The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is the sole seven-seater in the brand’s passenger car line-up, duking it out with everything from the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail to the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.
Alongside its corporate cousin, the Skoda Kodiaq, the Tiguan Allspace aims to challenge the (mostly Korean and Japanese) competitor set with a focus on class and refinement typical of the German giant.
Earlier this year the Allspace received a similar set of updates and enhancements in line with the regular five-seat Tiguan, though there are still unique appointments differentiating the larger model other than the availability of seven seats.
On test we have the Volkswagen Tiguan 147TDI Elegance, the penultimate trim level with the most expensive drivetrain.
While diesel power within the Volkswagen Group (as well as the wider industry) continues to be slowly phased out, the Allspace continues to offer a fuel-sipping, torquey oiler option – there’s still enough demand, apparently.
Does it stack up as a seven-seater for a growing family?
Volkswagen is currently in the process of bringing in 2023 model-year Tiguan Allspace models, with slightly adjusted specification and pricing.
The vehicle you see here is a 2022-spec, which was more expensive than the MY23 – a bit against the grain given the industry’s never-ending push upmarket, but there’s a reason for that.
A 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 147TDI Elegance will set you back from $57,190 plus on-road costs and options, though the MY22 vehicle you see here wore a sticker price of $58,690 before on-roads.
Due to ongoing component shortages, MY23 versions miss out on some features. These include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, an electric tailgate (now optional), as well as Proactive Occupant Protection which primes systems like seatbelt pre-tensioners and closes windows and the sunroof if an imminent collision is detected.
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace pricing:
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life: $43,290
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI Life: $47,290
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure: $51,990
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome: $55,690
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Elegance: $55,690
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 147TDI Elegance: $57,190
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI R-Line: $58,890
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 147TDI Elegance: $60,390
- Honda CR-V VTi L7: $49,500 drive-away
- Hyundai Santa Fe Elite 2.2D AWD: $60,000
- Kia Sorento Sport+ 2.2D AWD: $61,390 drive-away
- Mazda CX-8 Touring SP 2.2D AWD: $55,390
- Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer: $52,490
- Peugeot 5008 GT Diesel: $66,770
- Skoda Kodiaq Sportline 4×4: $57,990 drive-away
- Toyota Kluger GXL AWD Hybrid: $63,350
Prices exclude on-road costs unless specified
If you have sat in a Tiguan within the last five or so years, there aren’t too many surprises.
In typical VW fashion, it’s a bit austere but ergonomically sound with solid build quality. Don’t let the fact the Allspace is made in Mexico lead you to palm this off as some poor relative to the German-made five seater.
Our test car featured the standard black interior, but the Elegance also offers a light shade of grey as a no-cost option. I’d opt for that to add a little visual excitement.
The Allspace gets a retro wood-like trim insert throughout the cabin too, which is a nice point of difference to the alloy-look or shiny plastic inlays of the five-seat Tiguan range.
Front occupants are sat in comfortable, supportive Comfort Sport seats, with electric adjustment as well as heating. Unlike some rivals, however, the front pews don’t offer ventilation or cooling. There are memory presents for the driver and passenger, as well as electric lumbar support.
Ahead of the driver in the Elegance is a steering wheel with conventional buttons (not fiddly touch-capacitive units like the R-Line), and a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit virtual instrument cluster.
Powered by Volkswagen’s latest infotainment software, the digital cluster offers crisper graphics and smoother animations than before, but I can’t help but feel the 10.25-inch display looks a little small in a vehicle this large and expensive – and it’s not quite as high-end as Audi’s virtual cockpit in something like the related Audi Q3.
Our test vehicle’s Sound & Vision Package ($2600) adds a flip-up head-up display amongst other things, which projects speed, warnings, and turn-by-turn navigation into the driver’s line of sight. Some won’t like the polariser instead of a projector onto the windscreen, but it’s still good to have.
Sitting front and centre in the dashboard is a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as native satellite navigation and DAB digital radio.
Like the Digital Cockpit, the infotainment system is running VW’s MIB3 interface, which features upgraded graphics and processing power for a smoother, more premium experience than systems past – even if the actual display and surround looks the same.
It was faultless for the most part, though there were a couple of occasions that my iPhone 13 Pro Max would connect to Apple CarPlay but not play any sound for music and calls, which was frustrating. It’s something I’ve encountered previously with a Tiguan running this infotainment system.
Otherwise it does the job pretty well, even if it’s not as big as a Kia Sportage’s 12.3-inch display.
The back seat is where you reap the benefits of the extended body and wheelbase most, with large car-like leg and headroom perfect for taller passengers as Paul Maric demonstrates above.
You can slide the second row fore and aft to maximise luggage space or legroom for the third row, or to free up as much space as you like in the second row.
The rear seatbacks fold in a 40:20:40 split, and there are amenities like a third zone of climate control, fold-down centre armrest pockets behind the front seats for phones and oddments, and big bottle holders in the doors. The outboard seats are also heated, which is a nice touch.
Adults will be more than happy in the outer positions, and three can sit across at a pinch. You’ve also got ISOFIX anchors on the outboard seats as well as top-tethers for all three rear pews.
While Volkswagen will tell you the Tiguan Allspace is a seven-seat family SUV, the third-row accommodation is one of the smaller in the segment.
Entry into the third row is tight and once you’re in there the rearmost pews are quite upright and the seat base is rather flat. This leaves anyone of average height to be in an uncomfortable knees-up position.
Sliding the second row forward frees up a little more space, but it’s not somewhere you’ll want to have adults in often. Even teenagers will grunt and complain.
The Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento offer better sixth and seventh seats, and the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger are better again. It’s a 5+2 seater in reality, and that’s something to consider if you’re planning to use three rows often.
The boot may have a funny floor thanks to the third row of seating, but Volkswagen at least has an insert to level out the floor when you have the rear seats folded.
Quoted capacity is 230L with the third row upright, 700L with the third row folded and the second row slid forward, and a massive 1775L with the two rear rows folded.
Volkswagen also quotes luggage area lengths of 1046mm with the second row upright and 1921mm with the second row folded.
Under the boot floor is a space saver spare wheel.
A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel lives under the bonnet, tuned to deliver a healthy 147kW (3600-4100 rpm) and 400Nm (1750-3500rpm).
While some Volkswagen petrol engines get a lower state of tune compared to overseas counterparts due to local fuel quality (or lack thereof), the 2.0 TDI’s 147kW tune is aligned with the European line-up.
For reference, the 162kW 2.0 TSI petrol offered in Australian cars has been replaced by a 180kW motor in markets like Europe.
Drive is sent to a 4Motion all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic as standard. In addition to the road-based drive modes – Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual – there’s a selection of off-road modes for different terrain.
Volkswagen claims the Tiguan Allspace 147TDI will accelerate from 0-100 in 7.8 seconds, which is a second slower than the more affordable 162TSI petrol.
Being a diesel, fuel consumption is arguably the more important metric here. Volkswagen claims a combined cycle economy of 6.2L/100km and emissions of 164g/km – compared to the 162TSI’s 8.6L/100km and 197g/km.
The fuel tank is rated to hold 60 litres, meaning you should be able to get almost 1000 kilometres per fill.
I reviewed the five-seat 147TDI Elegance a year or so ago, and was impressed with the drivetrain then.
While the majority opt for one of the 162TSI models, I maintain the 147kW 2.0 TDI is arguably the better fit of the current powertrain offerings in high-spec Tiguans, particularly the long-wheelbase, three-row Allspace range.
European brands are known for making some of the most refined diesel engines in passenger cars, and the Tiguan Allspace’s 2.0-litre is a shining example.
At idle there’s a hint of diesel clatter, but it’s otherwise a smooth and subdued operator that effortlessly gets up to speed and prefers not to be rushed. It’s an ‘Elegance’ after all, drive this with grace.
If you need a bit more shove the 2.0 TDI and DSG transmission will need a moment to get going, but as the 400Nm torque figure suggests, the diesel Tiguan Allspace has plenty of effortless low-down shove when you need it.
These attributes are probably best suited to the long model’s three-row capacity, given you’re likely to be loaded with people and luggage. While the 162TSI is an excellent engine, it needs to be worked harder in a loaded-up Allspace.
The Elegance rides on 19-inch alloys, but also has Volkswagen’s excellent adjustable damping with several modes. The R-Line on its 20-inch rims is surprisingly pliant in Comfort, but the Elegance is better again without sacrificing body control.
As is the case with most Volkswagen products, there’s a tautness to the chassis that balances comfort and engagement, affording an all-round skillset a lot of manufacturers just don’t get right.
In town the Tiguan Allspace does a good job isolating the cabin from pimpled city streets and tram tracks, while also keeping noise from the outside world to an absolute minimum. Don’t let the diesel] fool you into thinking this is going to feel like a truck.
But where oilers generally shine is on the highway, and the Tiguan Allspace diesel is so well suited to longer stints behind the wheel.
At 100-110km/h the DSG clicks into seventh gear and the 2.0 TDI is humming away silently at about 1700rpm. With peak torque available from 1750rpm, it doesn’t take much effort to maintain speed uphill or make a quick overtake.
I drove from Melbourne out far east on the Monash Freeway, which eventually turns into more of a country highway once you pass city limits. Even on patchy, rough blacktop, the Tiguan Allspace’s cabin is impressively hushed and comfortable.
The Tiguan’s range of assistance features proved helpful, though Paul noted a glitch where the systems became temporarily unavailable during a day of filming – it didn’t happen again once it got back to me, though.
Honourable mention to the Travel Assist system, which combines adaptive cruise and lane centring functions for semi-autonomous highway driving. The touch-sensitive steering wheel rim means it won’t bing and bong at you if you’re not making steering inputs – you just have to keep your hands on the wheel.
Being an MY22 build, our tester’s blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic functions proved valuable given the Allspace’s length, though the Area View surround cameras, part of the $2600 Sound & Vision package, leave a bit to be desired from a resolution perspective. They were quite grainy and even worse in poor light.
The Tiguan’s IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights, meanwhile, are excellent. Strong vision and a tricky adaptive high-beam function mean you get a great field of view even when driving after dark on country roads – and it’ll dip and dim where appropriate to not stun oncoming motorists.
Tiguan Allspace Elegance highlights:
- 19-inch Auckland alloy wheels
- Space saver spare wheel
- Adaptive chassis control (dampers)
- IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights
- Dynamic LED indicators
- Ventilated front seats
- Heated front, rear (outboard) seats
- 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment
- Satellite navigation
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Rear privacy glass
- 30-colour ambient lighting
- Chrome, silver trim highlights
Sound & Vision Package ($2600, as tested) adds:
- Head-up display
- Area View (360 cameras)
- Harman Kardon premium audio
- 10 speakers
- 16-channel digital amplifier
Features carried over from lower grades include:
- Digital Cockpit Pro 10.25-inch digital cluster
- 3-zone climate control
- Automatic headlights, wipers
- Electric folding, heated side mirrors
- Reversing camera
- Vienna leather-appointed upholstery
- Electrically-adjustable driver’s seat incl. memory
- Panoramic sunroof
- Pure White
- Atlantic Blue Metallic*
- Kings Red Premium Metallic**
- Platinum Grey Metallic*
- Pyrite Silver Metallic*
- Deep Black Pearl*
*Metallic, Pearl Effect finishes cost $900
**Premium Metallic adds $1100
The Volkswagen Tiguan wears a five-star ANCAP rating based on tests carried out on the pre-facelift model in 2016. This also includes Allspace variants.
The Tiguan scored 96 per cent for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 68 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 68 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- 7 airbags incl. driver’s knee
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Low-speed, high-speed
- Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Adaptive cruise control
- Travel Assist (adaptive cruise + lane centring)
- Blind-spot assist*
- Rear cross-traffic alert*
- Driver fatigue monitoring
- Lane-keep assist
- Parking sensors front, rear
- Emergency Assist (pulls vehicle over if driver is unresponsive)
- Proactive Occupant Protection*
*Currently unavailable for MY23 due to semiconductior-related shortages
Volkswagen covers its range with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. You get 12 months of roadside assistance with purchase, with up to 10 years available renewed with a service at a Volkswagen dealer.
Scheduled maintenance is required every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.
VW offers three- and five-year Care Plans, which cover scheduled maintenance at a reduced cost compared to paying as you go.
For the Tiguan TDI, the three-year plan is $1650 while the five-year plan is $2750, with the latter more affordable than 132TSI and 162TSI models ($2950), as well as the R ($3100).
In terms of real-world fuel consumption, we saw an indicated 7.1L/100km over 730km, which included a healthy mix of urban, highway, on- and off-peak commuting. Mind you I had a quarter of a tank left at this point, and 120km of range remaining – not quite as good as the claim, but still a good result in my book.
The Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace really are the Golf of SUVs.
Both versions of the crossover bring an air of Germanic simplicity and class to everyday motoring, covering everything you need with a few dashes of what you want.
As with most of the brand’s products, there’s a smoothness and fluidity to the way the Tiguan Allspace drives, with a focus on comfort and refinement balanced with a degree of dynamism to make daily commuting interesting.
The Allspace adds an extra dimension to the Tiguan’s capabilities with its interior space and third row of seating, though don’t be fooled into thinking this is a full-time seven seater. It’s a 5+2 with room for your primary school-aged kid’s friends or perhaps young nieces and nephews.
Worth noting also is the excellent diesel engine, which is well-suited to the vehicle. While the industry is moving away from diesel, I believe there’s still a place for the effortless and efficient attributes of the engine type, especially when it’s as refined and capable as the VW’s 2.0 TDI mill.
I prefer the Elegance trim level to the sportier R-Line, as the smaller wheels and more luxurious appointments better suit the Tiguan’s measured character. You also save yourself a couple of grand in the process.
With that said, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento offer more space and just about as many features as the Volkswagen for similar money, with the former offering both diesel and hybrid options at a similar price point once you add the optional Sound & Vision Package to the VW.
All told the Tiguan Allspace Elegance is arguably the pick of the range.
Click the images for the full gallery