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I have discovered a brand new side to the Volkswagen Tiguan. A wicked side that is proof that VW’s big and butch yet thoroughly sophisticated SUV is no dull Jack. To be honest with you lot, I had initially thought that all that talk about its capability to take on any adventure was nothing more than marketing glib. How wrong I was and how happy I am that I was wrong. Why on earth would Volkswagen, the creator of such super capable SUVs as the Touareg, move away from that go-anywhere DNA? They wouldn’t, right? And they haven’t. In fact, the Tiguan is more than capable of playing hooligan when the gent in you decides to roll up those sleeves on a Saturday afternoon and have some wild fun.
The thing with Volkswagen is that it’s German, which also means the Tiguan doesn’t like shouting about itself. That’s for the uncouth, the brash and unsophisticated lot who like to pander to prospects with talk of how incredibly macho they are. Not the Tiguan. Such unpolished manners and utter lack of social graces are beneath this Volkswagen. The Tiguan attracts its owner with its sheer sophistication, an aura of sobriety that would suit his station in life. From its stance to its stature, the Volkswagen Tiguan will always come across as a matured vehicle. Not old, mind you, but matured. That doesn’t mean that it’s dull. It is far from it in fact.
On the road, it’s a delight. That 2-litre TDI turbo-diesel unit puts out a healthy 141bhp, but far more importantly, there is 340Nm of peak torque to be exploited, which is plenty. And to help you exploit all of that there’s VW’s absolutely gobsmackingly wonderful 7-speed DSG. Super quick and ultra responsive, this transmission is the best automatic gearbox you will find in this class. None would argue with that. Moreover this is one of the few SUVs out there with permanent all-wheel drive that helps grip both on and off road. There’s a drive mode selector that allows you to switch between Normal, Snow, Off Road, and Off Road Individual for a highly customised version of Off Road mode. The steering is light but not devoid of feedback. Overall, it’s a driver’s delight. Driving up to Lonavala, the Tiguan vindicates my opinion. It doesn’t fail to make me smile.
But who would be happy with a smile on a weekend when you’re feeling playful? Nah, you want to be grinning. You want to feel alive and excited. So you tug on that gear selector one more time, watch the little display on the instrumentation go from E to S (for Sport) and the fun starts in earnest. Through the twisty climb towards Aamby Valley, the Tiguan feels taut and despite its size and height holds itself with a maturity that inspires confidence. And then it’s time to step up the fun. So you veer off into a dirt trail, switch off ESP and slide around for some epic fun. Grins guaranteed, a weekend made, it’s time to head home my friend.