After a seemingly long time in the pipeline, VW has revealed a seven-seat version of its popular Tiguan SUV. In the time it’s been in development, Skoda has nipped in with its seven-seat SUV, the Kodiaq, and produced a brilliant family car with handsome looks, a well-thought-out and rugged interior and a reasonable price. But now that VW has brought the Tiguan Allspace out, which is best?
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The Tiguan Allspace is considerably more expensive than the Kodiaq with a starting price of £29,370 for a version with VW’s brilliant 150hp 1.4-litre petrol engine. The entry-level Kodiaq looks staggering value at £22,625, but has a 25hp deficit – you’ll need to stump up £26,360 for a like-for-like 150hp model, which is still £3,000 less than the VW. Top-spec Tiguan models sneak under £40,000 and for that you’ll get a 240hp 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel with an automatic gearbox, while the priciest Skoda is an automatic 190hp 2.0-litre single-turbo diesel – it’ll cost you £33,320. Skoda has confirmed that there’ll be a sporty Kodiaq vRS model, which will get the Tiguan’s 240hp engine.
But what really matters is how much you can save on the RRP and, at the time of writing, carwow can save you thousands on both cars. In fact, the discounts are almost identical – the average savings off RRP are £3,652 for the Skoda and £3,669 for the VW. Despite only recently being put on sale, the saving on the Allspace is actually larger than that of the standard Tiguan.
The Tiguan Allspace looks very similar to the five-seat model, so you might not even realise this one has an extra pair of seats. There are a couple of small changes if you look closely – the window behind the rear doors sweeps up instead of staying level, and the headlights look slightly larger than those on the five-seater.
The Kodiaq looks larger than the Allspace, perhaps because the window-line doesn’t rise up – but the Skoda is actually marginally shorter. Its squarer wheel arches make it look more rugged and, while the design isn’t exactly bold or outlandish, the Kodiaq is a handsome car and has quite a lot of road presence.
It’s the same story on the inside, because both of these cars have interiors that are smart yet conservative. You will notice the difference in quality between the two, however, with the Tiguan offering more soft-touch materials and glossy metal-effect trims than the Kodiaq. Both are built to survive family life, but the Skoda’s lower price point should make up for the slightly harder plastics on the insides of the doors, for example.
In the technology stakes, it’s the Tiguan that comes out on top. Even entry-level cars come with satellite navigation, but spend a tad more and you’ll also be treated to a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display that replaces analogue dials. It’s as sharp as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system and makes the VW feel bang up to date. The Kodiaq matches the screen size of the Tiguan’s eight-inch central touchscreen on all but entry-level models, but you can’t get it with a digital driver’s display. Otherwise, though, the Kodiaq holds its own and feels excellent value.
Considering it doesn’t look much bigger than the standard Tiguan, the Allspace packs a lot of space in and offers almost as much room as the Kodiaq. Its rearmost pair of seats flip up from the boot floor when you need them, and the seats themselves are only big enough for kids. In the middle row, there’s more space available than the five-seat Tiguan thanks to the longer body, but having all seven seats up does eat into the boot space quite a bit – you only get 230 litres of space which is less than in the tiny VW Up. With the Allspace in five-seater mode it has 700 litres of boot space.
The Skoda is a similar story – it’s just as commodious as the Allspace in the middle row, and has enough head and shoulder room to fit three six-foot adults side-by-side. Those middle seats slide forward to make getting in the third row as easy as possible, but again the third row is too cramped for adults – even on short trips. With all seven seats up the Kodiaq has more boot space than the Tiguan Allspace – 270 litres of it – which is in turn a bit less than you’d get in a Ford Fiesta. Flip the rear two seats down and you’re left with 720 litres of space – 20 more than the Allspace.
In terms of practicality then, the Kodiaq pips the Allspace in most areas.
Engines and driving
Both these cars offer a 150hp 1.4-litre petrol engine which makes quite a few appearances in our best petrol cars article. It’s still a great engine in the Tiguan Allspace and Kodiaq, but starts to feel ever-so-slightly underpowered if you’ve got the cars fully loaded with people and luggage. For those moments, or if you tow a trailer regularly or do lots of longer trips, you’ll be better off with the torquier 2.0-litre diesel engine. Steer clear of the 240hp bi-turbo unit in the Tiguan though – it’s far too expensive compared to the 190hp single-turbo option.
The Tiguan is very easy to drive and its high seating position gives you a fantastic view out over the road. Pick the DSG automatic and it’ll be relaxing and smooth, and you’ll make comfortable and seamless progress. Despite its large size, the Kodiaq is responsive and you could even say it’s good to drive – it doesn’t roll too much, yet is compliant enough over most bumps. You hear a little more wind noise at motorway speeds than in the Tiguan, but it’s only a slight difference.
Both these cars are excellent seven-seat family SUVs, and you won’t be disappointed with either. The Tiguan is a little more polished, classy and a smidge more premium, but it is much more expensive than the Kodiaq, which earns its merits by feeling rugged and dependable and being a fantastic all-rounder. In fact, you’re better off getting the Kodiaq and spending the money you’ve saved on optional extras – it really is a brilliant seven-seater family SUV.