Volkswagen’s sole seven-seater, the Tiguan Allspace, has had a refresh – preparing it to take on an onslaught of increasingly intimidating rivals.
- Fuel economy on test was impressive across the range, particularly in the diesel
- Engine and transmission are a refined, well-balanced pairing
- Competitive entry price with a solid level of equipment from base
- Some key safety and driver assistance tech is missing due to semiconductor shortages
- At higher speeds and around corners, you can feel its size
- Infotainment system lacks the wow factor of premium (and even some mass-market) rivals
Bigger than a regular Tiguan, but smaller than a Touareg, the seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace landed in Australia in 2018 ready and willing to tick plenty of buyer boxes.
It now accounts for 41 per cent of all Tiguans sold in Australia and, four years into its career, the German brand’s only three-row SUV in Australia has received a well-deserved midlife facelift.
As part of this makeover, the Tiguan Allspace has received an exterior styling refresh, updates to its onboard safety, driver assistance tech and infotainment, and a reconfigured range designed to better serve the consumer.
The line-up now consists of three variants with four drivelines, each of them all-wheel drive except the base grade with 110TSI engine.
The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace range opens with the entry-level Life, progressing to the mid-spec Elegance, and topping out with the flagship R-Line. Previously, the R-Line trim was merely an optional trim package, but its popularity prompted VW to make it a standalone model grade for the new model-year.
Starting at the bottom end of the line-up, the Life grade is offered with either a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine (110TSI) with six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, or a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine (132TSI) with seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, the all-wheel-drive Elegance and R-Line grades are available with either a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine (162TSI), or a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine (147TDI) – both paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Given the 162TSI has historically been the Tiguan’s best-selling engine, and the R-Line has long been its most popular trim option, Volkswagen predicts the R-Line with 162TSI powertrain will be its volume seller.
As such, I’ll focus predominantly on the petrol flagship for the purposes of this review (although I was also able to drive the Life 110TSI and R-Line 147TDI at launch to provide a point of comparison).
After all, it’s likely the top-of-the-line Tiguan Allspace is VW’s best bet for competing in the increasingly cutthroat seven-seat SUV space, where premium players clash with mass-market mainstays and rivals offer electrified powertrains, cutting-edge tech and serious luxury appeal.
|Key details||2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace R-Line 162TSI|
|Price (MSRP)||$60,190 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Atlantic Blue|
|Options||Metallic paint – $900|
|Rivals||Skoda Kodiaq | Peugeot 5008 | Kia Sorento|
Needless to say, Volkswagen is so confident in the spaciousness of its three-row offering that it’s part of the model name.
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The Allspace measures 22cm longer than the normal-wheelbase Tiguan and, as a result, also offers an added 85L of boot space.
With the third row flat, the boot is a cavernous 700L – bigger than the Hyundai Santa Fe or Toyota Kluger – but is reduced to 230L with the rear seats in play. The latter is enough to squeeze in a small set of golf clubs lying on its side.
Helpfully, the cargo blind can stow away under a raised section of flooring for added room. Under the floor, there’s also a space-saver spare across all variants.
Due to the global semiconductor shortage, an electric tailgate, which was previously standard, has been made an optional extra.
Head room in the front and middle rows is excellent, with plenty of clearance even for taller drivers and ample elbow, knee and legroom throughout. An optional glass sunroof for $2100 would presumably improve this sense of spaciousness further.
It’s in the third row where things start to get cramped. While the middle row offers a 60/40 split on the base and a tilt and slide function to improve ease of access to the rear, it still requires some flexibility to squeeze in.
Once you’re in situ, adults will likely find their knees feel like they’re at their chin and their heads are grazing the roof. It’s really only a temporary solution or something fun for the kids, rather than a full-time seven-seater.
A lack of air vents back to the third row could also have you feeling claustrophobic pretty quickly.
While the Life grade boasts fabric seats with manual adjustment – which are overly soft and lack support – the higher grades receive leather seats with electric adjustment, which I found far more comfortable and easier to configure into my ideal driving position.
Heated seats in the front and middle row, plus ventilated seats in the front row, are standard in the Elegance and R-Line grades.
Storage throughout the cabin is impressive. The door bins in the front and middle rows are particularly huge, while the passenger-side glovebox boasts a cooling function to keep snacks chilled in summer, and two drop-down bins in the ceiling are a secret stow-away spot for extra bits and pieces.
In the grades without the 10-speaker sound system, there’s even a large hidden compartment at the top of the dash. It’s a clever use of space, plus I couldn’t help but think all the secret spots are fun for kids playing hide and seek with Mum and Dad’s odds and ends.
Child seats are accommodated in the middle row with ISOFIX anchorage points on the two outboard seats, plus three top-tether points on the back of the middle row.
While some of its more expensive competitors – namely the Mercedes-Benz GLB and Audi Q7 – offer ISOFIX points in the third row, the Tiguan Allspace does not and you’d be hard-pressed to even fit a child seat, let alone install one.
In summary, the cabin is extremely comfortable and spacious for first- and second-row passengers, and adequate for third-row dwellers. The boot is huge and, even with the third row in play, it will suffice for most cargo-carrying duties.
While the Elegance and R-Line grades were comfortable and well-appointed, I’d describe them more as modern and stylish than luxurious or sumptuous, which could count against the Tiguan Allspace when directly compared with luxury competitors.
|2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace R-Line 162TSI|
|Boot volume||230L to third row
700L to second row
1775L to first row
Infotainment and Connectivity
Infotainment in the Tiguan Allspace is managed by an 8.0-inch screen in the Life grade, and a 9.2-inch unit in the higher grades. With infotainment screens increasingly looking more like wide-screen televisions, the VW’s unit certainly feels on the smaller side.
It lacks wow factor like the units in BMW, Mercedes-Benz or now even Hyundai and Kia cars, but is perfectly functional, which is arguably far more important than looks.
A wireless phone charger is now standard across the range, as is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This pairs with a digital cockpit in front of the driver, offering live trip information and a digital speedometer.
If you decide you want a head-up display, that’s available as part of the $2600 Sound & Vision package (which includes a premium sound system), but I’d personally advise against it.
Rather than being projected onto the front windshield, the head-up display appears on a retractable glass panel that I found looked messy and proved distracting on the road. The digital speedometer will more than suffice.
From the Life grade and up, the Allspace receives three-zone climate control with front and rear touch controls that are far easier to use than your usual touch controls thanks to an element of haptic feedback. Although, call me old-fashioned, I’d still prefer regular buttons.
In the R-Line model, these touch buttons extend to the steering wheel controls, which take a while to get the hang of, but are eventually fairly user-friendly.
One of Volkswagen’s major callouts in this Tiguan Allspace facelift is the introduction of the ‘Travel Assist’ system, which it describes as “level 2 semi-autonomous driving technology”.
I baulk at any reference to ‘autonomy’ in cars because, while not inaccurate, it tends to suggest the driver can tune out to a degree and let the car do the work.
In reality, Volkswagen’s system combines active cruise control with lane-trace assist – meaning it will maintain a set speed, slow down and speed up according to the vehicle in front and keep you centred in your lane, even in the absence of clear lane markings.
It works well, but certainly requires stringent driver supervision – in one instance, a car pulled in front of me with little warning and the system was perhaps a second slower to respond than my own brain – just enough to get my heart racing.
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace receives a five-star safety rating from ANCAP and was last tested in 2016. It scored well for adult occupant protection, receiving 96 per cent, recording 80 per cent for child occupant protection, and 68 per cent for both the pedestrian protection and safety assist categories.
However, it does mean that across the range you’ll miss out on three key safety features: blind-spot monitoring, which informs you if there’s someone in your car’s blind-spot; a rear cross-traffic alert, which warns of approaching vehicles when you’re reversing out of a driveway or parking space; and proactive occupant protection, which tightens seatbelts in an emergency situation.
Certainly the first two are things I’ve come to expect in a modern car, at least on higher grades, and missing out on them is something of a sacrifice – although buyers will be recompensed appropriately.
The Tiguan Allspace still receives a large number of safety technologies as standard from the base grade, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, lane-departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and fatigue detection, to name a few.
The facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace range kicks off from $44,590 before on-road costs for the Life with 110TSI petrol engine, and tops out at $61,690 before on-road costs for the R-Line with 147TDI diesel engine. You can read more about the pricing here.
The only paint shade that doesn’t cost extra is Pure White, while paints that have a metallic or pearl effect are an extra $900, and the red is an extra $1200.
Across the range, the larger Tiguan is roughly $2000–$3000 more expensive than its normal-wheelbase counterpart.
Impressively, the Tiguan Allspace range actually offers a lower entry price than many of its key competitors, including the Toyota Kluger, Peugeot 5008, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe.
Of course, with the Tiguan’s various options packs and premium paint, that price gap can be quickly filled, but the base variant’s perks – including wireless charging, electric folding mirrors, front and rear sensors, and the full safety suite – make it a well-equipped entry point.
Interestingly, the most expensive engine in the range – the 147TDI – also happens to be the most economical. VW claims 6.2L/100km of fuel consumption on a combined cycle for the diesel, and on test I recorded 6.6L/100km in driving that skewed urban.
The other two engines were also fairly economical for a large SUV. I recorded 7.9L/100km in the 110TSI and 8.2L/100km in the 162TSI on test – both more or less in line with Volkswagen’s claimed figures.
Worth noting, however, is that Volkswagen stipulates a minimum of 95-octane premium unleaded petrol for the Tiguan Allspace, so you’d hope you’re not visiting the petrol station too regularly.
|At a glance||2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace R-Line 162TSI|
|Warranty||Five years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1650 (3 years), $2950 (5 years)|
All Volkswagen cars receive a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, which is more or less the industry standard.
You can purchase a pre-paid servicing plan, offering either three years of coverage for $1650 or five years of coverage for $2950, which works out to roughly $550–590 per visit.
For comparison, mass-market brands like Mitsubishi or Hyundai charge an average of $300–400 per visit for similarly sized cars.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||8.6L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||8.2L/100km|
|Fuel type||95-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||60L|
Straight off the bat, I could feel the Tiguan Allspace’s extra size when taking bends at speed or manoeuvring in cramped city streets.
The 11.9m turning circle means manoeuvring can require forward-planning and strategising, and I was unable to complete a couple of U-turns that I’d normally expect to manage with ease.
The steering feel is light, which makes the car easy to handle around town, but paired with a slightly top-heavy feeling from the increased size can mean the car feels somewhat unwieldy around corners.
This is improved upon in the R-Line grades, which receive progressive steering as standard – meaning the steering becomes more responsive and direct at speed, requiring less input for maximum response.
While the 110TSI engine offers adequate power for driving around town, it felt sluggish going up hills for sustained periods, or when planting my foot to merge onto freeways.
Still, I was surprised by how the base engine’s 110kW and 250Nm outputs were more than enough for most of my city driving.
The 147TDI was an impressively refined diesel engine, with even-handed power delivery and a substantial amount of torque (400Nm) making it ideal for towing.
However, getting behind the wheel of the R-Line with 162TSI, it’s easy to see why it’s expected to be the volume seller. The power output is perfectly matched to the car’s size and there’s no turbo lag from a standstill, nor any struggle going up hills.
The 162TSI engine pairs beautifully with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and power delivery is smooth and measured but still efficient and immediate.
While the Tiguan Allspace feels supple and cushioned over most road surfaces, even erring on the side of wobbly and wafty in the lower-spec grades, I actually found that the R-Line offered a harder ride than the other variants.
Potholes and harder road edges resulted in reverberation in the cabin and a loud clunking noise – possibly as a result of the larger standard-fit 20-inch alloy wheels.
Large windows all around mean visibility is abundant, but keep in mind that the blind spot at the C-pillar isn’t accounted for due to the temporary lack of blind-spot monitoring. Additionally, using the rear sunblinds can diminish side visibility substantially.
|Key details||2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace R-Line 162TSI|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power||162kW @ 4300–6200rpm|
|Torque||350Nm @ 1600–4200rpm|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||91kW/t|
|Tow rating||2500kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
It might not be the sexiest or sportiest car in the Volkswagen range, but there’s a Tiguan Allspace for everyone.
The seven-seater VW certainly faces some tough competition in a crowded market populated by both premium and mass-market rivals.
Some of those rivals offer lower price points, hybrid power and more cabin space – but the Tiguan Allspace certainly warrants a test drive thanks to its solid fuel economy, well-specified base model, and polished behind-the-wheel feel.
The less powerful entry-level variants offer a solid level of standard safety and technology kit for a reasonable price, while a workhorse diesel engine provides towing power and excellent fuel economy.
Meanwhile, the R-Line 162TSI is a well-powered, well-equipped offering that isn’t quite in the big leagues of other premium players, but is able to provide a safe, comfortable and flexible place for a growing family.
The loss of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and standard power tailgate across the range is something of a blow, but that’s the state of play in the automotive industry, and VW Australia deserves points for being upfront about the issue and providing proactive solutions to customers.
Prospective buyers will also be happy to know that, according to Volkswagen, the updated Allspace is likely to arrive in Australia from August with solid stock levels – particularly in the 110TSI, 132TSI and 147TDI drivelines.
And given the current climate, it might be wise for Volkswagen to change the name to the Tiguan Allstock to capitalise.
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