IF you have even been lucky enough to be in the market for a brand new car then the options list is always a bit of a problem – what do you add that is worth that extra cash?

Well those nice people at VW have solved it for you with their latest special edition – the Tiguan Active.

If you want a newly-revised Tiguan (and lots do as it is VW’s best-selling model world-wide) then the mid-range Life trim is the best seller (from £26,915 on the road). But to add a little more you can get the Active, which comes with a few must have features over the standard car.

These are special alloy wheels, keyless entry and full electric tailgate, power fold heated mirrors, variable ambient lighting, special ‘Active’ upholstery and exterior trim (including neat Active logo puddle lamps), various driver settings and a winter pack. That is on top of active cruise control, sat nav, heated front seats and steering wheel and all for £28,415.

It isn’t hard to grasp why the Tiguan is so popular with a relatively upmarket image but being cheaper than premium-badged alternatives from the likes of BMW and Volvo, although the Tiguan is closely-related to Seat and Skoda rival SUV’s that are even more affordable.

Engines range from a 1.5-litre petrol with 128bhp (our test car) right up to a 316bhp 2.0 petrol in the sporty Tiguan R. There’s also a plug-in hybrid (eHybrid) model with a good electric-only range and tax-friendly CO2 emissions.

The Tiguan is designed more for the road than challenging terrain but Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel-drive system is available with certain engines and there are adjustable drive modes to help you tackle trickier conditions.

The range upgrades that came with its latest revamp include new trim, design and tech plus even better fuel efficiency – I managed mid 40s in a week of very mixed driving thanks in part to the 1.5 petrol engine’s ability to shut down two cylinders when cruising along the motorway. Also helping those MPG figures is an Eco drive mode, but if you want to get a move on the Tiguan is positively peppy in ‘Sport’ doing 0 to 60 in 10.9 seconds with a top speed on 121.

There are now four basic trim levels and all cars get safety-conscious technology like IQ.Light LED matrix headlights plus greater connectivity thanks to the MIB3 infotainment system as well as improved convenience with touch-sensitive steering wheel controls on selected models.

All cars have driver assistance systems including Lane Assist, Front Assist, and a multifunction front-facing camera as standard plus an 8-inch touch screen, DAB+, and streaming plus internet capabilities. Wireless App Connect also facilitates smartphone mirroring via Bluetooth and there are dusk and rain sensors and a multifunction steering wheel.

The Tiguan Life is fitted with bigger 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and rear tinted glass while the interior is generously appointed with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, front comfort seats with lumbar support and seat trim covers in ‘Shooting Star’ velour as well as climate control including rear passenger controls.

Expected to be the top-seller in the revised Tiguan range, taking 50 per cent of UK sales, the Tiguan Life also features driver assistance systems including Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist and front and rear parking sensors, as well as a Driver Alert System and Dynamic Road Sign Display.

The Tiguan range starts from the base model at £24,915 going up to the R-Line 2.0 Litre TDi 4Motion at £39,010 (0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds and top speed 172mph).
You only have to notice how many Tiguans are already on out roads to realise just how popular the car is and with this revamp VW look set to stay ahead of the mid-size SUV pack.

More information at www.volkswagen.co.uk

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth

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