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Car Chooser

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162 TSI Highline owner review

j pixels
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PROS
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • 162TSI engine and quick shifting DSG
  • Spacious and well laid out interior and controls
CONS
  • Fuel consumption is high
  • No adaptive lane guidance (centering) from factory
  • No key based personalisation & no wireless charging

About the Volkswagen Tiguan

j pixels purchased this Volkswagen Tiguan new for $60,500 (including all on-road costs). j pixels would buy this car again because: “The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a reliable and practical family car with comfortable seating for five people and occasional seating for an extra two people. It’s the only seven seat Volkswagen passenger vehicle sold in Australia and there are not many direct competitors with turbo petrol four cylinder engines.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

We’ve been enjoying our 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace – a 162TSI Highline model with a sunroof, an R-Line pack and Digital Cockpit in metallic silk blue.

The car was misconfigured at the factory in Mexico as normally to get the Digital Cockpit you need to option the Sound and Vision package which our car does not have. (CarExpert has confirmed with Volkswagen a batch of Tiguan Allspace models were “mis-built by the factory with the Digital Cockpit Pro“, as stated in the reviewEd.)

The car has been very reliable over 12 months and approximately 20,000km including a fair bit of dirt and soft off-roading we do as a family going hiking.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

The interior is spacious and comfortable. The seats are mostly black leather, electrically adjustable and heated in the front and the back, and these are all easy to keep clean with our three kids. The second row has three independently foldable seats with rails to slide the seats back and forward to extend the legroom in the second row, or create more legroom in the third row.

The second row also reclines. The second row still has two aeroplane-style folding tray tables which the kids love and use, but sadly these appear to have been removed as standard on the new Tiguans coming out. The second row also has its own climate control settings.

The third row is for occasional use – we use it to bring our kids’ friends over after school or on weekends, and to take the grandparents on local outings with the kids. The third row wouldn’t be any good for adults or long distance driving but these work well for us with three school aged kids and no child seats, and allow them each to bring a friend home, or more than one friend per child on occasions.

We opted to have a sunroof which is full length and has an electric sunshade which matches the charcoal roof lining.

The buttons for automated parking and the camera are located to the left-hand side of the gear shifter which is less convenient than our previous Golf which had it on the driver’s side.

Whilst the car has rear privacy glass it doesn’t reduce the Queensland summer heat so we had an aftermarket Rayno S7 tint done which is clear over the privacy glass, and tinted the front side windows which has been helpful reducing heat inside the car.

The only accessories we’ve had fitted since buying the car were a rear sill protector, and a Volkswagen front and rear Universal Traffic Recorder (dash cam) which has been working well after we upgraded to a larger SD card.

The car has an automatic tailgate which can be opened four different ways: a button in driver’s door, remotely using the key fob, the button on the tailgate or with an “air kick” of your foot under the rear bumper. It can be closed with the button on the tailgate or using the same “kick” method as long as you have your keys on you as it closes when you walk away.

Due to the third row seats and having people sitting close to the tailgate Volkswagen doesn’t allow remotely closing the boot which it does in other models.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

Buying a car during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a bit more stressful than usual, but it was still fairly easy to find and buy this car locally. We had to wait a few weeks for it to arrive on the ship from Mexico, and the only discount I got was via a corporate programme where I saved about $8000 off RRP.

Had I not been able to do that I would have been paying RRP since these cars are in high demand and there are still parts shortages.

The main issue we had with the purchase was since we were buying the first car in a new model year (MY21) sight unseen. I was nervous about the changes that were made in the model year. I was right to be nervous as on delivery our car didn’t have adaptive lane guidance nor traffic jam/emergency assist, despite the dealer assuring us it was included both verbally and in writing.

(CarExpert has put the customer in touch with Volkswagen Australia, which is following up – Ed.)

As soon as we’d taken delivery of the car the dealer wiped their hands clean of this and didn’t want to do anything about it. It is possible to enable adaptive lane guidance via an OBD11 device however this has both costs and risks to the consumer and shouldn’t be needed as this feature is standard on previous model year Allspace models and current model year SWB Tiguans from Germany.

We’ve had two services since purchasing it, the complimentary one which is really just a check that everything looks okay, and the first service. No real issues besides an anchor strap in the boot which keeps coming loose.

The Volkswagen fixed price service programme no longer includes roadside assistance so you need to pay extra for that on top of the fixed priced services which I thought was a bit of a con considering it used to be included. You can get around this by pre-purchasing your services and saving a bit of money in both the service costs and not having to pay for roadside assistance as it’s included in the service pack pricing.

We bought the service pack at the time of the first service as once the car has had a paid service you can no longer buy the packs and we there was no discount or incentive for us to buy one with the car (it actually would have cost more as you pay stamp duty during the purchase).

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

We feel the Tiguan Allspace is a good-looking, comfortable safe family car that offers the additional flexibility of two extra occasional seats – or an extra large boot when not in use for a reasonable price if you can find one.

I’m not sure why there aren’t more petrol vehicles in this 5+2 category – the only ones we could find were the Mazda CX-8 (only available in diesel if you want AWD), the Skoda Kodiaq which is limited to the 140TSI engine and just as expensive as our car when I looked at them, the Mitsubishi Outlander with a CVT that I really don’t like, and the very expensive Mercedes-Benz GLB.

The Skoda Kodiaq was the other shortlisted car but since I couldn’t get a corporate discount and there was even less stock of the Kodiaq vehicles around it was going to cost more despite it having a smaller capacity engine than our car, fake leather and missing a few things like the tray tables.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

The engine does require at least 95 RON PULP and so far it has consumed on average over 10L/100km which is higher than previous cars we’ve owned.

The engine is brisk and acceleration is smooth and it’s fun to drive with the turbo charged petrol motor which can make a nice sound when pushed to its limits.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

The safety technology includes blind-spot/rear cross traffic alerts with good visible indication on the inside of the mirrors (not within the mirrors like previous cars we’ve owned) as well as adaptive cruise control, AEB with pedestrian detection, automatic parking, lane changing assistance and parking sensors.

The only thing it’s missing from previous cars we’ve owned (and from the previous MY20 Allspace) is adaptive lane guidance which keeps the car centred in the lane and emergency assist. I am not sure why this was removed from the MY21 model as I’ve found it useful in the past for long distance highway driving.

It is possible to enable via OBD11 (along with allowing undertaking when on ACC) but there’s some costs and risks in doing this.

The car has adaptive dynamic LED headlights (auto high beam) but this needs to be activated each time you’re in the car instead of just coming on with the automatic headlights. Same for the climate control air filtering – you need to enable it each time, which is somewhat irritating.

The interior technology includes wireless Apple CarPlay (and wireless Android Auto which we haven’t used as we don’t have an Android phone) which is great as there’s no cables required and it connects straight away as soon as you unlock the car.

The only downside is there’s no wireless charging so on longer trips we use the USB-C ports to charge anyway. There’s two illuminated USB-C ports in the front and one in the rear – all high power, and all capable of “fast charging” our phones. The car has a digital cockpit which is nice as you can customise it to show you relevant information – it can display song and album art from CarPlay but unfortunately can’t display Waze maps on the digital cockpit.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

The drive is brisk yet comfortable, helped by the adaptive chassis control, progressive steering and the 162TSI turbo petrol engine. There’s no DSG hesitation I’ve seen in some older Volkswagen cars, and the grip feels very solid even during rapid acceleration on its 20 inch low profile Pirelli tyres.

There are numerous driving modes and a fully customisable option – I prefer soft suspension, tight steering and the regular gear ratios. There are paddles on the steering wheel which switches the car to fully manual mode in that it’ll hold out on gears until you change once you start using it.

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Ratings
Overall6.9
Show Breakdown
Technology 5
Reliability 9
Ride & Handling 8
Price & Features 9
Purchase & Aftercare 3
Performance & Economy 5
Ownership Experience 9
Top Line Specs
9L
162kW
205g
5 ★
View all specifications