TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Dr Who fans (Whovians) will know that straight away; those getting into a Tiguan for the first time will be heard to exclaim “it’s so big inside” and therefore become unwitting Dr Who people.
A Wheel Thing spent a week with the tidy TARDIS like 155 TSi Tiguan (top of the range) and said pretty much those words, bar a surprised expletive or two. For a small(ish) SUV it really is surprisingly spacious; it’s also well engineered and certainly leans towards looking after the human part of the equation.
There’s some interesting and smart thinking; airconditioning vents in a car generally number four, being two for the driver and two for the passenger. There’s some lack of flexibility in where that air gets blown to, so VW decided to double up by adding another four. The design is simple; eight circular and 360 degree adjustable vents (two apiece on the centre binnacle then two each left and right of the extremities) give extra coverage and flow to all corners of the cabin and it’s astoundingly effective.
The cabin is an elegantly thought out design; the rear passengers get airline style service with fold down traybacks out of the driver and passenger seats, which is unusual but it’s a marked difference.
The driving position is also different; initially feeling van or bus like, with an upright stance and extended arms it felt more normal by weeks end. The centre console section of the dash houses the now ubiquitous touch screen and it’s here where there’s a let down, with a large screen showing the radio station, options and….not much else.
In the rear there’s plenty of leg room for the passengers although, in the most unTARDIS like way, three abreast is a touch squeezy. Cargo space with the seats up is plentiful enough, with a week’s worth of family shopping loading in nicely. It’s a comfy ride on the inside, a high quality feel with seating in the 155 well padded and supportive in their suede covered design, adding to the firm yet compliant ride’s overall comfort level. It’s a taut suspension in the Tiguan, with initial compliance for smaller bumps giving way to a setup that minimises body roll yet also reduces intrusion of bigger bumps and cats eyes. The steering is quick and responsive to input, also providing good feedback with a tangible connection between road and driver. The AWD system provides ample grip, with some push oversteer into roundabout turns whilst the 7 speed DSG gearbox adds to the fun. It’s smooth, quiet and a slick shifter with manual mode almost superfluous thanks to the technology embedded, giving changes faster than the brain can think of them. It helps when the 2.0L turbocharged engine throws out a hefty 280Nm at 1700rpm, spinning up to past 6000rpm with peak power at 5300rpm an also reasonable 155kW.
All round the 155TSi Tiguan (priced at just under $48k driveaway) is a big car yet is clothed in a small body, just the way the Doctor likes it.