David Motton

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Practical Caravan reviews the two-litre diesel Volkswagen Tiguan and discovers that with 168bhp it is a stable and impressive tow car

Overview

The Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the best mid-sized 4x4s, and the 168bhp diesel is one of our favourite Tiguans. There’s more than enough muscle to pull any suitable match.

Towing

Hooked up to a 1215kg tourer, this diesel Volkswagen accelerated from 30-60mph in 13.7 seconds.

Once up to speed the Tiguan felt as though it would happily tow at 60mph all day. However, we found sixth gear a little tall for towing – the engine was happier in fifth.

Firm suspension helped the Tiguan cope with our lane-change test better than most 4x4s. It changed direction quickly, the front tyres keeping a firm bite on the tarmac. Even at high speeds the VW stayed firmly in charge of the caravan.

Stability at speed was impressive, too: out on the motorway we found little need for steering corrections even on a breezy day. The flipside of that control is a firm ride, especially compared with the likes of the Land Rover Freelander.

Everyday driving

So we really rate this 168bhp diesel Tiguan as tow car. Solo, it is also good and it is an enjoyable steer, but, again, we would like a little more compliancy in its ride.

Space

We feel that the Tiguan’s boot is too small. In addition, three rear-seat passengers will find themselves rubbing elbows in the narrow cabin. Overall, its space is less impressive than its on-road abilities.

Running costs

Competitive insurance and impressive fuel economy keep down running costs on this tow car – VW's official figures of 42.8mpg and 172g/km CO2 emissions are not at all shabby. Strong resale values mean you’ll get back much of the original price after a few years on the road, too.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1684 kg
85% KW1431 kg
Towball limit100 kg
Maximum towing limit2200 kg
Power168.0 bhp
Torque258.0 lb ft
Official MPG42.8 mpg
CO2172 g/km

Verdict

Entertaining to drive and stable to tow with, but some rivals offer more space.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It is a capable and controlled tow car
  • Stability at speed when towing was impressive

Cons

  • Space is at a premium
  • The ride is too firm
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