Like the Volkswagen Tiguan but need more space? Get one with ALL-the-SPACE – or, the Allspace.
Volkswagen launched the Mexican-made Tiguan Allspace sometime after the standard-wheelbase variant, which is sold in markets like Europe and Australia as a companion to the standard model, but is the sole option in North America and Mexico.
With the launch of the Allspace, Volkswagen finally had a three-row SUV to take on the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger, albeit with a more compact and city-friendly form factor. It competes with its own sibling in the Skoda Kodiaq which is effectively the same car underneath.
In 2023 the Allspace is Volkswagen’s only seven-seat SUV in Australia, with the larger Atlas reserved for left-hand drive markets. The short-wheelbase Tiguan is due for a total overhaul in the coming 12 months, with a seven-seat take on the formula to follow.
So while new orders start to close and stock piles dry up for the SWB Tiguan, the Allspace will be alive and kicking in its current form for some time yet, even if a new-generation Skoda Kodiaq is coming to Australia mid-next year.
Is it still worth a look?
The Tiguan Allspace 162TSI R-Line we have on test is now priced from $60,890 before on-road costs, an increase of $600 as part of a recent range-wide price adjustment by Volkswagen Australia.
You can logically cross-shop the Tiguan Allspace with three-row mid-sized SUVs as well as classmates in the large segment.
Key rivals include the Mitsubishi Outlander, which lines up best with the Tiguan Allspace on test in top-spec Exceed Tourer ($54,490) specification. You can also look at the Hyundai Santa Fe Elite (from $56,500) or Kia Sorento Sport+ (from $58,390 drive-away), which can be had with V6 petrol power and FWD, or four-cylinder turbo-diesel power with AWD.
The Santa Fe also offers a turbocharged hybrid all-wheel drive variant in Elite specification with very similar outputs to the Tiguan 162TSI (169kW/350Nm), priced from $63,000 plus on-roads. A top-spec Kia Sorento GT-Line can be had from $65,990 drive-away for the V6 petrol.
Elsewhere, you can look at the genetically-similar Skoda Kodiaq RS ($74,990 D/A), as well as a runout Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD ($59,200). The Toyota Kluger is one of few segment rivals to offer turbocharged petrol power and AWD traction, with the mid-spec GXL AWD priced from $65,310 before on-roads.
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace pricing:
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life: $44,890 (+$400)
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI Life: $48,890 (+$400)
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure: $51,990
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome: $55,690
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Elegance: $57,390 (+$600)
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 147TDI Elegance: $58,890 (+$600)
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI R-Line: $60,890 (+$600)
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 147TDI R-Line: $62,390 (+$600)
Pricing excludes on-road costs
From the B-pillar forward, the Allspace is just like any other Tiguan.
While the design of the cockpit has been around for some time, and is getting dated in places, the fit and finish is at the pointier end of the segment.
Material quality is good on the upper and mid-tier sections of the dashboard and doors, with squidgy surfaces and nice padded leather-lined surfaces where your elbows rest. It’s a shame there aren’t padded sections lining the centre console where your knees rest, unlike in the Skoda Kodiaq.
Our test car came fully optioned with both the Sound & Vision Package ($2750) as well as the panoramic sunroof ($2100), which seem attainable in isolation. I reckon one or the other should be standard on a $60,000 top-spec family car that has premium aspirations.
The R-Line interior is only available in Black, with the only light option coming in Elegance grade which offers a Storm Grey interior. I like some contrast, but parents with young kids no doubt will prefer the darker option as it’s easier to keep clean.
Another R-Line exclusive is the special steering wheel with chunkier 3 and 9 o’clock grip sections in perforated leather, as well as glossy touch-capacitive controls – good with not so good…
The sporty wheel feels grippier than the standard unit, though the touch buttons remains a bugbear due to their fiddly operation and tendency to get in the way when you’re holding the steering wheel as you would in any other car.
It takes a while to get used to adjusting volume or cruise control, for example, because it’s quite easy to mis-press and have to do a couple of extra inputs. The heated steering wheel function is constantly activated if you’re gripping at 3 and 9 o’clock and turning tighter corners – it’s just annoying.
Behind the wheel is a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro cluster display with various layouts and is much smoother than the pre-facelift version. It’s a shame the display isn’t 12.3-inches like it has been previously, but it’s otherwise almost as good as Audi’s benchmark virtual cockpit.
Mounted to the dashboard with a slight angle to the driver is a 9.2-inch infotainment system that will be familiar to anyone who has sat in a high-end Mk7 Golf.
While an older screen, it’s running Volkswagen’s latest MIB3 software which means wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as embedded navigation and DAB+ digital radio. It’s well-featured, and is one of the nicer systems in the segment to use.
We did notice on occasion you get a CarPlay dropout in areas with interference, but I don’t recall any instances where my iPhone wouldn’t quickly reconnect. The wireless smartphone charger doesn’t always work though, which seems to be a common issue amongst Volkswagen products.
The optional Harman Kardon premium audio system – 10 speakers, 480-watt amplifier – is a welcome upgrade over the solid standard system, with clear audio and thumping bass. If you like to play tunes often, it’s a must-have option – it also brings a small flip-up head-up display (meh) and Area View surround cameras (yes please).
Like the steering wheel, the climate controls have moved to touch switchgear as opposed to the mechanical buttons and dials from older models.
Volkswagen has retained the buttons alongside the chunky shifter on the centre tunnel, including the rotary drive and terrain mode dial. Tick.
The modular cupholder area allows for oddments of various shapes and sizes to be stowed securely between the front seats, and the big felt-lined door bins are another Volkswagen hallmark.
In the second row, passengers are treated to a healthy amount of head, knee and leg room with the seats in their rearmost position, even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted to our test car.
Each rear seat can be reclined individually, and they can be slid in 60:40 split which is quite handy if you have the third row in use.
Rear seat amenities include a third zone of climate control with directional vents, USB-C and 12V power outlets. map pockets behind the front seats and a rear-centre armrest with cupholders. Big bottle holders are fitted to the doors, and like the fronts are felt lined.
Child seats can be mounted to the ISOFIX points on the outboard positions, and there are top-tether points across the backs of all three second-row seats.
The Tiguan Allspace’s third row is very much an emergency only affair, and is best suited for smaller children. It’s quite tight and requires the second row to be slid forward quite a bit for adults.
It’s better than some rivals like the Mitsubishi Outlander, but if you want to use seven seats regularly you’d be better off looking at something like a Kia Sorento or Mazda CX-9, which are more comfortable for all ages and sizes.
You get cupholders integrated into the arm rests, but that’s about it.
The Tiguan Allspace at least has a well-thought rear storage area which allows you to stow the cargo blind under the boot floor when the third row is in use.
Volkswagen claims there’s 230L of luggage space with all three rows up. This increases to 700L with the second row dropped and 1775L with the second and third rows folded.
As mentioned earlier, the luggage cover fits beneath an insert in the floor, and the floor itself is close to flat. Beware the cutouts behind the wheel arches though; they’ll swallow loose items if you aren’t careful.
Remote releases for the rear seats make it easier to flatten the luggage area in a hurry, and there’s a space saver spare under the boot floor. I will say, the Kodiaq’s rear seems more purpose-built than the Tiguan Allspace’s, and offers more cargo volume.
The 162TSI is powered by the Volkswagen Group’s EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – versions of this unit are used in everything from the Golf GTI and R to the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan.
In this application, the engine makes 162kW (4300-6200rpm) and 350Nm (1600-4200rpm), which is the tune previously used in the Golf GTI and Skoda Octavia RS. Drive is sent to a 4Motion on-demand all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.
Worth noting is the fact in Europe the Tiguan Allspace is available with a newer version of this engine running a 180kW/370Nm tune which is in line with the Kodiaq RS, as well as the latest Golf 8 GTI and Octavia RS.
The Australian Tiguan Allspace 162TSI quotes a 0-100 claim of 6.8 seconds.
Volkswagen claims the Tiguan 162TSI uses 8.6L per 100km on the combined ADR cycle, which is more efficient than the 8.9L/100km of the less powerful 132TSI. CO2 emissions are quoted at 197g/km, and the drivetrain is homologated to Euro 6 emissions standards.
All petrol versions of the Tiguan Allspace require 95 RON premium unleaded as a minimum. Idle stop/start is standard on all engine variants bar the base 110kW 1.4 TSI.
The GTI-powered Tiguan adds a dash of spice to an otherwise quite comfortable and refined family SUV.
Remember this is the long-wheelbase Tiguan, so if the standard model is “sprightly” though well off the pace and feel of the full-fat Tiguan R, the 162TSI R-Line is perhaps another rung down again in terms of sporting feel – but it’s all the better for it.
The fact this thing is running on 20-inch alloy wheels and low-profile tyres and is properly comfortable in its ‘Comfort’ setting is worthy of praise – even some of the luxury marques don’t get it this right.
Yes the occasional sharp hit is a touch firmer than the Elegance on smaller 19-inch wheels and similar adaptive damping, but the Tiguan Allspace R-Line still offers comfortable and refined transport for the entire family.
Like other models in the range, it has fluid and accurate steering that communicates what the front wheels are doing but is light enough to not make tight manoeuvres a chore, and the R-Line’s additional progressive steering system varies the ratio depending on the speed – it feels lighter and more assisted when parking, or weightier and more direct when cornering at higher speeds.
In something like the Tiguan Allspace, you’re probably not going to be making the most out of the duality of the progressive steering ratio, though it does feel a little tighter and more focused than the equivalent Elegance grade.
The 2.0 TSI engine is a punchy unit, but as I found in my review of the short-wheelbase 162TSI R-Line, the calibration of the engine and transmission – particularly in Comfort or Normal settings – is more geared to comfort and efficiency rather than dialling in more response like you’ll find in the Polo GTI or Golf GTI.
If anything the Allspace is lazier than its smaller sibling, occasionally taking a moment or two to get moving from the lights after the start-stop system fires the motor, and the DSG gets itself into gear. It’s far from unresponsive or unrefined, but those wanting a ‘performance SUV’ might need to get a feel for themselves, or keep the Tiguan Allspace in its Sport mode for more eager response off the line.
The engine is a willing and free-revving unit, but it doesn’t haul the Tiguan Allspace’s 1.8-tonne heft as effortlessly or efficiently as the 147TDI turbo-diesel that’s also available on the R-Line grade. I know diesel is a little old fashioned these days, but European diesels are some of the most refined out there, and I think in these larger SUV applications still make perfect sense.
My last steer of a Tiguan Allspace was of the 147TDI Elegance version, and I just felt the effortless vibe of that variant is better suited to this SUV. It’s got plenty of punch when you need it, is a smooth operator on the highway, and uses a lot less fuel – we achieved around 7.0L/100km in the 147TDI Elegance in mixed everyday conditions, while in the 162TSI R-Line we were nudging 10L/100km.
The Tiguan Allspace is as nimble in town as it is confident and planted on the highway, feeling capable of touring for hours with the family on board. The big wheels and wider tyres transmit a bit more road noise into the cabin than the Elegance’s units, but it’s far from unrefined.
As we’ve come to expect, Volkswagen’s IQ.Drive suite of active assistance systems are some of the best in class.
Travel Assist – which combines adaptive cruise and adaptive lane guidance – remains a benchmark for semi-autonomous systems. Even the adaptive cruise control on its own is one of the most intuitive and natural-feeling of the breed.
Unfortunately for 2023 buyers, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assist are still unavailable due to ongoing component shortages. Volkswagen Group Australia has slowly started to reintroduce these features to select model lines as it becomes available from the factory again, and we hope it’ll be the same for the Tiguan soon.
Tiguan Allspace Life highlights:
- LED headlights (reflector type)
- High Beam Assist (auto)
- LED tail lights
- 18-inch Kingston alloy wheels
- Space saver spare wheel
- 8.0-inch Discover Media touchscreen
- Satellite navigation
- Voice, gesture control
- Wired, Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro
- Wireless phone charger
- Tri-zone climate control
- Auto headlights, wipers
- Electric folding mirrors, heated
Tiguan Allspace Elegance adds:
- IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights
- Premium LED headlights
- Dynamic indicators
- 19-inch Auckland alloy wheels
- Adaptive Chassis Control (dampers)
- Extended chrome, silver exterior accents
- Vienna leather-appointed upholstery
- Electric front seats
- Electric lumbar support
- Memory function
- Driver easy entry function
- Heated, ventilated front seats
- Heated outboard rear seats
- 9.2-inch Discover Pro touchscreen
- Tinted rear windows (privacy glass)
Tiguan Allspace R-Line adds:
- 20-inch Misano alloy wheels
- R-Line exterior package
- Front, rear bumpers
- Side sills
- Rear spoiler
- R-Line Vienna leather-appointed upholstery
- Stainless steel pedals
- Black headliner
- Progressive steering
Sound & Vision Package: $2750 (Elegance, R-Line)
- Head-up display
- Area View cameras
- Harman Kardon premium audio
- 10 speakers
- 480W output
- 16-channel amplifier
Easy Open & Close electric tailgate: $600
Panoramic electric glass sunroof: $2100
- Pure White
Metallic / Pearl Effect: $900
- Pyrite Silver
- Platinum Grey
- Deep Black
- Atlantic Blue
Premium Metallic: $1100
- Kings Red (N/A R-Line)
The Volkswagen Tiguan wears a five-star ANCAP rating based on tests carried out on the pre-facelift model in 2016. This rating 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 semiconductor 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 Tiguan TSI models the five-year plan is $2950, which is more than TDI versions ($2750).
The Tiguan Allspace, particularly in this guise, is trying to be all things to all families.
With the heart of a GTI hot hatch and the body of a family SUV, it injects some performance and fun-to-drive factor into what is otherwise a capable, tech-laden vehicle that packs plenty of features and space for the money.
The beauty of the Tiguan is that it feels like a big Golf to drive, and the Allspace builds on the practicality equation with its huge boot and third row of seating. In R-Line specification, it looks pretty hot as well.
With that said, the cheaper Elegance variant does the comfort thing better, and the 147TDI turbo-diesel is my pick for the Tiguan Allspace thanks to its increased torque and efficiency. It also feels better suited to this size class of vehicle.
It also isn’t cheap. Fully optioned like the car you see here you’re looking at more than $74,000 drive-away, which puts the Tiguan 162TSI R-Line against the more powerful and arguably even more well-rounded Skoda Kodiaq RS, as well as the larger and more practical CX-9 Azami.
For that money you’re also approaching the Land Rover Discovery Sport (from $80,970) and Mercedes-Benz GLB (from $67,000) which wear premium badges and no doubt have more clout in the school carpark, if with lower levels of standard specification.
But all told there’s a lot to like about the sportiest Tiguan Allspace, and no doubt there are prospective buyers that want the look of the Tiguan R but are brought back to Earth by their family requirements – namely a third row of seating.
From that angle, you get 75 per cent of the look and performance with 40 per cent more seating and nearly 15 per cent more luggage volume for 15 per cent less spend.
I’m not a great mathematician, but that seems like a good deal to me – but I’d also take the Kodiaq RS first…
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