Let’s start with a little quiz. Which is the only Volkswagen model to increase sales in the UK so far this year? Polo? Golf? Passat? No – the Tiguan, Volkswagen’s small SUV challenger.
Sales are up nearly 30% year-to-date, which is surprising not only because a manufacturer has actually increased sales of a model, but as it is a model that sits in the SUV sector.
There is a combination of factors behind the rise – the full engine line-up is now available, Volkswagen has added a sporty R Line trim level and, most importantly, the Tiguan is now available in a front-wheel drive version.
This 2.0 TDI model reduces CO2 emissions to below the crucial 160g/km writing down allowance threshold. With 155g/km of CO2 and combined fuel economy of 45.6mpg, it is the most sensible choice for any user-chooser.
Our four-wheel drive Tiguan – with Tiptronic automatic gearbox – has emissions of 199g/km and fuel economy of 37.7mpg.
In terms of an all-round vehicle the Tiguan is hard to fault – comfortable, easy to drive, well equipped and stylish.
On the downside, it’s thirsty and will cost company car drivers a lot more in benefit-in-kind tax – £230 a month for a 40% taxpayer.
The same driver could be behind the wheel of the manual front-wheel drive S model for £143 a month.
Having just taken the Tiguan on a 275-mile round trip, negotiating many notorious traffic blackspots, it seemed apt to assess its performance.
It’s quoted combined fuel economy of 37.7mpg could not be achieved as I battled through the M1, M25 and M4.
Disappointingly, even with the air conditioning off and employing the latest eco driving techniques, I struggled to reach 33mpg.