the sub 20 lakhs price bracket and so far dominated by Honda CR-V.

Looks

The Tiguan has short overhangs in the front like the Skoda Roomster and this two may be confused from a distance. However the Volkswagen Tiguan has a longer snout than the Roomster. Two creases arise from the bonnet and terminate on the grill. The grill in itself isn’t a honey comb unit but one with wide gapings. The Volkswagen logo sits proudly atop the grill. The air dam is a small unit and is of the honey comb variety. The head lamps are of the wrap around types and look sickle shaped. In its class, the Volkswagen Tiguan would be one of the cross overs to sport a Bi-Xenon headlamp cluster. This is only rivaled by the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The Air dam splits to make place for two fog lamps.

The side profile highlights square wheel arches with 18 inch alloy wheels filling them up. The outside rear view mirrors are placed in black mounts, but the mirrors themselves are in body colored casing. The turn indicators are merged with the ORVMs. The side running board has a black cladding running across it. The B pillar is a fat unit and the C pillar has an oddly shaped quarter glass attached to it.

The rear is similar to that of the Polo. Actually, you may confuse this as a Volkswagen Polo from the rear end. There is a slight re-arrangement for the tail lamps though. The reverse lights can be viewed on from the side profile as well. A single wiper does duties for the rear windscreen. The stop lamp is mounted on the small roof spoiler. The bumper cladding is also in black and houses the multi reflectors. The tail pipes are conjoined twin units.

Overall, not exactly segment breaking looks.

Interiors

This is where the Volkswagen Tiguan shines. Its interiors are unlike any crossover in its segment. The Tiguan like others is a 5 seater. Its plastics are soft in touch but of the durable variety. You have ample space in the front rows and also on the second rows. 6 footers would be gobbled up by the Volkswagen Tiguan. There is good under thigh support and support from the side bolsterings. The Tiguan would be the one SUV that you can go for long tours on. It comes with 8 way powered driver and co-passenger adjustable seats, Bluetoooth system which co-ordinates with your phone and can attend your calls as well as read messages. It also has a 6 CD changer Bose Audio system with USB and pen drive connectivity. It has also got 8 speakers to boast for. It also has real aluminum in place of silver looking inserts on the dash.

The cargo space is disappointing as regards to the others in its class. It is amongst the smallest crossovers in its segment, the Premier Rio not counting. It has a sedan like boot space of 345 liters but the rear seats do split 60:40 and provide for about 1203 liters space.

Handling and ride quality

World-over, the Volkswagen Tiguan is said to be the best handler in its class surpassing even the car-like feel of the Honda CR-V. This should make a case for itself in our Indian market. It rides on highly tensile steel mounted struts and combines them with heavy duty dampers. This makes it a good handler in the rough patches. It has a front wheel drive system but also has an option for 4 wheel drive.

Its steering is a multi-spoke affair and has electronic assist to it. The ride quality is said to be typical Volkswagen types. Firm but comfortable.

On the safety front, the Volkswagen Tiguan boasts of a highly tensile body structure combined with 6 air bags and 3 point highly retractable seat belts with built in pre-tensioners. It has won a Good crash rating across the world and is generally considered a safe SUV.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Volkswagen Tiguan will come with only one petrol engine trim, as its available across the world. It will be a stonking 2.0L, turbo inline four-cylinder engine pumping out 200 bhp and 187 Nm of torque. It will probably have the best acceleration figure in its class. Its top speed is also a high 193 km/hr. Volkswagen may introduce a new diesel engine for the Tiguan based on its response from the Indian car buying public.

The transmission would be a 6 speed manual or a 5 speed automatic. It is said to be a slick unit{both the auto and manual} giving out precise shifts.

The braking is handled by 4 pot caliper disc brakes on all 4 wheels aided by ABS, EBD and traction control.

The Tiguan will have the usual efficiency figures for the class. It would probably give 9 kmpl in the city and about 14 kmpl on the highway.

Verdict

Volkswagen India has an ambition of capturing about 23% of the Indian market by 2014. This seems a bit too high however the only way they can think of doing so would be by introducing new models with a VFM quotient. The Tiguan does seem like one. It has good seating capacity, a very modern and high quality interiors, good performance and safety features. The only thing lacking would be the lack of a diesel motor under the hood and not so good exterior looks and cargo space. A diesel motor would widen its appeal and thus bolster its chances of selling well. Its price is also on the higher side with a hint at about Rs.22 lakhs for the base version. It would be a CBU initially but then later on will be built at Volkswagen’s Chakan plant. It is expected to be launched around June 2011.

Volkswagen Tiguan specifications

Exterior Length: 173.3 in.
Width: 72.2 in.
Height: 67.3 in.
Wheel Base: 112.5 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.3 in.
Kerb Weight: 1590 kg
Gross Weight: 1993 kg.
Interior Front Head Room: 38.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 57.2 in.
Rear Head Room: 40 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 54.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.1 in.
Rear Leg Room: 35.6 in.
Luggage Capacity: 23.8 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 56 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Base Number of Cylinders:
4
Base Engine Size: 2 liters, inline 4 turbo
Horsepower: 200 hp
Max Horsepower: 5100 rpm
Torque: 187 Nm
Max Torque: 1700 rpm
Drive Type: FWD/AWD
Turning Circle: 38.4 ft.

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