Larger SUV gets seven-seat option
- Longer body means more space inside
- Huge boot in five-seat configuration
- Optional room for seven
- Skoda Kodiaq is cheaper
- Third row seats for small children only
- Pricing and specs still TBC
The Volkswagen Tiguan has established itself as a hugely successful mid-sized . In a market crowded with five-seat rivals such as the Renault Kadjar, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai, the German alternative is a vaguely premium offering. The arrival of the Allspace version extends its appeal by adding length and the option of a third row of seats - just like the lower-priced Skoda Kodiaq.
In a nutshell, the Allspace gets a 109mm stretch between the front and rear axle lines, and it's longer overall by 215mm. This means there's room for an optional additional pair of seats in the extended boot.
The headlines are that the luggage area has been expanded to 760 litres with the front two rows of seats in place, but in full van mode, loaded to the roof, it will swallow up to 1,920 litres. The standard Tiguan offers 615 and 1,655 litres respectively.
There's also 60mm more legroom for passengers behind the front seats, so even in five-seater mode the Allspace is a roomier vehicle than the standard Tiguan.
Unlike the seven-seat Renault Grand Scenic, which looks considerably different to its five-seat cousin, the Allspace hides its additional bulk very successfully. Volkswagen says it bridges the gap in the range between the Tiguan and the Touareg.
Extra bulk has been successfully disguised
The Tiguan Allspace might be bigger, but it doesn't look it. Even the entry-level version rides on 17-inch wheels, and some clever styling tricks have also been employed. So, it has a different bonnet line, side window shapes and a new set of corporate-looking headlamps.
You can also specify it in faux-off road form. The Tiguan Allspace 'off-road package' gets you chunky restyled bumpers, and a slightly different ride height. Given that it's available with optional four-wheel drive, it will at least back up those hunky looks with some genuine ability.
And in fact, VW is predicting that its 4Motion four-wheel drive system will feature on what's projected to be the most popular model - the 2.0-litre TDI 150hp SE Nav six-speed manual.
A wide variety of engines and tech
It will be offered with six TSI and TDI engines, ranging from 150hp to 240hp. The three petrol engines are all turbocharged, and will be offered in 150, 180 and 220hp forms, while the three turbodiesels develop 150, 190 and 240hp. All are Euro 6 compliant, with the diesels needing AdBlue.
Model designations are still to be confirmed, although even the entry-level model comes fully equipped with air conditioning, leather steering wheel, and LED tail lights. Safety equipment includes:
- Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
- Lane Assist
- Front Assist with City Emergency Braking function
- Pedestrian Monitoring
What's the VW Tiguan Allspace like to drive?
We've had a chance to sample two 2.0-litre TDI diesels so far - one with 150hp and the other with twin turbochargers, making 240hp. VW is expecting roughly 95% of Allspaces to be diesel. They were both installed with the same seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
The former diesel engine is set to be the best-selling in the UK, albeit coupled to a manual gearbox rather than our automatic. Our first impression is that it's extremely noisy - especially from outside the car at idle.
However, it drives perfectly well when on the move, and Volkswagen's build quality is such that you don't hear much grumble from the motor when on the move.
We much preferred the 240hp diesel, which feels loads punchier to drive as you'd expect with so much extra performance. It's also likely to be a lot more expensive, however, and only available on top-spec trims to boot.
How about the handling?
There's perhaps a very slight difference in the Allspace's handling - the extra distance between front and rear axles means it feels more solid and composed, especially when negotiating mid-corner bumps.
Our test cars so far have all had adaptive suspension fitted, which offers a decent contrast between softer Comfort and firmer Sport settings. However, it's also impossible at this point to say what it's like without, and thus it's difficult to recommend. We suspect this won't prove a particularly popular option, however.
The Parkers Verdict
For those looking for a mid-sized seven-seat SUV, the Tiguan Allspace is a interesting proposition. Its looks belie its additional practicality, and in many ways, it's a great option for those who want a seven seater that doesn't look like an, er, seven seater.
We don't know how much it costs yet, but are confident that the Skoda Kodiaq is going to be cheaper and more practical. The Allspace's desirability, therefore, depends on how much you want to own a Volkswagen…
Expect it to do well it its market niche, then.
Keeping checking back to this page for the full VW Tiguan Allspace review as more information is released ahead of the official opening of order books in December 2017.