The VW Tiguan is one of the best family SUVs on sale, but it recently got a bigger sibling called the Tiguan Allspace. The Allspace is a seven-seat version of the Tiguan, and an alternative to the Skoda Kodiaq, but is it merely a Tiguan with a larger backside or is it a great all-rounder and family SUV? Read on to find out which you should pick.
The five-seat Tiguan starts at a fairly reasonable £23,250 for an entry-level ‘S’ model with a 125hp version of VW’s great 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. For that, you’ll get climate control and 17-inch alloys but, if your budget stretches to it, we would recommend spending a little bit more and going for an SE Nav model with satellite navigation, 18-inch wheels, cruise control and all-round parking sensors as standard. Top-spec models will set you back £39,510, and come loaded with technology and a powerful bi-turbo diesel engine.
At the time of writing, there is a staggering price difference between the entry-level five-seat Tiguan and the entry-level Allspace – you’ll have to find £29,370 to get onto the Tiguan Allspace ladder; a gap of over £6,000. It’s likely because the car is so new, so in a few months the gap may have decreased and less expensive models may be introduced. However, it does have a larger average saving if you buy through carwow – you can save £3,669 off the RRP of the Allspace and £3,316 on the standard Tiguan.
Welcome to our game of spot the difference, because these are essentially the same car after all. The latest Tiguan looks smart and sophisticated and, in the R-Line trim that many buyers go for, it’ll stand out in the supermarket or school car park. These cars have a few noticeable differences though, including the changed window shape behind the rear doors – the Allspace’s window flicks up towards the roof. The front of the five-seat Tiguan looks a tad sportier too, whereas the Allspace appears a bit boxier. Overall, if you like the shape of the Tiguan, you probably won’t mind the slightly dowdier Allspace.
First things first – the Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace’s interiors are nearly identical in terms of design. Sadly the interior flair of VW’s T-Roc and Polo models hasn’t reached the Tiguan, so both the five-seat and seven-seater look a little drab in comparison. However, all the main controls are right where you need them, it’s very well-built and there are great little touches such as soft felt lining in the door bins to stop things rattling around.
Throughout the cabin you’ll find few hard plastics – the materials all feel premium, and more upmarket than the SEAT Ateca and Skoda Karoq. There’s also a lot of technology on offer, including eight-inch touchscreens on even the entry-level models, while the current entry-level Allspace also offers satellite navigation (although less expensive models without it are expected to join the range).
Both the Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace come with the option to add the Active Info Display – and you absolutely have to tick the box for it. It’s a digital driver’s display, a super-sharp screen that replaces the rev-counter and speedo dials and can show sat-nav maps and plenty more right in front of the driver.
A note on the Allspace’s interior – because it shares the same interior as the five-seat model, it feels more premium than seven-seat alternatives including the Nissan X-Trail and Skoda Kodiaq – read our comparison guide between the Allspace and the Kodiaq for more information.
The standard five-seat Tiguan is roomy enough for tall rear-seat passengers, with enough leg room for two six-foot-tall passengers to sit behind each other and enough headroom for those in the back not to feel cramped. Selected models of both the five and seven-seat models also come with rear seats that can slide forwards and backwards, and even recline slightly, while child seats are very easy to fit thanks to large rear doors and clearly marked Isofix points.
Because of its longer body, the Allspace has even more middle-row passenger space than the normal Tiguan, although it doesn’t do so well on boot space. With all seven seats up, you’ll do well to fit a few soft bags in the Allspace’s boot – you’re slightly better off with a Kodiaq is seven-seat boot space is important to you, although even the Skoda doesn’t have acres of space. Space in the Allspace’s third row of seats is not the best among its alternatives either – it’ll be comfortable for children regardless of how long your journey is, but adults will feel cramped even on short journeys. A Hyundai Santa Fe is a better bet if third-row space is a priority.
Engines and driving
The extra length and weight of the Allspace doesn’t really make a difference when it comes to the driving experience. As a result, both are very easy to drive, and easy to place too, thanks to the high seating position in both cars.
Unless you’re driving long distances frequently or towing a trailer, we would recommend going for the 1.4-litre petrol with 150hp. It has enough power to haul the Tiguan along at a decent speed, and only slows down if you’re carrying seven people and their luggage in the Allspace. It’s smoother and quieter than the diesel options, but if you do go for the 2.0-litre diesel you won’t feel short-changed – it’s punchy, economical and notably refined. Stay away from the bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel – okay, it feels brisk with 240hp, but it’s expensive to buy.
As you would expect, these two are very closely matched – after all, they are five and seven-seat versions of the same car. The Tiguan is one of the best family all-rounders, and its winning formula isn’t diluted with the addition of two seats. However, the five-seat model is capacious enough for most needs, and the seven-seater is only really more useful if you have a brood of younger children. If you do need the extra space, consider the Kodiaq too – it’s very similar underneath and undercuts the current entry-level Allspace by quite a large amount. Stick to the five-seat model unless you really need the extra bit at the back.