- Pro #1: More than enough power
- Pro #2: Ace driving dynamics
- Pro #3: Good features for the price
- Pro #4: Great, well-balanced looks
- Cons #1: Relatively expensive for its size
- Cons #2: No ADAS
- Cons #3: Third-row seats can't fit adults
- Cons #4: Ride isn't cushy as expected
As the sole SUV in Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM)'s line-up, boy does the 2022 has its work cut out for it.
As we explained in the review of the mid-range Elegance, it's a model that not only has to fend off people shopping for competitors, but also attract those who'd love an SUV but don't quite necessarily need 7 seats.
|2022 VW Tiguan Allspace price|
|Life 1.4 TSI||RM 173,590|
|Elegance 1.4 TSI||RM 180,590|
|R-Line 2.0 TSI||RM 226,073|
There's a list of variants to choose from, all locally-assembled (CKD Pekan, Pahang): the 'regular' Life and Elegance, as well as this speedy R-Line which has its own unique selling points beyond just offering space.
- More than enough power
- Ace driving dynamics
- Good features for its price
- Looks great
- Relatively pricey for its size
- No ADAS
- 3rd row seats can't fit adults
- Busy ride
Pro #1: More than enough power
Signing the dotted line for an R-Line means power is what you seek, and power is what this VW shall deliver.
Underneath the squared-off boot is the vaunted EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot. This naughty engine – source of many pops and bangs in the it's lifted from – makes 220 PS and 350 Nm.
With these figures it overpowers the and some variants of the , while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the far pricier .
Performance on a budget? We're not sure if RM 230k is considered 'budget', but it does give you the speed you need; dispatching the 0-100 km/h sprint only takes 6.4 seconds.
Pro #2: Ace driving dynamics
The R-Line, with its Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system and 4Motion all-wheel drive lends a slightly wieldier, more dynamic remit to the Tiguan Allspace. It's quick off the line, and with all four wheels clawing the tarmac, it's a pointier steer than any of its nearest rivals.
AWD cars tend to offer added confidence in the twisties and during inclement weather (a measure of which can be felt in the , review below) so having it in an SUV of this stature feels like natural progression. It offers oodles more grip than the front-wheel drive Elegance.
A progressive and linear tiller communicates adequately with the driver, always remaining sharp and quick. Oh, and a sweet engine note bumps the whole experience up too.
Pro #3: Good features for the price
As usual for a VW, layout and ergonomics are mostly spot on. No hunting for a light switch, wondering how to operate the cruise controls, or diving into the touchscreen to adjust the air-con (ahem, Peugeot) are necessary. It's by no means perfect, because we don't quite like the capactive controls taking over clicky buttons.
Triple zone air-cond means the rear passengers can also adjust temperatures
That aside, the Tiguan Allspace comes with a pretty OK featureset, bundling keyless entry, triple-zone automatic air-conditioning, as well as heated and ventilated seats that are also power-adjustable with memory.
I for one truly enjoyed the R-Line's bangin' stereo for me tunes, sorted by the 480-watt Harman Kardon system. The 10 “high performance” speakers with thumping bass and clear vocals will be up to most people's liking out of the box, though if you like tweaking with the equaliser that's entirely possible too.
And yes, DCC is the R-Line's trump card. A segment-unique feature, there's a ton of options for you to customise your ride – if you'd like your throttle response scalpel-sharp while the ride remains soft, for example – you can.
Pro #4: Great, well-balanced looks
Neat proportions make it look like a genuine 7-seater, and not an afterthought
As superflous as this seems, an attractive car attracts customers. Selling a car that people would want to be seen in is half the battle won already, and generally the Tiguan Allspace achieves that.
Lightbars are cool
This R-Line though, nails the point. As the big daddy of the range, its assorted bodykit hung from its chunky proportions, paired with its giant 19-inch wheels and elegant LED lightbar upfront, it's smack on the money for image-concious Malaysians.
Cons #1: Relatively expensive for its size
Considering segments and seating space, it's pretty expensive. Never mind the circa RM 43k difference between this and the 5008, with this price tag this R-Line is dearer even than the priciest CX-8, the 2.5T High Plus AWD.
That Japanese rival – yours for RM 223,760 – now comes into clearer contention, considering it offers even more power and torque (228 PS/420 Nm) and is fitted with a more comprehensive set of features; full ADAS, and a better third row stick out as the main positives.
Cons #2: No ADAS
RM 45k seperates these two, but they're both similar in lacking active safety
Oh boy, this a big one. None of the VWs we officially get in Malaysia have ADAS, save for Lane Keeping Assist and driver alert monitor that's standard in the Tiguan Allspace range. It's something we miss, especially taking into account that it's a family car, and safety should be number one priority with these.
Monocular camera just helps with lane keep assist
Cars far, far cheaper than them have been rolling off the showroom floor with these (there's full-speed ACC in the , guys) and it's the same stick we'll use to beat the R-Line with. It being a pricey inclusion isn't too strong of an argument either, considering the cheaper CX-8 comes with Mazda's advanced safety suite.
Cons #3: Third-row seats can't fit adults
Though its sold as a 7-seater, ironically the biggest problem with the Tiguan Allspace is its last row; it's really not a nice place to be in, if you can be in there that is.
If there's no one at the back though, you can stow it away for more cargo room
The pop-up rear seats are best suited for children. Adults will have a tough time squeezing in, resulting in near-zero head- and legroom. If seating for seven is imperative to you, then you'd do better looking at the 5008 and CX-8.
Cons #4: Ride isn't cushy as expected
With its fancy adaptive suspension and overall dynamism, its fair for you to expect the Tiguan Allspace R-Line to offer a cossetting ride. Sadly you'll also be wrong.
A typical tradeoff from its taut handling, the R-Line (and when we think about it, even the Elegance) rides a little firm. It's far from unsteady, it's just a bit busy, just lacking the plushiness you'd naturally come to expect of a car like this.
The big wheels and rubber band tyres are complicit too – 19-inches wrapped in 245/45 profile rubber aren't the best pair to tackle potholes aplenty, though yes, we won't deny they look baller.
The VW Tiguan Allspace R-Line has one of the broadest repertoires of any 7-seater SUV in Malaysia. It tackles roads well enough to be just about entertaining, and the facelift's brought upon convincing luxuries that adds a welcome dose of flair for a car in this category.
Having driven the Elegance we'd say you don't exactly need the 2.0-litre mill to sample it at its absolute best. Money no object though, and if you can tolerate its lack of ADAS and somewhat tangy ride, this VW Tiguan Allspace R-Line is a great answer to the 'one car fits all' debate.