VW has an extensive range of SUVs in South Africa and one of the few segments that continues to grow globally and locally. Its line-up consists of the T-Cross, T-Roc, Tiguan and Touareg. There’s also the Tiguan Allspace for larger families. Since 2015, the SUV range increased steadily from 4% of total retail sales to 22% YTD for 2021. In case you’re wondering why there are so many models; they’re popular and at different price points.

The new look Tiguan landed in South Africa recently and is now in its third-generation since being launched here in 2008. There has been over 6-million units sold worldwide and 41 000 in SA. According to VW, the Tiguan was the best-selling medium SUV in SA in 2020. Due to our third wave and not being able to leave Gauteng, the official launch event was cancelled. Instead, I was sent the Tiguan for the long weekend.


The Tiguan has new model derivatives:

  • 1.4TSI 110kW (Tiguan, Life, R-Line).
  • 2.0TSI 162kW (R-Line)
  • 2.0TDI 130kW (R-Line)

The Tiguan model is the base model, which was previously the Trendline, and comes standard with: 17″ alloy wheels; LED headlights with low and high beam; 8-inch touchscreen radio with 8 speakers, app connect, 2x USB-C ports; leather trim steering wheel with tipshift paddles; black roof rails; sliding rear bench seats and We Connect Go dataplug.

The Life model was the previous Comfortline comes standard with 18″ alloy wheels; 8-inch touchscreen radio with 8 speakers, app connect, 2x USB-C ports, voice control; LED headlights with dynamic cornering lights; LED daytime running lights and taillights; 3-zone climate control; park distance control (front and rear); electric tailgate for opening and closing; driver profiles;  silver roof rails; and We Connect Go dataplug.

The R-Line model has 19″ Valencia alloy wheels; 8-inch touchscreen radio with 8 speakers, app connect, 2x USB-C ports, voice control; 10.25″ digital cockpit pro; multi-function steering wheel with touch control and tipshift paddles; electric tailgate; ambient lighting (30 colours); R-Line branding (exterior, carpets, mats, door sill protector); We Connect Go dataplug and keyless entry.


I drove the 1.4TSI with a 110kW output and 250Nm of torque, in the R-Line. It has a top speed of 200km/h and reaches 0-100km/h in 9.2 seconds. It was a comfortable drive, especially in the suburbs where I live, you know, with speed bumps. Sure, it’s not as powerful as my current car but we’re not pushing it to the max and with lockdown living, it doesn’t feel like I need to be in a rush to go anywhere; i.e. most of my drives are leisurely. Since it wasn’t a launch event where I could drive other models, I cannot compare them, but if you like a bit of kick, you’d want the 2.0TSI 162kW model.

I loved the boot space and being able to fold the seats down as I popped into Leroy Merlin and grabbed stuff which fit perfectly in the back. It was easy to do on my own with no help and load the car with stuff. I loved the electronic tailgates and keyless entry. All these little comforts made it enjoyable, including being able to adjust the steering wheel.

We went on a little road trip to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens for a picnic and everyone was comfortable in their space at the back and mentioned the pouch to put your phone at the back of the front seats were nifty. There was no shortage of space. The middle seat at the back also folds down to bring cupholders for the passengers.


The Tiguan has a new exterior, such as a redesigned front bumper, a new radiator grille with LED headlights that is wider and at the back, the Tiguan lettering appears in the middle, below the new VW logo. It also has LED matrix headlights with 22 individual LEDs on each headlight, which VW says is for enhanced night-time driving.

On the inside, you will get a leather steering wheel with touch controls, the aircon is digitised with touch sliders and touch buttons and optional Harmon Kardon sound.

I quite like the look of the Tiguan and found the R-Line 1.4TSI model to be a comfortable with its adjustable steering wheel, plenty of storage space, Harmon Kardon sound and induction charging.


The Tiguan has a lot of new tech added to it and if like me, this is important to you, you will love the updates. It’s also the main reason why I got to test the car, to check it out. Some of the key updates include:

  • The 8″ touch infotainment display
  • We Connect Go app with the dataplug that comes free
  • Touch controls for the airconditioner
  • Inductive mobile charging (optional)
  • Harmon Kardon sound (16 channel amp, 480W speaker + sub)
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Digital cockpit

The touch interface on the infotainment system is easy to understand and user-friendly. Even the built-in navigation system knew where we were going on the first try, so that was great. I usually complain about this – well native maps being dated when compared to Google Maps. The only thing that needed some getting the hang of – only if you don’t know – is the touch climate controls. It’s not straight forward and had to explain to a friend how it works.

I also paired my phone using the We Connect Go app to the dataplug. The code for the plug is on the back of the device so you have to remove it to access it for pairing, and add it back; it is located further below the steering wheel. I loved being able to get a quick glance of the basic info of the car and check my trips and rating for my driving. If you’re into gamification, you’d love it (it’s a new standard on all VW cars).

I also loved being able to pair my iPhone to the car for wireless CarPlay. It also works for Android Auto. Important to note here it works via a direct cable connection initially, thereafter once you allow wireless access, you don’t need the cable. This interface option is my favourite way to access my phone while driving. There are only 2x USB-C ports only in the front, by the wireless charger.

The digital cockpit is a feature I’ve become accustomed to on VWs. Its customisable to your liking and the R-Line allows for multiple profiles to be saved. A useful feature if you and your spouse will drive the car. I like that it makes it easier to refer to navigation while looking ahead. I love a nice infotainment setup but we don’t want it to be distracting while driving.

I made a Reels video of my top 5 tech features:


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A post shared by Nafisa Akabor (@nafisa)


I loved driving the Tiguan because it was comfortable, reliable and stable, even on some bad roads on the West Rand; the suspension offers this combined safety. It’s one of those cars that South Africans will love because you can drive it in the city and out in the Kruger. It looks great, people love looking at it too, and there’s ample space everywhere.

It has some great tech features if you’re into that (you can’t not be, in 2021) and I love the We Connect Go app for the useful info it provides. It’s easy to pair a phone, fire up your Spotify playlists to enjoy on the Harmon Kardon speakers and drive off. I’d say it’s perfectly suited for a young family of about four if your budget is around the half a million mark. Not cheap!


1.4 TSI 110kW – R521 000
1.4 TSI 110kW DSG Life – R587 200
1.4 TSI 110kW DSG R-Line – R644 500
2.0 TSI 162kW 4Motion DSG R-Line – R710 000

All Tiguans come standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty; a 5 year/90 000km service plan and 12 year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15 000km.