Good: drives well, cabin quality, versatility
Not so good: rearmost seats small and they're extra too
If you've liked the idea of a new Volkswagen Tiguan, but found it lacking in the required amount of space or number of seats, then you'll be pleased by the arrival of its roomier sibling, the Tiguan Allspace. Although very similar looking, the Tiguan Allspace is 215mm longer, resulting in a longer wheelbase to boost cabin space and helping to increase boot capacity.
Buyers can choose to specify it with seven seats (a €770 option), but the standard Allspace comes with the same number of seats as the regular Tiguan. Stick with the five-seat version of the Allspace and you'll get a larger 760-litre boot. Some buyers will be drawn more to the prospect of having seven seats, though like many in this segment that optional third row is designed for small children and even getting in and out requires a fair degree of agility. When not needed, those two rear-most seats can fold down flat into the boot floor. Hence, the Allspace offers a good amount of versatility, boosted from mid-level 'Comfortline' up where it features an electrically operated tailgate as standard.
There isn't any noticeable difference inside the front of the cabin, but the car's exterior is slightly different to look at. A reshaped roofline and restyled front grille help to set it apart from the regular Tiguan, but in truth even these differences are minor. Still, it's a good-looking car and, if you opt for the Highline model, the car gains LED headlights and larger 18-inch alloy wheels that look good without impacting significantly on ride quality.
Equipped with the 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, the Tiguan Allspace doesn't feel lacking in pace, though we'd imagine that, fully laden with passengers and luggage, performance and fuel economy will suffer. The car's ride quality is good, absorbing surface imperfections nicely. Through bends, there's little in the way of body roll, and road noise isn't intrusive.
For those who take a keener interest in driving comfort, it is possible to select Volkswagen's Adaptive Chassis Control, which adds more settings for areas such as suspension, steering and throttle. However, this is only available with the range-topping 240hp 2.0-litre TDI 4Motion variant.
Our test car had the added benefit of Volkswagen's all-wheel-drive 4Motion transmission, which maximises traction on the move. While we doubt too many will be tackling any off-road routes in it, the system should add a sense of security to muddy roads and frosty mornings.
The automatic seven-speed transmission is, as usual with Volkswagen DSG units, lovely to use. It works very well with this turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine, slipping between gears almost imperceptibly. It comes at a €2,400 price premium on Comfortline models, but if you can stretch the budget to it, we feel it's a worthwhile addition. If anything, it adds to a more relaxing driving experience, something most parents will enjoy.
Compared to some other seven-seat SUVs, the Tiguan Allspace could do with a little more space, but it's worth remembering that this is an extended Tiguan, rather than a much larger vehicle overall. The styling is right on for Volkswagen, erring more on the side of conservatism, but this is a car that should age well. It feels robust and well-made and it is this sense of quality that gives it an edge over many alternatives.