Jonathan Crouch dies
In the form of the second-generation "AD/BW" range launched in 2016, Volkswagen's Tiguan mid-size SUV has proven to be a much more sophisticated thing - as needed to handle a wide range of crossovers and full-size SUVs. . rivals. Sharp looks go hand in hand with sharp dynamics and more advanced 4WD, making this car a more reliable tool when the going gets tough. There's also a stylish cabin that makes this car feel a bit more complete than many of its main rivals.
It's easy to forget that for a long time the Tiguan was the only SUV offered by Volkswagen. This is one of the reasons why the first-generation "5N" series Tiguan sold and sold well, with over 2.8 million units produced in production from 2007 to 2015. By then, the second-generation "AD/BW series" model had been launched in 2016, but Volkswagen joined the program by expanding its SUV lineup and making the MK2 Tiguan available in standard and long-wheelbase "Allspace" versions. This resulted in a range of derivative models intended to offer variety for almost everyone, from customers who just wanted something resembling an SUV to customers who needed to go off-road on a regular basis. It was a complex task that the Tiguan MK2 handled quite well. Here we take a used buyer's perspective on the original versions of this second-generation "AD/BW" pre-facelift car - in its standard bodywork. It was sold until mid-2020, when it received a facelift and major update.
What did you get
Volkswagen's head of design, Klaus Bischoff, describes the appearance of the second-generation Tiguan as "very passionate". Perhaps - in a very German way. It's definitely an intricately shaped thing, cut like a diamond with super sharp cuts and folds. In the MK2 version, this car was taller than before, 60mm longer and 30mm wider, although the height was reduced by 33mm for a lower, sleeker stance. More important, of course, are the things you can't see, notably the stiffer, more refined foundation of the Golf-style MQB platform that lies beneath the precise, carefully sculpted lines. This high-tech chassis was fundamental to creating this slightly larger, much lighter and more advanced car that, as we shall see, also uses its interior space more efficiently than its predecessor. You'll certainly appreciate it behind the wheel, but what becomes even more apparent when you sit in the hip-high seats is that this Tiguan has topped the ranks of the Qashqai-class models it once competed with, and now can deliver the right deal in premium quality. You'll also notice the massive advance in media connectivity that this second-generation model brought over the MK1 Tiguan - the whole 'cool, quiet and connected' thing from the commercials. The 8-inch multimedia screen dominates the center console on all models - in some cars it can be found upgraded to the "Discover Navigation" system, which was fitted as standard on several variants and optional on lower versions. Whichever screen you find, the touchscreen works effectively with the usual functions of DAB radio, Bluetooth phone and car information, and is enhanced by Volkswagen's intelligent "App-Connect" setup on virtually all trim levels. It is the starting point for the "Car-Net" branded connectivity system and the main tool for transferring the best functions from your smartphone to your Tiguan via the "Apple CarPlay", "Android Auto" and MirrorLink systems. Even smarter is the potential Volkswagen designers have created to bring much of this information directly into view with an option that many original owners fitted - the "Active Information Display". We're getting used to this sort of thing across brands now, a 12.3-inch TFT display that completely replaces conventional dashboard dials with an almost infinitely customizable array of crystal-clear virtual images. The rear seat is the area of the car where you'll most appreciate the benefits of this MK2 model's extra 26mm of interior length - there's 29mm more knee room than the previous model, and flexibility for further upgrades with the sliding rear seat for use. And the shoe? As the loading frame has been lowered on this MK2 model, loading and unloading bulky loads is a bit easier. The tailgate is lifted to reveal a spacious boot of 520 litres.
What to look for
Most of the Tiguan MK2 owners we surveyed were very happy with their cars, but there are inevitably some who have had issues worth knowing about. We encountered several problems with the DSG automatic transmission. Another owner reported a faulty electrical system and several faulty sensors as well as problems with the GPS system. In addition, check the usual things - interior damage caused by children, scratched rims, etc. Tiguans are hardly used off-road, but check the underside of the 4MOTION variants just in case. And of course insist on a fully stamped service history. There have also been quite a few recalls over the life of this original MK2 model, so make sure the car you're looking at has visited the correct dealer for repairs. Models manufactured between August and November 2016 were recalled (problem with front seatbacks); for Tiguans manufactured between October 2018 and May 2019 (low engine torque issues); for Tiguan manufactured in February 2019 (cracks on the front left seat frame); for cars manufactured from May to October 2016 (problems with airbags and seat belt tensioners); for cars manufactured from May 2016 to November 2018 (problems with the towbar locking mechanism); for cars manufactured in January 2018 (brake disc in front of the crack); for Tiguans manufactured in October 2019 (problem with fuel tank wall thickness); and models manufactured between May 2016 and June 2019 (roof spoiler issue)
[Based on 2017 2.0 TDI 115PS Diesel] An air filter costs £7 to £20, an oil filter £5 to £8 and a fuel filter £9 to £22, although a more expensive brand will set you back up to £28. A water pump can cost anywhere from £102 to £175. The brake rotors we came across cost between £65 and £140, while more expensive branded rotors cost between £223 and £257. Rear discs cost between £60 and £167. fittings. Front brake pads cost between £25 and £68 a set, but more expensive brands can cost up to almost £112. Rear brake pads range from 23 to 40 pounds. The alternator costs around £162, the starter between £110 and £158; the thermostat costs £13-13; a wiper blade costs £13-26; the headlamp costs around £168; the rear light costs around £127.
On the road
The dynamics of this Tiguan have been positively improved in this MK2 model by fitting a lighter, stiffer, high-tech MQB platform, which allowed engineers to reduce the body without the need for an uncomfortable, overly harsh ride. Buyers in this country prefer to order this car with 4MOTION four-wheel drive, so Volkswagen has refined this system and added a "4MOTION Active Control" configuration that allows the four-wheel drive to be tailored to more specific needs. conditions both on and off the beaten track. It is one of the things that makes this car surprisingly good off-road. Under the hood, the range is mainly based on 2.0-liter TDI engines, with buyers choosing between 115, 150, 190 or 240 horsepower. Most customers choose the mid-range 150 hp variant, which is available from new with or without 4MOTION or DSG automatic transmission. Apparently ditching both and sticking with 2WD and manual gearbox will give the best efficiency figures, which for the 150 PS 2.0 TDI variant delivers 57.6mpg combined and 125g/km CO2 (both NEDC figures). Should you have a petrol model, there are several 1.4-litre TSI options and a 2.0-litre TSI with 180 hp.
It's not hard to see why the Tiguan is so popular in its sector. There is potential to get all the quality of a premium mid-size SUV at the price of a competitive budget brand. You get the asphalt handling of a Qashqai-style crossover, but at the same time almost all the off-road capabilities of something better. And the whole package includes the enduring charm of the Volkswagen badge – and the lasting resale values that come with it. All in all, the bottom line is that this product is good enough to do its extensive and very tough job. . It says a lot that Volkswagen's claim that this MK2 Tiguan has, at least to some extent, redefined what a car of this type should be really says a lot. We cannot pay a higher compliment.