Volkswagen has added a new Tiguan Allspace Monochrome variant to help ease congestion in its supply chain, with a few key items removed that are usually fitted to the 162TSI R-Line it is based on.
Yep, this is a slightly de-specced, but still powerful and well equipped seven-seater option for buyers who can live without some of the luxury inclusions the R-Line scores.
It also looks a little different to the R-Line, with less shiny stuff and more, er, monochrome-ness to the appearance.
One of the main reasons this new limited edition is being offered is to help ease wait times, but I reckon it’s a pretty handy new inclusion for other reasons – read on to find out more.
The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Monochrome wears a list price of $55,690 plus on-road costs, which is a $4100 saving compared to the 162TSI R-Line model it shares plenty with.
It has seen the removal of a bunch of items that you might want, but don’t need to achieve that price point, but it retains the same Golf GTI-derived 2.0-litre engine, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG) transmission, and all-wheel drive.
There are only 150 examples coming, at least initially. A full rundown of the standard gear and the missing bits is included in the relevant section below.
Options available for the Tiguan Allspace Monochrome include a panoramic sunroof ($2100), and while metallic paint options are included at no cost, Oryx White Pearlescent is $900 extra.
For the curious, the colour options for the Monochrome are, rather fittingly, not colourful at all. They are: Pyrite Silver Metallic, Platinum Grey Metallic and Deep Black Pearl Effect, in addition to the added-cost white hue.
It might have had some items removed – the bigger screen, for example – but I actually prefer the screen fitted in this car because it has touch-sensitive “buttons” down the sides, and volume and tuning control knobs as well.
Thankfully you don’t need to go through the media screen for the car’s critical controls to the same extent you do in a VW Golf – there is a dedicated section for A/C, with fan and recirculation buttons.
Just like the Golf, though, I didn’t like the haptic steering wheel buttons, and I find myself accidentally bumping them at times. But that steering wheel and the digital instrument cluster are otherwise user-friendly, and it does feel a little bit special because it has the “R” logo on the steering wheel as this version has a bunch of R-Line parts.
The “R” is also embossed on the backs of the front seats, and while the fabric finish might not be the most family-friendly option out there, if you don’t love leather, then at least the fabric has an interesting look, and the outer elements of the seat have grippy, microfibre sections, and there are also leather-ish parts around the trim as well.
There’s ambient lighting in the cabin – on all four doors and on the sills which helps make for better ingress and egress at night.
When it comes to storage, the Allspace is quite good. If you choose one that doesn’t have a panoramic sunroof (as fitted to our test vehicle), then you get some very clever overhead storage compartment bins, ideal for snacks or kids books. Get the sunroof, you lose that.
There’s a decent-sized glovebox, a pair of adjustable cup holders between the seats, a relatively small centre console bin, and a storage nook in front of the gear selector with a wireless charger. Plus there’s a dash-top storage compartment.
One other thing I really like about most Volkswagen products is that they are equipped with flocked, or carpet-lined, door pockets. It just means that things in those bins won’t make as much noise on bad sections of road.
Second-row space is quite good. With the driver’s seat set to my position (I’m 182cm/6’0” tall), I still had just enough room to sit behind with the second row seat slid forward to about halfway.
That means that, in theory, it would be possible to fit five adults of my size in here in some form of comfort.
However, whoever is riding in the middle backseat might not describe the spot as comfortable, as there is a big transmission tunnel intrusion in the footwell, and the seat is a little bit narrow. If you don’t have someone in that middle spot, there is a flip-down armrest with cupholders you can make use of instead.
The second row has ISOFIX points for the outboard seats and three top-tether points, and other family-friendly features include tri-zone climate control – with actual controls in the second row.
Plus, I loved the multi-pocket seatbacks – which include a large pocket at the bottom and two smaller slots up higher, which my daughter thought was great because she could reach them from her seat to grab her drink bottle or a toy.
The panoramic glass roof was also a winner from her perspective – she likes looking up through the glass. And, it was a winner from everyone’s perspective as well, because even on a 37-degree day there wasn’t that much heat intrusion into the headspace of occupants, even with a relatively thin mesh cover.
For third-row room, however, the Tiguan Allspace isn’t all that spacious.
Unlike some of the other seven seaters in this class, it feels more like a 5+2 seat option. What I mean by that is; there hasn’t been as much thought put into third-row access, accommodation, or amenities.
As such, clambering into the very back seats for someone my size isn’t the easiest thing to do. The seats don’t have a clever flip/tumble mechanism like other SUVs do, and I would say that something like a Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe is easier to get in and out of the back row – and more comfortable once you’re in.
My head was brushing the ceiling, and while I did have just enough knee room with the second-row seat slid halfway forward, I wouldn’t want to be back here for too long.
Also worth considering is the fact the back row doesn’t have a light, unless you reach for the little detachable boot light; there are no third-row air-vents, no USB charging; and there are just a couple of small storage caddies on the passenger side armrest above the wheel-arch.
It’s also not going to accommodate any further child seats, as there are no ISOFIX or top-tether points in the back row. So it’s for someone who knows they will use the back seats only sometimes, and only with occupants that are going to be the right size and age to be comfortable enough back there.
With the third row seats in use, they only adjust to one position for each of the two seats, meaning no recline availability for whomever is in the third row.
There is a reasonable amount of storage space available. VW states 230 litres of cargo capacity in this configuration.
There is a neat integrated spot for a cargo blind below the boot floor, but that floor doesn’t extend out all the way, so it could easily be annoying if you have sand or general kid grubbiness to contend with. Plus below that floor section there is a space-saver spare wheel, which is a nice touch.
Folding the third row seats down is very easy (just a couple of quick lever pushes), and when you do so, there is a massive space – 700 litres, according to VW.
If you are interested, Volkswagen also sells a special edition version of the Allspace called the Adventure, which has no third row seating, and an enormous big boot as a result (735 litres with five seats in use).
Just like the R-Line, the Monochrome scores the Tiguan’s most popular powertrain – the 162TSI, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with 162kW of power (6200rpm) and 350Nm (1500-4400rpm).
It is fitted exclusively with the brand’s seven-speed DSG auto, and has 4Motion all-wheel-drive, too.
If you’re wondering where that puts the Monochrome in the line-up in terms of outputs and powertrain, there are a few other versions available.
If you don’t need AWD, the 110TSI Life is your only option – with a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol (110kW/250Nm) and six-speed DSG, it’s zippier than you’d probably expect. Then there’s the entry-level AWD model, the 132TSI Life which has a 2.0-litre petrol with 132kW/320Nm, and could be the sweet-spot if you aren’t that into speed.
Just above the Monochrome, in terms of price, sits the 147TDI, which has a 2.0L turbo-diesel with 147kW and 400Nm. Diesel isn’t for everyone, but if it is for you, this is your only choice. You’ve also got the choice of the 162TSI in the luxury-spec Elegance, or the sportier R-Line, or this one. Crikey, it’s a bit of a complex range with a lot of options.
What’s missing? Well, unlike seven-seat rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger, there’s no hybrid model. The Kia Sorento goes even further, offering petrol, diesel, hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
For my family and I, this was a very accommodating weekend-away companion.
We spent almost four hours each-way in it over a two-day span, and not one of us got out of the car complaining. Even my 20-month-old girl was happy in it for long stretches.
I drove the whole time, and was impressed with so many of this car’s attributes.
Firstly, the ride. On not-massive-but-still-quite-large 19-inch wheels and Continental ContiSportContact (255/45) tyres, it was a really comfortable car to spend so much time in, even over some of the very broken and patchy surfaces out in the central west, which has been barraged with rain and flooding in recent times.
The way it coasted over bumps and potholes without getting too crashy was great, and while at times the front axle felt a little soft and the front-end a little bouncy, it was really well balanced in terms of comfort and composure.
Plus it handled quite well, too. The suspension offers a great balance between cosseting and confidence-inspiring, allowing for decent cornering agility and control.
The steering, too, was nicely weighted and very easy to deal with at all speeds. It was light and easy to turn the wheel at city pace, while on the open road it didn’t require too much turn input to get through twisty bits.
The engine felt right for the job as well, with enough power and torque to make for easy progress and no question marks over whether it would make it for an overtaking move. Not once did I feel it was short on torque – though like I said, that might change if you fill all seven seats with heavier people.
And finally, the dual-clutch automatic transmission was really easy to deal with.
In years gone by I’ve had qualms about the low-speed behaviour of DSGs, but the bugs seem to have been well-and-truly ironed out. The auto was smooth at take-off (with a little bit of lag to contend with, but a completely learnable amount), and it shifted really snappily at pace.
All in all, I was very pleased with the drive. But I did turn off the lane keeping tech every time I got in the car – it isn’t a bad example of the craft, but I just can’t get to grips with the feeling of the car trying to steer for me, especially when I have my family on board.
As alluded to above, it’s more of a case of what you don’t get in this variant.
VW decided to offer this limited-run model to help ease supply of the Tiguan Allspace that people wanted to buy – the 162TSI – but only if they were cool with missing out on some of the items that were making it hard to get due to the semiconductor shortage crisis.
Here is a list of features removed from the 162TSI R-Line:
- Dynamic Light Assist (adaptive high-beam headlights)
- Premium LED tail lights with dynamic indicators
- 9.2-inch Discover Pro navigation system
- Leather upholstery
- Power front seat adjustment
- Heated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated outboard rear seats
- Side Assist (blind-spot monitoring)
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Proactive Occupant Protection system (not included on 162TSI Allspace)
But you still get quite a lot of stuff as standard, and some items that help this model stand out, in fact. It still has the R-Line exterior styling kit, for example, and scores a different set of wheels.
Tiguan Allspace Monochrome highglighs:
- 19-inch Valencia alloys in gloss black (instead of 20s)
- LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
- Light Assist (auto high-beam)
- Black Style Package (instead of chrome exterior highlights)
- Rear privacy glass
- Metallic paint (usually adds $900)
- Monochrome badging
- 8.0-inch Discover Media navigation system (instead of 9.2-inch screen)
- ArtVelour/Cloth R-Line seat trim (instead of leather)
Other standard items include:
- Leather steering wheel
- 3-zone climate control with second-row vents
- 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
- 3 x USB-C ports (2 x front, 1 x second-row)
- 3 x 12-volt ports (1 x front, 1 x rear, 1 x luggage zone)
- 8-speaker stereo
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Heated and folding electric side mirrors
- Auto wipers
- Keyless entry
- Push-button start
- Reversing camera
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Adaptive chassis control
- LED tail-lights
- Extended electronic differential lock
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Space saver spare wheel
It may have had some stuff removed, but this is hardly a stripped-out fleet special.
Okay, so this bit could actually be a bit of a sore point for the Monochrome models. They are missing some of the advanced safety tech that you could otherwise get in a Tiguan Allspace.
The missing items are blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as the “Proactive Occupant Protection system”, which, according to VW, will act to make the car safer for all inside if there is some kind of risk of a crash.
It does so by closing the windows and sunroof (if fitted) to “just a small gap”, which is said to “optimise the effectiveness of the airbags”, while it also tightens the front seatbelts “at lightning speed” and activates the hazard lights.
Does missing those items make it an unsafe car? Not necessarily, but for parents who are choosing a family SUV, it might be worth noting.
The Tiguan Allspace did have a five-star ANCAP safety rating until the end of 2022, but that score – date-stamped as 2016 – has now expired.
As said, the Tiguan Allspace still has a plethora of safety technology features included as standard range-wide, include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and there is good airbag coverage – dual front, front side, driver’s knee, and full-length curtain airbags with third-row cover.
It also has a clever tech piece called Manoeuvre Braking, which is designed to help minimise the risk of low-speed bumps (under 10km/h, obstacle detection).
Multi-Collision Brake is another neat thing – it’ll brake the car for you if you get into an accident, minimising the risk of further damage. We’ve all seen those dash-cam videos where someone bumps another car and just keeps rolling onward, causing more chaos – this prevents that.
However, it is missing some of the items you’ll find on other newer SUVs, like AEB for cyclist detection, junction detection, and a front-centre airbag, as well as connected services such as emergency dialling in the event of an accident.
All Volkswagen models these days come with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, which is par for the course in the mainstream vehicle segment.
It also comes with a capped-price servicing plan, which you can either pre-pay or pay as you go. Choose to pay when you service your car, and it’ll cost you more – but if you sign up for a Volkswagen Care Plan, you’ll save heaps.
The three-year/45,000km plan will cost you $1650, which isn’t cheap, but it is $222 less than if you pay as you go. But the biggest saving is when you choose a five-year/75,000km service plan, which is $2950 – saving $1023 over the alternative.
And, if you roll the Care Plan into your finance payments, you’ll notice it less – it’d almost be like cooking dinner one or two nights more per month instead of ordering Uber Eats. Service your car with VW and you also get roadside assistance renewed every year for up to 10 years. One year cover is included, no matter what.
As for seeing your local servo attendant, the official combined cycle fuel use figure for this grade is 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres, and it has a thirst for 95 RON premium unleaded in its 60-litre fuel tank.
My time with the car was spent with my family (me, partner, daughter, two dogs, luggage) driving 600 kilometres for a trip to see family out west. I saw real-world fuel use of, amazingly, 8.6L/100km.
If you do more urban driving, or load your car up all the time with heavier occupants (my daughter isn’t even two, and she’s heavier than each of my dogs), it will obviously use more juice. But I was impressed with the return I saw, even though I’d personally prefer a diesel Tiguan Allspace.
Ironically, for some family buyers it won’t be black and white as to whether this is the right SUV for them, because the key missing safety tech items that they would otherwise get in a Tiguan or any other competitor SUV could well make the decision more difficult.
I think the Tiguan Allspace Monochrome is a very competent seven-seater in a lot of ways, and I’d personally be okay with living without those particular items, given the interesting finishes and inclusions you get for the money.
Click the images for the full gallery