Skoda Kodiaq 2017 review
In what’s become a tradition of Skoda giving its cars silly names, the seven-seat mid-sized Kodiaq is named after a bear, sort of because they had to be different and swap the ‘k’ for a ‘q’.
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So, you need some extra seats, but you don’t want to buy something too big.
No, the German brand has gone so far as to extend the wheelbase of its ever-popular Tiguan. Is it better for it? Does it compromise an otherwise great package? And, are the extra seats even usable?
I took one for a week to find the answers to these questions and more.
|Volkswagen Tiguan 2020: Allspace 110 TSI Comfortline|
|Engine Type||1.4L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
We had the Tiguan Allspace in 110 TSI Comfortline trim, which is toward the entry-level. At $40,150 it competes with high-end offerings from Honda (CR-V VTi-L - $38,990) and Nissan (X-Trail ST-L $39,300). It will soon also face competition from Mercedes-Benz when its new GLB-Class lands in mid-2020.
Although not the highest-spec Allspace you can get, the Comfortline still punches above its mid-spec weight when it comes to equipment.
Things like an electric tailgate, LED headlights and tri-zone climate control are well and truly premium bits of kit.
Those match well with 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support as well as built-in nav, auto folding wing mirrors, keyless entry and push start, and a rechargeable torch in the luggage area.
You can even option the front-drive base car we had here with things like leather seats and a panoramic sunroof, although frustratingly, adaptive cruise control is part of a $1600 ‘Assistance Package.'
More on the safety inclusions later in this review.
Regardless, the Tiguan looks and feels like the semi-premium package it should be considering its price premium over rivals. Just be aware it gets expensive quickly when you start ticking option boxes or going after all-wheel drive, for example.
The more I spent time with it, the more I appreciated the Tiguan's slick, understated styling. Volkswagen’s design is pleasingly consistent across its range right now, and the Tiguan just looks like a big Golf – in a really good way.
The blending of curves around the edges and strong angles down the sides and roofline is masterful, and the silver highlights delicately sprinkled across the exterior trim add just enough shine to stop it looking too simplistic.
Overall it will be less controversial than the majority of its competition, while also looking decidedly further upmarket.
Perhaps the Allspace's best trick is the way it hides its dimensions. It doesn’t look huge, and you have to look really closely to spot the difference between the Allspace and the regular length car.
Inside it’s mostly great, too. The indistinguishable-from-a-Golf theme continues, but that means decent plastics, leather-trimmed touch points and well-built switchgear.
It’s inoffensive, but also hardly flashy. The fake aluminium trim and odd mix of gloss plastics is nicely put together, but overall a bit plain. The further back you go (seat-wise) the more basic the trim gets. More on that in the practicality section.
The cabin might be overwhelmingly grey, but it’s a practical place to be. And while the Allspace has its letdowns, it almost makes up for them with some surprises.
Starting with the front seats, there’s plenty of room in the deep foot well as well for arms, and head clearance is excellent.
Storage comes in the form of massive bottle holders in the doors, some trick cupholders in the centre console (which can be folded away to make a big storage trench) and a bay under the climate controls which hosts USB, aux, and 12-volt ports.
Bonus storage comes in the form of big roof-mounted boxes, a decent centre console box and a big glove box, too. Ergonomics are great and there a dials for everything! Full marks in the front, then.
In the second-row things are great, too. Again, there are big pockets in the doors, pockets on the back of the seats, a drop-down armrest and in a rare addition, in-flight service trays on the back of the seats. I’m not sure what good they are for eating or typing on… but a cool addition nonetheless.
The second row seats are as comfortable as the first row, and they are also on rails, allowing you to max out legroom, or make fitting child seats easier. Or, if the third row is in use, you can minimize it to help third row dwellers out.
The second row also gets its own climate control zone with controls, adjustable vents, as well as a USB and 12-volt outlet. Great marks for the second row, too!
Sadly, things are less good over in the third row. Despite the clear efforts VW has gone to imake the Tiguan chassis accommodate an extra row, it just hasn’t panned out for passengers.
Thanks to the second row on rails, and the large door aperture, clambering in isn’t too hard, but once you’re there the space is not sufficient for an adult.
Even with the second row moved forward significantly, there seems to be nowhere for my feet to go, seat comfort is best described as ‘basic’ and headroom was not sufficient for my 182cm height.
Children under the age of 15 are perhaps best suited to this scenario. There are no air vents, and the trim around the edges is a bit hard.
The upswing of the Allspace’s extended cabin though, is the gratuitous amount of storage. Even with the third row up, you’ll get a hatchback-sized 230L.
The boot is a whopping 700L with the third row stowed, and rows three and two stowed you’ll get 1775L – or enough for an entire set of six dining chairs, as I discovered on my test.
The entry-level Allspace 110TSI comes with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.
It produces 110kW/250Nm which probably sounds a little light-on for such a big SUV (driving section spoiler: it is) although, isn’t too bad considering Honda’s similarly sized CR-V gets by with a very similar powertrain.
This is the only Allspace with a six-speed dual-clutch auto. Higher-spec 2.0-litre all-wheel drive models get a seven-speed instead.
The Allspace 110TSI drinks a minimum of 95RON petrol, with a claimed/combined ] of 6.6L/100km.
Our real-life test produced a much higher 9.1L/100km. I expected it to be higher than the claimed figure given the extra weight of the Allspace, but perhaps not that much higher.
The 110TSI also has a slightly smaller fuel tank than the 2.0L versions at 58L.
The Allspace offers up a very VW drive experience – and it’s mostly good.
Many of the main characteristics are just like a Golf or Polo. Accurate steering which is pleasantly light for city-slicking, an overall comfort suspension tune which is great for soaking up potholes, and an impressively quiet cabin.\
What’s not so great is the dollops of turbo lag served up by this engine. It’s more annoying than the same engine in a Golf, because the simple physics of moving such a large object lends itself to a few precious milliseconds of delay.
I found myself pressing the pedal further out of frustration, only to have the front wheels spin when the torque finally arrived a full second later.
It’s no athlete then. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be, but if you want a drive experience without these characteristics you’ll need to shop even further up the price scale to the 2.0L versions.
The six-speed dual clutch is a slick shifter though, and unlike previous iterations of this ‘box it has almost no jerkiness at low speed.
Overall, the suspension tune was good, but there are moments where it feels extra-stiff around the rear.
I’m not entirely sure why I noticed this more over say, a regular Tiguan, but all I can report is the rear seat passengers might notice it on larger potholes.
As a city-slicker, it’s narrow but long body also betrays its size, making it feel hatch-like to navigate around tight streets. Admittedly, this did not quite extend to parking and three-point turns.
Otherwise it’s a quiet ride, and once you’re at freeway speeds one of the best places to be in the segment.
5 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
The Tiguan has seven airbags, with curtain airbags which cover even the third row. The expected stability and brake controls are also present.
The safety offering can be upped by ticking the ‘Driver Assistance Package’ box ($1600 – worth it) which includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, as well as ‘traffic jam assist’ (allows the cruise control to stop and go at traffic), and ‘emergency assist’ (will try to alert a non-responsive driver then drive into a shoulder if no response is received).
It’s a good standard set of standard features, but truly impressive with the affordable assistance pack.
Volkswagen has updated its warranty to match mainstream automakers at five-years/unlimited kilometres, so it’s on-par with major Japanese rivals there.
Servicing can be packaged up (and bundled in on finance) at the time of purchase, with a three-year package costing $1350 and a five-year package costing $2500.
We’d absolutely recommend sticking to the five-year package if you intend to keep the vehicle for the warranty period. You do legitimately save money on what VW calls ‘servicing RRP.’
The Tiguan Allspace is a slick, refined package that justifies its higher-than-rivals entry price with a great list of inclusions.
It’s a bit odd that its hero feature, the extra seating, is one of its least compelling attributes, but the extra internal space makes it one of the most practical mid-sizers you can get your hands on.
|110 TSI Comfortline||1.4L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO||$30,200 – 39,490||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2020 110 TSI Comfortline Pricing and Specs|
|110 TSI Trendline||1.4L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO||$26,400 – 34,980||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2020 110 TSI Trendline Pricing and Specs|
|110TSI Life||1.4L, PULP, 6 SP||No recent listings||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2020 110TSI Life Pricing and Specs|
|132 TSI Comfortline||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$35,200 – 45,540||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2020 132 TSI Comfortline Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||7|