Medium SUVs featuring seven seats offer big bang for your buck, and the VW Tiguan Allspace was once a fine option, but is it too dated in 2023?
- Premium-looking interior
- Refined ride quality and soft suspension
- Surprisingly frugal on fuel
- Lacklustre powertrain
- Transmission can be slow to respond
- Unrated safety by ANCAP
Medium SUVs offering seven seats, like the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Allspace, meet a perfect intersect between a lower price of entry (than a traditional seven-seat large SUV) and a practical interior with maximised space.
Volkswagen has been at the game for a few years now, with the seven-seat Tiguan Allspace battling it out with seven-seat rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Honda CR-V.
Off the back of our seven-seat SUV Megatest, we spent some time in the mid-spec Tiguan 132TSI Allspace to see how it best serves the Australian market.
How much does the Volkswagen Tiguan cost in Australia?
The Volkswagen Tiguan range of SUVs begins at $42,490 before on-road costs, but for a seven-seat version you’ll be paying a $2000 premium over that amount. The car we’ve got is a mid-specification 132TSI Life variant costing $48,490 before ORCs.
Two options packages are available and both are selected on our car – the $5600 Luxury Package (which adds comfort sports seats with Vienna leather, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, lumbar adjustment, electric seat adjustment) and a $600 kick-sensor electric tailgate.
Our car was also painted in the $900 Pyrite Silver metallic.
The 132TSI is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that outputs 132kW/320Nm. This comes mated to an all-wheel drivetrain and it’s matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Key specification highlights include a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, rain-sensing wipers, tri-zone climate control, sat-nav and digital radio, adaptive cruise control, LED tail-lights, and a nifty detachable torch in the boot.
|Key details||2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI|
|Price||$48,490 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Pyrite Silver|
|Options||Luxury Package – $5600
– Vienna leather sports seats
– Heated front seats
– Panoramic sunroof
– Lumbar and electric seat adjustment
Premium paint – $900
Kick-sensor power tailgate – $600
|Price as tested||$55,590 plus on-road costs|
|Drive-away price||$57,445 (Sydney)|
|Rivals||Honda CR-V | Mazda CX-8 | Nissan X-Trail|
How much space does the Volkswagen Tiguan have inside?
With the light and airy-feeling Storm Grey leather upholstery, the Tiguan Allspace’s cabin feels more premium than you’d expect from the brand. It’s matched by grey accents to the lower dashboard, door cards, and on the headlining.
The panoramic sunroof allows a wealth of light to enter the cabin and adds to the car’s comfortable amount of front seat space. There’s a good amount of adjustability to manoeuvre into a high-perch driving position.
The seats are cosseting for driver and passenger, while there’s enough side support to keep passengers put through corners.
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To suit the entire seven-strong gang, storage space is well covered throughout the cabin. Most obvious is a pair of cupholders (which fold away for enhanced useability of the cubby) and a small centre console bin sits just behind. Just below the dash is a slot for storing your phone with an integrated wireless phone charger.
Elsewhere you’ve got a lidded storage bin on top of the dash, a sizeable glovebox, and two wide, felt-lined door bins for large bottles. There’s also a pop-out tray next to the headlight switch.
Second-row passengers are well catered for with generous head room, space for legs, and a load of foot room to stretch out in. The second-row bench can tilt and slide, while access to the third row isn’t much of a struggle either. Amenities-wise, the space stocks a USB port, air vents with controls, map pockets, 12-volt power, and a fold-down centre armrest. The bench is comfortable.
The furthermost row is undoubtedly a tight place for adults to sit, but it’s comfy enough for short journeys. On longer journeys, make sure to stick the kids in the third row instead of grandparents.
Boot space is rated at 230L with all seats in place, 700L with the third row folded, and up to 1775L with all seats folded down. There’s a handy torch to detach and use as needed, fold-down latches for the third row, and under the floor is a space-saver spare wheel.
|2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI|
|Boot volume||230L to third row
700L to second row
1775L to first row
Does the Volkswagen Tiguan have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
Handling the infotainment is an 8.0-inch digital display mounted within the central dash, while the driver faces a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
The software is simple to use and skip between functions, thanks in part to shortcuts dotted alongside the screen. The displays are bright and crisp, and navigation maps look great on the infotainment or the cluster.
The Tiguan is one of Volkswagen’s legacy products that continues to use standalone controls for things like air-conditioning. This is very handy for on-the-fly tweaking, and far better than infotainment-based settings that are finicky to use. Unfortunately, these settings are touch-capacitive, which are a bit trickier to use than traditional buttons and dials. Thankfully it’s not the same story for the steering wheel buttons.
Digital radio is offered as standard, as is wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. Where sometimes I bypass the native infotainment system for the familiar and easy CarPlay, I’m more than happy to use the car-based infotainment software inside the Tiguan Allspace.
Is the Volkswagen Tiguan a safe car?
The Australian New Car Assessment Program last safety-tested the Volkswagen Tiguan to a five-star score in 2016. Because this was more than six years ago, the Tiguan has now moved to an unrated status.
It is unclear how the Volkswagen Tiguan would score in 2023, especially against stricter criteria.
|2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI|
What safety technology does the Volkswagen Tiguan have?
Despite it losing its official ANCAP safety score, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is fitted with a complement of active safety measures to help make drivers’ lives easier and to keep occupants safe.
These items include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, Travel Assist semi-autonomous lane-keeping, Park Assist, driver fatigue detection, low-speed Manoeuvre Braking for front and rear, and parking sensors for the front and rear.
How much does the Volkswagen Tiguan cost to maintain?
Volkswagens sold in Australia come with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. They also come with 12 months of roadside assistance, though another 12 months is awarded every time you service the car with VW, up to nine years.
You can save money on servicing by opting for a VW Care Plan package, which bundles either three or five services into an upfront payment. For the three-year Tiguan 132TSI package VW charges $1700, while a five-year package costs $3200.
Compared to pay-as-you-go, this represents a saving of $199 over three years or $783 over five.
An estimate for comprehensive insurance for the Tiguan Allspace comes out to $1163 per year on a comparative quote based on a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
|At a glance||2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI|
|Warranty||Five years, unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1700 (3 years)
$3200 (5 years)
Is the Volkswagen Tiguan fuel-efficient?
Volkswagen suggests the Tiguan Allspace 132TSI Life will return an 8.9L/100km fuel rating on a combined fuel cycle.
My week with the car was predominantly spent on freeways, on a drive up from Geelong to Mansfield and between the office and home. With this in mind, the recording shown on the dash read 7.0L/100km. Comparing this to VW’s 7.3L/100km extra urban claim, this is impressive.
However, the Tiguan must be refuelled with 95-octane fuel, which is more expensive at the pump than regular unleaded.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||8.9L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||7.0L/100km|
|Fuel type||95-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||60L|
What is the Volkswagen Tiguan like to drive?
The 132TSI Life sits smack-bang in the middle of the Tiguan Allspace range between the 110TSI and 162TSI variants. With its 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, outputs total 132kW and 320Nm, which are sent to a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
We recently drove a 110TSI variant as part of our seven-seat SUV Megatest, and the power out of that engine doesn’t feel all too different from the more powerful 132TSI’s experience. You might think with a step-up in engine capacity and outputs it’ll feel a great deal of difference, but the 132TSI Life’s powertrain felt weaker than expectations. It needs a proper prod of the throttle to change down and get moving.
Outputs are fine for suburban duties and getting up to the speed limit, but buyers who desire a bit of power under their right foot will appreciate the top-spec 162TSI engine far more. Comparatively, the 132TSI felt out of its depth on the open road touring and requires prior planning to execute quick overtakes.
That said, the engine is refined and quiet, and the overall cabin ambience at 110km/h on the freeway is impressive. Minimal wind and tyre noise is filtered through to the cabin and the suspension irons out all major road imperfections.
Despite it not being the all-out Tiguan R performance SUV, the Tiguan Allspace felt at home on a set of twisty roads and changes direction keenly. Body control through successive corners is well managed and the steering weight is feelsome, letting you know what grip levels are like underfoot.
Even around town, the Tiguan Allspace is able to traverse speed humps and road joins without letting upset into the cabin, while the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is smooth and doesn’t hesitate at low speeds.
|Key details||2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power||132kW @ 4387–6000rpm|
|Torque||320Nm @ 1500–4387rpm|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|Spare tyre type||Space-saver|
|Tow rating||2500kg braked
Should I buy a Volkswagen Tiguan?
As seven-seat family transport, the Tiguan Allspace is a fine option within its segment. We recently said as much in our seven-seat SUV Megatest.
However, the 132TSI Life variant might not suit the buyers looking for a strong powertrain. It feels marginally more powerful than the entry-level 110TSI, whereas the flagship 162TSI variant represents a substantial boost in outputs. We’d recommend considering one of these two bookends if in the market for a Tiguan Allspace.
Even still, the cabin experience of the 132TSI is spacious and well appointed. Do consider whether the Tiguan ticks all of your required safety boxes, because the Tiguan is unlikely to score as well against newer criteria in 2023.
Though it’s beginning to age in comparison to newer segment rivals, the Tiguan Allspace still offers comfort for the family clan. Try to drive a hard bargain as the model enters runout in anticipation of its successor, the incoming Volkswagen Tayron. As an example, Volkswagen is currently running a $49,990 drive-away deal on the 132TSI Life that ends with the current financial year.