Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace (2016-2020) Review
The VW Tiguan Allspace is a bigger, seven-seat version of the Tiguan. You get plenty of high-tech creature comforts and lots of room in the back, but alternatives are quite a bit cheaper.
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The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a bit like a Tiguan that’s bought itself a designer backpack – it’s quite a bit more practical but without compromising on style. The Allspace’s bigger boot and third row of seats mean it can carry seven people and quite a bit more luggage than the Tiguan, making it an alternative to the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq and Kia Sorento.
It isn’t just the VW Tiguan Allspace’s looks that feel a smidge more grown-up than the Kia – its interior is also a serious cut above. There are loads of soft-touch plastics, glossy metal-effect trims and soft-close cubbies, but sadly its design won’t get your pulse racing.
Much more exciting is the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system you get as standard and the 10-inch digital driver’s display you get on all but entry-level Match cars. It looks just as sharp as the Virtual Cockpit system you get in posh Audis and really sets the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace apart from many less futuristic seven-seaters.
Speaking of seven seats, the Allspace musters up almost as much room in its third row as the cavernous Skoda Kodiaq. There’s just enough space for small adults to get comfy on short journeys and kids won’t have too much to complain about on long hauls either.
The middle row is even roomier than in the standard Tiguan (thanks to the Allspace’s longer body) and there’s plenty of adjustment in the front seats to help you find your perfect driving position – even if you’re very tall.
Sadly, the Tiguan Allspace doesn’t quite live up to its name – other seven-seaters do have bigger boots – but it’s still a practical, if quite expensive, family car
Unfortunately, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace loses some points when it comes to boot space. With all seven seats in place, there’s still space for a small weekly shop but the Kodiaq has it licked for outright capacity. Thankfully, it’s a doddle to flip the back seats down using neat levers in the boot and the resulting flat load bay is large enough to swallow a couple of bikes.
All but the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel and 1.5-litre petrol models come with four-wheel drive to give you a little extra grip in slippery conditions – ideal if you fancy hauling a few mountain bikes around. If you spend more time pottering around town, however, the 1.5-litre petrol will be your best bet while a diesel Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is worth considering if you do plenty of long trips or regularly tow a trailer.
Whichever model you pick, you’ll find the Allspace very easy to drive. Its raised ride height and large windows give you a great view out and the light controls make it reasonably easy to manoeuvre in town – despite its large size.
It’s especially relaxing to drive if you pick a model with a DSG automatic gearbox instead of the standard manual unit, and all models come with a raft of high-tech safety kit. As a result, the Allspace is one of the best all-round seven-seat SUVs on sale, but if you can live without some of its headline-grabbing features a cheaper alternative might be more suitable.
The VW Tiguan Allspace is roomier than the standard Tiguan and comes with plenty of practical storage cubbies, but other seven-seaters have bigger boots and more usable back seats.
There’s plenty of space for adults in the VW Tiguan Allspace’s front five seats, but the third row is best treated as a kids-only zone.
You’ll have plenty of space to stretch out in the front of the VW Tiguan Allspace, even if you’re tall. Both front seats come with height and lumbar adjustment as standard to help stave off lower back pain on long drives and the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, too.
It’s easy to climb into the middle seats through the wide rear door openings and there’s plenty of headroom for six-footers to stretch out. There’s space to slide your feet under the seats in front and – with the middle row slid all the way backwards – there’s loads of knee room, too.
Things get a little tighter if you try to carry three adults abreast thanks to the VW Tiguan Allspace’s harder middle seat and the lump in the rear floor that gets in the way of your central passenger’s feet. Those in the outer middle seats can recline the seat backrests to help make long trips a bit more relaxing, though.
You can flip the middle seats forward easily to access the rearmost seats, but you’ll need to slide the middle seats someway forward if adults are to have any chance of sitting comfortably in the back. Even then, they’ll find there isn’t a great deal of headroom to go round, but at least the Allspace’s large rear windows help stop things feeling overly claustrophobic. The Kia Sorento is a better bet if you need to carry adults or older kids in the third row.
You won’t have any difficulty fitting child seats in the VW Tiguan Allspace. The standard Isofix anchor points on the outer middle seats are easy to access and the large rear doors make it even easier to lift in a bulky rear-facing seat than in the standard Tiguan.
The VW Tiguan Allspace isn’t just capable of carrying lots of people – it has plenty of clever storage spaces, too. The front door bins are big enough for a 1.5-litre bottle each and they come with a nice felt lining to stop things rattling about while you’re driving and – besides in R Line Tech models – all Allspaces come with an extra hidden cubby space under the driver’s seat.
There’s a decent amount of space under the front central armrest and you get a pair of neat adjustable cupholders in the centre console that’ll securely hold a wide range of drinks. You also get a rubberised tray under the dashboard for your phone next to a pair of USB ports and a 12V socket.
There’s an extra storage tray up on the dashboard and two more fold-down trays in the roof for everyone’s sunglasses. You can’t have the latter in models fitted with the optional panoramic glass sunroof, however.
Those in the middle row get some slightly smaller door bins than those in the front, but there’s also a pair of sturdy folding picnic trays attached to the front seats with some neat flip-out cupholders. Those in the third row have to make do with a couple of shallow storage trays beneath each side window.
On paper, the VW Tiguan Allspace’s boot is smaller than the Kia Sorento with all seven seats in place, but the VW is easier to load and (unlike the Kia) there’s space to carry a large suitcase. There’s no load lip by the boot opening and there’s space under the stepped boot floor to store the parcel shelf if you need to remove it.
Fold the rearmost seats down and the VW Tiguan Allspace has 700 litres of bootspace. The boot floor itself is mostly flat so it’s pack with bulky luggage. You can flip down the middle seat if you need to carry some very long luggage poking through between two middle-seat passengers or fold down all three middle seats using levers by the boot opening. You will have to lean forward and give each seat a push before they sit completely flat, however.
With all the back seats folded, the VW Tiguan Allspace’s boot grows to a whopping 1,775 litres. That’s slightly more than a Kia Sorento can manage and easily big enough to carry a few bikes with their wheels attached, but a Skoda Kodiaq can muster up around 250 litres of extra space.
The VW Tiguan Allspace comes with plenty of safety and driver-assistance features as standard, but the entry-level car’s manual gearbox is a bit notchy.
The VW Tiguan Allspace is easy to drive in town – despite its large size – and it’s comfortable on motorways. If you’re after a sporty seven-seater, however, look elsewhere…
You can get the VW Tiguan Allspace with two petrol and two diesel engines and with either front- or four-wheel drive.
Entry-level cars come with a 1.5-litre 150hp petrol engine with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. They’re ideally suited to pottering around town and, VW claims, will return fuel economy in the high thirties. If you spend a lot of time in traffic jams, you’ll want to upgrade to the seven-speed automatic gearbox. It’s easier to use than the slightly notchy manual gearbox and helps give your left leg a rest in stop-start traffic. It can lurch slightly at very slow speeds, however, especially when you first start the car.
There’s also a more powerful 190hp 2.0-litre petrol model that’s a little more expensive to run but is worth considering if you take in a mix of city and country driving and fancy something a little punchier. The 220hp petrol version of this engine is best avoided because it’s more expensive to buy and returns less than 30mpg in normal driving conditions.
If you spend lots of time on motorways, you’ll want to get a 2.0-litre diesel-powered model. The 150hp model is an excellent all-rounder, it returns more than 40mpg and it cruises quietly at speed.
There’s also a 190hp model that’ll be better if you regularly tow a trailer and a range-topping 240hp 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel with 240hp. The latter is impressively quick for a big seven-seater SUV, but it’s expensive to buy and costs more to run than the less speedy diesel models.
Entry-level 1.5-litre petrol cars come exclusively with front-wheel drive while 150hp diesel cars can be had with optional four-wheel drive. This grippier setup comes as standard on 190hp and 220hp petrol cars and 190hp and 240hp diesel models, but it’s only worth paying extra for if you’re certain you’ll be using your VW Tiguan Allspace on slippery, muddy surfaces and need the extra traction.
Despite its large size, the VW Tiguan Allspace is pretty easy to drive in town. The steering is light and the raised seating position and large windows give you a good view out to help when manoeuvring through tight spaces. Were it not for the rear windscreen being someway further back, the seven-seat Allspace would feel exactly like the smaller Tiguan to drive.
It soaks up bumps just as well as the standard Tiguan around town, too – especially in SEL models that come with adaptive suspension that lets you choose between firmer, sportier settings and softer, more comfortable setups.
Head out of town and you’ll find the VW Tiguan Allspace has plenty of grip through tight corners and its tall body doesn’t lean excessively as you steer through a series of twisty curves. Sure, it feels less athletic than the likes of a SEAT Tarraco, but there should be no reason for passengers to feel queasy – even those in the rearmost seats.
That said, the VW Tiguan Allspace feels most at home on motorways. It cruises along quietly and comfortably without too much wind or tyre noise, and you get adaptive cruise control as standard to help take the sting out of very long stints in the driver’s seat.
You also get automatic emergency braking as standard to help prevent avoidable collisions by performing an emergency stop if it detects a parked car or other large obstacle blocking the road ahead.
The VW Tiguan’s interior is all very easy to use and the infotainment system is nice and intuitive, but alternatives have much more interesting cabins with greater scope for personalisation.