4,700mm long compared to 4,485mm Tiguan

4,700mm long compared to 4,485mm Tiguan

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The latest Tiguan has been available since 2016. Now comes the extended wheelbase seven-seater, which has more differences compared to the standard model than had been expected.

Not too many Europeans tend to want an SUV that's longer than five metres.

We saw this D segment SUV for the first time at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015 and production commenced almost exactly two years ago. Volkswagen made it larger so as to fit in with what we now know is the Qashqai-sized T-Roc and future Juke-sized T-Cross below it. In North America, the Middle East and China, the Atlas/Teramont are above it. Then there's the Touareg too, which is about to be replaced and will inevitably grow.

Even though it will remain as the most expensive of VW's SUVs, the Touareg 3 will stay shorter than the Atlas/Teramont twins. Research shows that not too many Europeans tend to want an SUV that's longer than five metres. 

Before we get to the new Allspace, some history is needed. The current, 4,485mm long Tiguan has a lengthier wheelbase than the first model, while the Tiguan L, a model built only in China, went global for its second generation.

The LWB car for China, which is the same as Europe's Allspace, is again made by SAIC Volkswagen in Changsha.

The Tiguan and Allspace for European markets are manufactured in Wolfsburg and Hanover. As well as in Germany and China, the VW Group's Kaluga plant should, probably from later in 2018, again build the Tiguan in Russia. There is assembly in India too. That commenced in March 2017.

The LWB derivative for North America is not called Tiguan Allspace but simply Tiguan.

North America's 2018 model year Tiguan, which is made in Mexico, went on sale in mid-2017. It fits into the range below the US-built Atlas but there is no T-Roc in that region.

Volkswagen of America has its own plans for a Golf-sized SUV. The parent company is said to be developing a 'Tiguan Sport', i.e. a crossover to be positioned below the Tiguan. It will probably also be for the Russian and Chinese markets too.

In North America, where it should be on sale during CY2019, the Sport would be positioned in the same way that the Nissan Rogue Sport is below the Rogue. This would likely also mean the end of the Tiguan Limited. This is the old-shape model which is still sold in the USA.

It had been thought that the LWB derivative for North America would be called Tiguan Allspace but instead, it is simply Tiguan. That's because the standard wheelbase car is considered too small for the segment. Five seats are standard with a third row making seven, optional.

The 4,700mm long LWB Tiguan was revealed at the Detroit auto show in January 2017. North America's model is available only with a 184hp 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine, though both FWD and AWD variants are offered.

The Tiguan which Volkswagen de México manufactures at Puebla is supplied to North and South America, as well as other world markets (excluding the European Union and China).

Both Tiguan, and Tiguan L/Tiguan Allspace use the Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture matrix. This is not only closely linked to the Golf and Audi A3, but also to other SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and Skoda Kodiaq. As well as the standard and long wheelbase Tiguans, there will be a coupe-style derivative. No launch date for that car has been announced but 2019 seems a fair bet.

As per the Tiguan, Allspace buyers can choose from on-road or off-road variants.

Unusually, VW chose to give the Allspace not just longer doors but a new front end. This sees the bonnet raised at its leading edge, the idea being to give the LWB body a unique and well proportioned look. You won't notice this change unless viewing the car from above but there are longitudinal ridges in the roof. Finally, the curve on the rear-most pillars is differently angled, and this is highlighted by chrome-look trim.

As per the Tiguan, Allspace buyers can choose from on-road or off-road variants. The second of these is via an optional package which gives you seven degrees of approach angle as well as added under-body protection. Volkswagen's 4MOTION system isn't standard but many versions of the Allspace can be ordered with it.

The priciest Allspace is the GBP39,965 240PS 2.0-litre BiTDI in SEL trim. Is it worth that sort of money? It does seem steep until you look around at what else is available in this class. The Kia Sorento, Discovery Sport, Ford Edge and a couple of others will easily reach the forty thousand pound mark with some options. 

It's no Porsche Macan and yet it's perfectly fine for the average family driver.

Like the Land Rover, the Allspace is really a 5+2. Volkswagen admits this, saying that the rear-most seats are only suitable for anyone no taller than 5'2". Also, leg room back there isn't too generous. If you need a real seven-seater but the garage won't take a Discovery, then the Peugeot 5008 is a better bet. Just remember that, unlike the VW, it cannot be ordered with all-wheel drive.

Even the lower power Allspaces have a decent amount of oomph, along with tidy handling. It's no Porsche Macan and yet it's perfectly fine for the average family driver. Safe, predictable and even with traction to the front wheels only, there is enough weight to help prevent the tyres from scrambling. January country roads proved to be a fitting test for this vehicle.

The 150 or 190PS petrol engines are both good, but the BiTurbo TDI is absolutely the one to have. Its 500Nm of torque goes to both axles via a seven-speed DSG. CO2 is 170g/km, which is 5 less than the most polluting engine, which is the 180PS 2.0-litre TSI petrol in SEL spec. As for the best CO2 number, this belongs to the 150PS 2.0-litre diesel with six-speed manual transmission. This front-wheel drive variant emits 131g/km. 

Prices for the Allspace start at GBP29,370 which is for a 150PS 1.40-litre petrol SE Navigation. Every engine, by the way, is turbocharged. In addition to the 150 and 240PS diesels, there is a 190PS 2.0-litre. Refreshingly, diesels power the majority of available versions. 

In Britain, the Tiguan remains Volkswagen's number three best selling model behind the Golf and Polo, with sales of 29,121 in 2017. Long-wheelbase seven-seaters aren't big business here yet it's not hard to imagine the importer selling a couple of thousand Allspaces this year. 

VW might end the year as the UK's number one make.

Given the current fragility of government and economy, you can't blame VW UK for failing to be keen on giving firm sales expectations. The two-model range doing a combined 30,000-35,000 units in 2018 would be my own guess. There again, that might prove to be pessimistic. 

Helped by the ongoing popularity of the Golf, the new Polo, a fresh Touareg in dealers from June followed by a facelifted Passat, and the T-Cross towards year end, VW might end the year as the UK's number one make. That might have sounded preposterous not too long ago. Look at the December numbers and consider the age of the Focus though. In December, Ford delivered 15,541 vehicles. And Volkswagen? 15,345. Changing times. 

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