Ian Lamming reflects on the benefits of driving the new VW Tiguan.
DRIVING, particularly when you are alone, provides a great time for reflection, about your family, friends and life in general.
It can also be cathartic when something happens to push life out of the norm and it leaves you troubled. And so it is with the new VW Tiguan in which I travel for the first time to visit my dad who now lives in a home.
It’s tough seeing the man who gave you life reduced to a chair, a Zimmer frame his only form of transport, especially when he was still riding his motorbike at the age of 89. Now 92, his interest in cars and bikes remains but his driving and riding days are over which is sad.
It’s a melancholy drive home then that takes me from home to home and I point the new Tiguan at the Yorkshire Dales to journey’s end in the Lake District. It’s the right decision and very soon my mood begins to lighten. Feeling sorry for myself is a self-indulgence – I can hear my dad tell me to ‘get a grip’ – and instead I feel I have a responsibility to live life to the full.
So how will new Tiguan fair on this serpentine, undulating, commute along the blissful roads of North Yorkshire and Cumbria? Amazingly well is the answer.
At this time of the day the roads are virtually empty leaving the route a personal test track.
Tiguan is a reasonably sized SUV so the view all round is clear and imperious, the perfect place to enjoy the magnificence of Wensleydale and beyond as I head towards a setting sun. The excellent infotainment is Bluetoothed to my smartphone’s Spotify and the combination of dynamic drive and my favourite sounds start to dissipate any semblance of gloom. What had been a fixed smile in the home, a visage of false optimism, becomes genuine joy as a sense of how lucky I am pervades my soul.
The Tiguan’s 1.5 litre petrol is smooth and willing thanks to the turbo which boosts power to 150PS so performance is never lacking and it is happy to punch its way out of myriad Dales bends. The slick DSG gearbox is simply brilliant swapping between its seven cogs with incredible speed, working in harmony with the engine to maximise progress. And given this SUV is for carrying people, in R-line trim it feels very sporty, with supportive seats, quick steering and excellent handling and grip.
On slower sections there’s time to appreciate the interior, particularly the dash which is hi-tech and tactile. There seems to be the choice of touch and swipe or press and click, for those who like to feel their way around the controls.
Virtual dash and the wide touchscreen are surprisingly easy to navigate and show a plethora of information over the 80+ mile journey.
On the outside new Tiguan is typically VW being well proportioned and smart to look at, its aesthetic much closer now to the larger Touareg. The colour, a kind of blue/green petrol hue attracts the attention of passers-by and positive comments galore. It makes such a nice change from white, black and silver.
Journey over, the Tiguan has done an incredible job of not simply transporting me safely home from home but also making me appreciate my lot in life. There’ll come a time when it is my turn to occupy the chair and be transported by Zimmer. But until then the Tiguan is as fine a way to travel as any and I’m sure would be approved of by my dad.
Tiguan R-Line 1.5 TSI 150PS DSG
Engine: 1.5 petrol
0-62mph: 9.2 secs
Top speed: 126mph
Combined MPG: 48.7
Transmission: seven-speed DSG
CO2 g/km: 163