Can a family car be sporty and dynamic? And a sports car – can it be comfortable for a family? The Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line SUV is trying to find the answer to these questions: it is the most sports-oriented version of the car available for the Ukrainian market. And although camouflaged prototypes of the next-generation Volkswagen Tiguan are already on the roads, the current car will still be relevant for Ukraine for some time. Is it worth looking at it carefully?

Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line design: practical body, sporty style

What is the Volkswagen Tiguan? This is a medium-sized SUV: the length is 4.51 meters, the width and height are 1.86 and 1.68 meters, respectively (yeah, as if they just changed the numbers), and the wheelbase is 2.68 meters. The very center of the D-SUV segment: there are already bigger competitors. However, the Volkswagen Tiguan successfully distributes the given meters. Thanks to almost flat side panels, a short hood, a vertical rear part – a kind of BOX design is obtained – every meter, decimeter, centimeter is used to advantage.

And what is R-Line? This is, relatively speaking, a sports package: its own front bumper with extended “cheeks”, an original radiator grille with the letter “R”, black 19-inch wheels, side covers on the doors, a rear bumper with imitation of exhaust pipes. Yes, it is an imitation – the real exhaust pipes are hidden below. Will we forgive it? After all, in general, the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line SUV really looks dynamic and “fit”.

The updated Volkswagen Tiguan is immediately recognizable by the new, narrower headlights. And the RLine can be recognized by its own bumpers, wheel rims, door linings. This is if we talk about the appearance. And if we talk about the interior, then…

Inside, the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line features its own “sports” steering wheel and seats with advanced lateral support – all of which (of course!) have the R designation. Although in reality, the differences of the R-Line version are much greater: combined interior decoration made of leather and fabric, door cards with cross-stitching, and decorative overlays imitating carbon.

At the same time, if we talk about the Volkswagen Tiguan car in general, then its interior already knows how to attract the whole family: of course, the interior space! The front and back of the moon are more than enough. The high roof and large windows work for the feeling of space – the latter, at the same time, also provide excellent visibility. And the seats provide excellent sitting comfort: the front ones have wide adjustment ranges and distribute the load well. The rear sofa can be adjusted along and behind the backrest. In addition, numerous pockets for small items, separate climate control and independent heating are provided in the back. The trunk is also large: 615 liters with a standard 5-seater interior configuration. A great family SUV?!

Yes, a family SUV – but with sports hints! Just look at that R-steering wheel with curves for the fingers, front seats with advanced lateral support, carbon-themed decor. The back is very spacious, the sofa can be adjusted as you like, its own “climate” and heated seats are provided – just great! The update of the car presented a change of some elements: a new sensor climate control unit (convenience of use is not perfect), a new lever of the automatic transmission, a new digital instrument panel. By the way…

Technology: MQB platform, Digital Cockpit Pro devices, IQ.LIGHT headlights

At one time, the MQB platform was not a revolution, but a great achievement for the Volkswagen company – because it allows you to create new cars, as if collecting them from the building blocks of a large designer. What did they use for the Volkswagen Tiguan? Carrying body of the SUV type – one. Fully independent suspensions, front and rear – two.
All-wheel drive 4MOTION, built on the basis of a friction clutch – three. Gasoline (TSI) or diesel (TDI) 2-liter 4-cylinder engines – four. So, it’s the Volkswagen Tiguan car formula.

What else interesting will Volkswagen Tiguan offer? The updated car is distinguished by two technical features. Inside there is a fully digital Digital Cockpit Pro instrument panel: a 10.25-inch display is used (instead of the 12.3-inch one in the car before the update), improved image quality, plus the R-Line version gets its own graphic instrument design. From the outside, it is the already mentioned IQ.LIGHT front optics: fully LED headlights with Dynamic Light Assist dynamic high beam adjustment. Such headlights really provide good visibility: they allow you to turn on the “main beam” without the risk of dazzling other drivers. And in general, the headlights give a powerful, but “soft” light with an even distribution.

The basis is a well-known MQB platform and independent suspensions. Under the hood of the test car there is a powerful (220 hp and 350 Nm) 4-cylinder TSI EA888 series engine: gasoline, turbine, direct fuel injection. The transmission is four-wheel drive and a 7-speed DSG (pre-selective with double clutch). In general, this design has not changed. But the scheduled update gave a new digital instrument panel Digital Cockpit Pro based on a 10.25-inch display and adaptive headlights IQ.LIGHT.

Behind the wheel: several characters in one body

A pair of gasoline turbo engine and 7-speed gearbox definitely found each other! Excellent start from a standstill, good accelerations in motion, imperceptible instant switches. The Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line SUV is really impressive: as for its “family” class, the car turned out to be very fast and dynamic: it accelerates to the hundred in about 6.5 seconds – and this is the level of “hot hatches” from the recent past! At the same time, it is convenient to control the acceleration under any conditions. Even at low revs (1.5-2 thousand) there is enough traction for normal movement at the pace of the city. And medium and high revolutions (3-6 thousand) are already filled with pleasant pressing into the backs of the seats in the style of “oh, you don’t need to show this to the family.” The soundtrack is also good: high-tech dry “techno” of four turbo cylinders. It is unlikely that the exhaust system was adjusted in any special way, but still – it caresses the ears pleasantly.

But you can’t say this about the suspension and the smoothness of driving: it’s a little hard. Here, you can’t hide all these sports hints from passengers – the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line SUV sometimes causes unpleasant shocks when its 19-inch wheels and bumps on the road do not get on well. However, everything is not in vain. After all, the car turns nicely – easily and quickly, with small rolls. Average sharpness of the steering wheel, clarity of reactions, clear feedback: super!

Finally, the subtitle about “multiple characters” is about switching the movement mode. Depending on the selected mode, you can either dampen the dynamics (“eco” mode) or make the car more sporty (“sport” mode): sharp responses to the accelerator pedal and heavy steering wheel, tightening from shifting to a higher gear and engine operation at medium and high revolutions. Here it is, the true nature of the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line!

Gasoline 2-liter 4-cylinder “turbo” works like a 3-liter V6: great dynamics, impressive acceleration! But it “eats” almost as much: around the city – from 10-11 to 13.5-14 liters. At highway speeds of 90-120 km/h, it needs about 6.5-9 liters per hundred. Behind the lever of the automated transmission there is a round switch for movement modes. However, with a somewhat confusing control logic: you have to press the central part, then turn the ring. However, the modes themselves are clearly defined – they affect the operation of the engine, gearbox, four-wheel drive, “climate” and even the color of the backlight and the design of digital instruments. By the way: there is a separate off-road mode and a ground clearance of 200 mm.

Volkswagen Tiguan cost: how much does versatility cost?

To buy a Volkswagen Tiguan in Ukraine, you need to have 1.5 million hryvnias, or even a little more. For example, the Volkswagen Tiguan Life car costs from UAH 1.55 million ($39 thousand) and offers a 2-liter turbodiesel (150 hp), all-wheel drive and a 7-speed DSG gearbox, LED headlights, adaptive “cruise”, light alloys 17-inch wheels, heated steering wheel and front seats, three-zone “climate”, etc.

An alternative to it is the Volkswagen Tiguan Elegance with a price from UAH 1.54 million ($38.5 thousand), which offers even better equipment: IQ.LIGHT headlights, Digital Cockpit Pro digital instrument panel, Keyless Access, electric trunk door drive with touch opening, circular Area View. How did they manage to both reduce the cost and add the equipment? The answer is hidden under the hood: instead of the TDI turbodiesel, a TSI gasoline engine is installed, and it is even more powerful – 220 hp.

Finally, the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line SUV – such a car costs approximately UAH 1.77 million ($44,000) and is also offered only with a 2-liter TSI gasoline engine. But compared to the previous version of Elegance, it differs in the nuances of the configuration: a sports package has been added on the outside, sports seats and a steering wheel on the inside, improved interior decoration, etc.

Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line car test drive: family sport

Maksym Soloviov, founder of the company Drivovo: “We offer a subscription car service, which is convenient for the client: one payment – and you enjoy the car. So, in order to enjoy it to the maximum, customers also seek to get the most from the Volkswagen Tiguan model – a powerful engine, top equipment, cool design. That is why we chose Volkswagen Tiguan cars for our service in the R-Line: this is like a combination of the above three points. But I would like to note that our service also has other variants of the Volkswagen Tiguan model and Volkswagen cars in general – for example, more affordable Volkswagen TRoc“.

Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line test drive results

Frankly speaking, I do not have a clear answer to the questions that started this text if there can be a sports family car. Because everyone personally chooses the level of sportiness and practicality – and their balance in the general character of the car.

But the attempt to combine these two qualities (usually mutually exclusive) in the form of the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line turns out to be really interesting. Because the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line SUV is able to be both convenient for the whole family in general and exciting for the driver personally.

Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line car test drive: family sport

Car provided by Drivovo: Subscription Cars