Volkswagen Tiguan R interior
Sporting tweaks help to liven up the standard Tiguan’s slightly dull cabin, but it doesn’t feel quite as plush as some fast SUVs
Being a Tiguan, the go-faster R version was never going to win any awards for standout design. Other fast SUVs such as the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 pack in a load more wow factor, and even the likes of the Cupra Formentor (which is essentially the same car as the Tiguan underneath the surface) does more to draw your eye in.
It’s a very straight-laced cabin. But there are at least a few sporting design touches to help lift the Tiguan R’s style appeal over that of the standard car. There’s plenty of cool blue stitching throughout the cabin, some smart-looking suede-like material on the chunky sports seats, a handful of R badges and blue ambient lighting (although up to 30 different colours are available).
It feels generally well made too, if a little bit cheap in places. The seat fabric on the seat centres and some of the scratchier plastics on the doors are particularly notable offenders in this regard. But the layout of all the car’s primary controls is very sensible indeed, so you won’t find you have to scrabble around too much to locate the button or switch you might be looking for.
As with normal versions of the Tiguan, the Tiguan R comes as standard with Volkswagen’s MIB3 generation infotainment software. So you get tech such as satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a range of connected internet services such as map updates and live traffic information.
This is all access via a sharp-looking 8-inch touchscreen display. This is generally fairly easy to use, with relatively simple menu structure and good responsiveness to your inputs. If, however, you’d prefer to just hook up your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead, the process is simple enough. Both systems can be accessed wirelessly, so you won’t have to faff around with cables and the like either.
That said, if you want wireless smartphone charging, you’ll have to pay extra. Volkswagen will charge you £425 for that charger, too.
Behind the steering wheel you’ll find a large 10.3-inch digital instrument screen. This high-resolution display replaces traditional analogue dials, and is not only easy to read but highly customisable too. You can set it to display anything from mapping information, to song choice, to your classic trip computer and speedometer with the press of a button on the steering wheel.
Speaking of those steering wheel buttons, these are a more controversial. They’re touch-sensitive, so you don’t really have to push them down like you would a normal button. They can feel weird at first, and not everyone likes them. You might find it takes a bit of time to get used to them.