Ahhh the bloody Awful VW Tiguan. There isn’t fundamentally anything wrong with the bloody awful VW Tiguan. So why do I think it’s bloody awful? The compact-crossover size SUV is well built. Indeed I dare say VW build quality traverses into premium brand territory. The engines are relatively refined, both diesel and petrol. Entry-level models afford you a decent amount of standard spec and of course, VW offers a menu of model trims to suit all budgets. And don’t be fooled by the compact-crossover tag, it’s fairly roomy up front and rear passenger space can accommodate even unusually tall persons.
And, without going into specifics, the boot space is a good size, the rear split-folding bench seats can be moved forward or back and when fully folded you get a decent amount of cargo space. It feels more mid-size SUV than compact. If you are an SUV type person, the bloody awful Tiguan is a bargain compared to the overpriced BMW 1 Series. But after 14,565 miles, why do I think it, the Tiguan, is so bloody awful?
I have to admit the Tiguan really bugged the hell out of me from the very beginning before I even opened the door. There is just something about the exterior design that screams middle-class. In my mind, the typical Tiguan buyer is often loaded with crack cocaine by night and fuelled by Methamphetamines by day. This cocktail fuels the morning school run, the ethically sourced Starbucks drink, the morning Yoga class, the faux environmentalism, anti-immigrant, get Brexit done, permanently vegan type individual.
I really don’t fit that successful buyer profile. And then there is the interior. Nothing fundamentally wrong with it. Indeed, the build quality is very high, better than a Mercedes, any Mercedes. The interior design is on the conservative side, it is ergonomically functional in the same way as opening a tin of beans. All in all, the interior relays the feeling one is sitting inside a premium van. And here’s the bizarre twist, the Tiguan also feels like a car from behind the steering wheel. But anyway, the seat material bugged the hell out of me, it feels cheap and cheerless. I would say spending time in a gulag would feel perceptibly better. Yes, you have VW’s cost-centric matrix of hard plastics and soft plastics, but I could never get the van feeling out of this SUV.
Another thing that really bugged me was the steering wheel. Specifically the location of the button for the Bluetooth telephone, it is awkwardly placed and difficult to access when you receive a call on the move. The button is placed too high and should have been placed lower for easier and more intuitive access. Admittedly this is a first-world problem but after 14k miles it continually bugged the hell out of me. But hey, let’s face it, that proper middle-class, small business owning, cocaine and methamphetamine consuming, Starbucks drinking, Yoga class attendee, school run type individual, will not care about these small pointless details as much as I do. And I really do not care for the Tiguan at all.
You may be reading this and thinking, this review is as useful as contracting Coronavirus. Let me make this clear. This isn’t a review it’s a complaint about the bloody awful VW Tiguan. However, I can live with the Tiguan’s bloody awfulness. Insofar as I can live with the 58mpg combined economy the 2.0-litre diesel returned. The Tiguan is certainly cheap to run, but overtime I could never wash the bloody awfulness away.
Even the colour bugged me, Urano Grey, what the fuck kind of name is Urano? It sounds so depressing. Why couldn’t they use a funkier-sounding name… like funky grey, or event horizon grey? But all of the above are mere starters to the main course, the diabolical ride and handling. This is where the bloody awful Tiguan really ran out of excuses.
No matter the condition of the road surface, the standard ride is generally bad. You know when motoring journalists say the smaller the alloys the better the comfort, it’s bullshit. The bloody awful Tiguan’s 18-inch alloys have a generous amount of tyre sidewall and the comfort levels are… truly bloody awful. There is very little comfort to be had if at all. And the remaining small amount of comfort levels are exacerbated by the stiff suspension setup. Honestly, the ride and handling are comparable to leaf suspension. Low bumps, high-speed bumps, the zombie-handling, the bloody awful Tiguan’s driving dynamics excels in no area. And for these reasons alone I never got to like the Tiguan. I hated driving every bloody awful mile. And I would also like to add the lane and steering assist are outdated and incompetently implemented. My advice is to deactivate both functionalities.
It’s almost as if VW has paid too much attention to the opinions of influential motoring journalists who prize good handling and snappy driving dynamics above any other consideration. I have read the reviews and mostly they say great ride and handling etc. But I never experienced any of the great ride/comfort or handling dynamics. Either motoring journalists are exaggerating the Tiguan’s abilities so as not to offend VW, or they are doing VW a ‘favor’ by providing unnecessary praise where none is merited. Such sociopathic platitudes make great review copy and positive headlines can influence sales. And let’s face it, VW will remember the positive coverage when they decide where next to deploy their lucrative marketing and advertising resources.
Modern cars, today, at this moment are better made than ever before, the exception being Dacia, Renault, and Nissan. At the end of the day, ride and handling are just part of the equation. Where the Tiguan failed to win me over was with the dour comfort levels. The general ride comfort was simply unsettling, bouncy and jittery, every single goddamn mile. And that’s the issue I have with the Tiguan, I know VW could have done better. But no, they wanted to please a small group of elite motoring journalists at the expense of my mental health.
There is no Top Gear-esq epiphany moment here, you know after a long haul challenge, whereupon I pat the steering wheel and say “you know what Tiguan, after 14,000 miles you and I bonded”. Thankfully I am no longer bound to the bloody awful Tiguan and cannot wait until the post-coronavirus day arrives when it is finally collected and driven away.