Volkswagen Tiguan: Secret Safety Systems

  • Our Tiguan has a load of safety technology fitted
  • Some are plainly obvious, but many are hidden away
  • Lane Assist, fatigue detection and Sign Assist uncovered

Our VW Tiguan is packed with technology - but while some features are plainly obvious, others hide in the background until you really need them.

Primarily safety focused, these clandestine systems only poke their heads above the parapet when you need them. During normal driving you wouldn’t necessarily even know they were there.

A good example of this is the ‘Lane Assist’ system which comes as a package with cruise control and automatic high beam headlights. As the name suggests, it helps you stay in your lane. It does this by sensing where the white lines on the road are, and then when you stray over them without indicating it’ll gently nudge the steering wheel in the opposite direction to prompt you to stay in your lane.

It’s a clever system which works very well when coupled with cruise control, because when you’re travelling at a constant speed you’re most likely to drop concentration and veer off unintentionally.

You can disable the Lane Assist system through the menu on the dash by using the right-hand buttons on the steering wheel. When it’s in operation you’ll see the icon in the picture above – it’s green when it senses you’re in a lane and orange when you’re not.

Lane Assist is fitted on our car as an optional extra, and costs £740 including the automatic headlights and cruise control.

The next hidden safety feature is the fatigue detection system. This will warn the driver when it detects symptoms of tiredness, such as over-correction of minor steering mistakes. It will flash up with a coffee cup image on the dash and a message telling you to take a break.

Another example is the electric stability control system known as ESC. This prevents the car from skidding off unintentionally, and this became incredibly useful earlier this year when the snow bit hard. I’d been driving down to Heathrow Airport on a Sunday evening and was suddenly caught in a serious snow storm. The road turned white almost instantly, and as I was slowing down I felt the car’s electronics playing their part in keeping me safe. A quick glance down at the dash showed the orange traction control light flashing, and soon enough I was down to a safe crawling speed.

Finally, when talking about safety it’s worth mentioning the '4MOTION' four-wheel drive system Volkswagen uses. This allows for superior traction on less-than-ideal surfaces such as gravel or mud, but also provides assured road-holding and balanced cornering.

One system that’s fitted and isn’t quite so hidden is the Sign Assist function, which reads speed limit signs and keeps them visible just in case you missed them when passing. That should prevent too many points on your licence.

The Tiguan really does make you feel incredibly safe. It’s built well, feels solid to drive and given the extra peace of mind these secret safety systems provide it’s a very appealing prospect for younger families.

Our Tiguan can read road signs and remind you of the speed limit

Total mileage: 9,411 miles

Average mpg: 40.1mpg