New Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line review – a rewarding SUV - Engine and gearbox

VW’s best-selling SUV is competent and refined, but it lacks its own clear personality

Evo rating
Price
from £23,255
  • Sophisticated feel, base models look classy, satisfying to drive
  • Petrol engine feels more like a diesel, interior isn’t as premium as price tag might suggest

The mainstay of the Tiguan’s engine line-up is the four-cylinder turbocharged 2-litre diesel. It can be had with a range of outputs: 113bhp, 148bhp, 187bhp and 237bhp. The 148bhp version gives you the most amount of drivetrain options, that version being coupled with either front- or four-wheel drive, and either a manual or DSG dual-clutch auto. The two more powerful diesel alternatives are four-wheel drive and DSG only, while the 113bhp engine is two-wheel drive and manual only.

As well as the 2-litre diesel, there’s the choice of two petrol engines, both four-cylinder turbocharged units; a 1.4-litre with either 123bhp or 147bhp, and a 2-litre 178bhp unit. Like the range of diesels, the power dictates what sort of drivetrain each is available with – the 123bhp 1.4 comes with front-wheel drive and a manual transmission, while the 147bhp petrol is available with whatever drivetrain you fancy. The 2-litre is only combined with the four-wheel drive and DSG.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Despite diesel being a dirty word currently, especially when discussing VWs, an oil-burner engine is still the most popular, and for some, most fitting in an SUV. This might explain why VW’s 2-litre petrol engine motor feels so much like a diesel when powering the Tiguan. It might have a 6000rpm red line, but it can’t be encouraged to spin any faster than 5500rpm as the gearbox automatically shifts up at that point. It also has the same torque-rich mid-range that you’d find in a diesel engine, encouraging you to change up and keep the revs around 3000rpm to relish in a wave of grunt. That is the only really satisfying thing about it, though, as the noise it makes is disappointingly similar to a four-cylinder diesel.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019