Big German SUV luxury – without the big price

In Singapore, Volkswagen’s always excelled at top German quality without inflated costs, and the Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 Comfortline EQP (sport utility vehicle) SUV walks the talk with its impressive performance and relatively cheap price



Putting aside badge concerns for a moment, why does anyone buy a German luxury car? There are more than a few reasons: The way a car looks, the way it drives, the advanced technology onboard, and so on.

The whole package doesn’t come cheap, even more so with a ‘branded’ luxury badge on the bonnet. But what if there was a way to enjoy all those things – including German quality – without the LAT – ‘luxury added tax’?

That blend of all things sehr gut and German at reasonable prices is what Volkswagen Singapore has been pushing for years, and the current Tiguan 1.4 Comfortline EQP model embodies that approach perfectly.

These days, the platform technology that underpins a car is an important factor in its overall performance. The Tiguan runs on Volkswagen Group’s MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform as used in the Golf hatchback, as well other VW Group brands – including a luxury one.

With the MQB platform, a car is able to take on the latest technology, provide enhanced comfort and driving behaviour, and be as safe as possible.

In this generation, the Tiguan SUV sits on the MQB platform for the first time – this has allowed for the latest generation of Volkswagen engines to be used. The 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged TSI unit under the Tiguan Comfortline EQP’s bonnet is a prime example.

150hp and 250Nm of torque deliver instant go, smoothly transmitted through the reliable, fast-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), and what’s more, the Tiguan also has  impressive efficiency built right in.

The Tiguan Comfortline EQP even has a Think Blue eco-guide to help you to more efficient driving (the score here is from a stationary photoshoot so it obviously isn’t representative of the Tiguan’s real fuel efficiency…)

It’s the first mainstream car in Singapore to feature Active Cylinder Technology management (ACT), which switches off two of the engine’s cylinders when they’re not needed.

Essentially, it means the Tiguan has an engine that positively sips fuel when you’re driving gently, but has the gusto of a fully turbocharged 1.4 with all the torque you’d expect when you really need it, yet an extremely efficient combined fuel consumption score of 6.2L/100km.

Given that efficiency figure, you might think the Tiguan isn’t all that big, but in fact it’s got outsized character for a relatively cheap price.

We’ll let you make up your own mind about VW’s clean and minimalist design approach, but the fact is the Tiguan isn’t small at all. At 4,486mm long, 1,839mm tall, and 1,654mm wide, the Tiguan is larger compared to German luxury SUVs in the same segment (though not quite the same price range).

The same can be said of the car’s 2,677mm wheelbase – the space between its front and rear axles and a key measurement of interior space.

With its height of 1,839mm, it also literally towers in its segment, and has the advantage of giving taller occupants plenty of head and shoulder space.

A flexible load-space that isn’t just modular, thanks to movable and foldable seats, it also has more cargo space than cars one segment up

Besides that, the Tiguan has a tremendous amount of cargo space: 615-litres that expands to 1,655-litres with the seats folded down, which is more than a large sedan or even SUVs one size up – that’s perfect for a full family of five plus luggage, whether it’s a roadtrip North or just an airport run.

How does it manage size without inefficiency? You guessed it – the best platform and engine technology at work again.

A strong platform incorporates high-strength steel which delivers space with less weight, while the efficient drivetrain allows the Tiguan 1.4 Comfortline EQP to deliver the mileage of a smaller car.

Folding tray tables that are perfect for tablets – or even a stationary picnic – plus cup-holders

Another aspect of luxury are features – some small luxury cars come with precious few things to make life easier, so you’re paying for the badge over practicality in some ways.

The Tiguan isn’t like that with its haul of amenities and safety equipment: A full complement of six airbags. Front Assist with City Emergency Braking keeps an eye on the traffic in front of you and brakes automatically if you have a momentary lapse.

A Rest Assist fatigue detection system to reminds you to take a break on long hauls, and there’s even an Active Bonnet that gives a double win: It lessens the impact for pedestrians, as well as minimising repair costs.

There are plenty of other comfort and convenience features the Tiguan Comfortline EQP packs which we simply don’t have the space to cover in detail, but suffice to say it’s all about taking smart ideas to help you accomplish more.

VW was one of the first brands to offer smartphone integration, and the latest Composition Media 8.0-inch TFT touchscreen infotainment system in the Tiguan pairs up with your smartphone via App Connect for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

And lastly one new feature on the Tiguan Comfortline EQP is a clever open and close function for the electric tailgate: Not only can you use a foot gesture to open the boot if your hands are full, you can now press a button for delayed closing of the tailgate – press, grab one last haul of cargo, and walk away, hands-free.

With all it offers at such a sensible price, the Volkswagen Tiguan Comfortline EQP proves that in this case, luxury isn’t all about what logo is on the bonnet, but about tremendous substance behind it.

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.