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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Tiguan R: Does VW’s new performance SUV justify R1m price tag?

Powered by Volkswagen's familiar 2.0-litre TSI engine that punches out 235 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque.

As I promised just the other day, Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) has taken the wraps off the Golf 8 R and Tiguan R.

Well mostly. The Tiguan R is here now and for R999 900 you could jump in one and drive away with the family.

Want a Golf R? Sadly, you will still have to wait till the first quarter next year for the car and the pricing.
But we did get to drive both this week.

Along with the Tiguan R, the few VWSA demo Golf Rs will also be going into the media fleet, and I will be able to get you some road test performance numbers soon to keep you entertained till you can get your own one.

I am, therefore, not going to get into the Golf R now as I will be covering this hot hatch in more detail when I take it to Gerotek in the not-too-distant future.

ALSO READ: No more waiting: Muscled-up Volkswagen Tiguan R priced

Tiguan R has no direct rival

The allure of the Tiguan R is all about owning a powerful and rather fast SUV. In terms of direct competition, it has none and is massively better priced than what you would spend if you were hunting for a similar M or AMG-sized SUV.

This said, let’s cut to the chase and talk numbers for those daddies that will try convincing mommy that they need a new SUV as a family car for the kids and the dogs, but secretly want it to go hot hatch hunting at the weekend.

VW TIguan R
21-inch Estoril alloy wheels is an optional extra on the TIguan R.

Running the familiar VW family 2.0-litre TSI engine that pumps out 235 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque and is in turn driven to the ground via a seven-speed DSG to all four wheels, this family SUV is said to hit 100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds while electronically being limited to a top speed of 250 km/h.

I gave the Tiguan R a decent straight-line workout coming out of Cape Town on the N2. The launch control is aggressive, and this SUV jumps away from the lights. It is quick and it will take care of your traffic light drag war’s needs.

Tiguan R glued to the road

Moving onto track attack mode for when you want to carve up some twisty tar, the Tiguan R sits 10mm closer to the planet on top pf adaptively controlled shock absorbers and is fitted with a powerful 18-inch brake system with blue brake calipers. This SUV also runs an all-new all-wheel drive system that is called 4Motion with R-Performance Torque Vectoring.

Hit the blue R button on the new multi-function sports steering wheel and everything firms up and gets way more direct.

Not so family friendly no more, buts that’s exactly what you want from a high-performance SUV, and fun will be had. Then all you must do is hit the comfort button and things will soften up and calm down again, and the kids in the back will stop vomiting. The best of both worlds if you ask me.

ALSO READ: Volkswagen fights parts challenges with new ‘entry-level’ Golf GTI

Standard spec is pretty good and includes bumpers in R design, exterior mirror covers in matt chrome, a high-gloss black rear diffuser, black wheel housing extensions, 20-inch Misano alloy wheels, Lights and Vision Package, panoramic sunroof and front and rear park distance control.

VW TIguan R
The Tiguan R comes standard with Digital Cockpit with integrated lap timer.

Options galore

On the inside you get premium Nappa leather seats with the R logo, a customised Digital Cockpit with an integrated lap timer, as well as a carbon inserts.

Additional standard features include the Discover Pro system with satellite navigation, App-Connect and voice control as well as keyless entry and, panoramic sunroof and an electric tailgate.

Truth be told though, if you have the budget, I would dive into some of the nice-to-have optional features such as the Matrix I.Q. LED headlights, Harman Kardon sound system, Akrapovic exhaust, 21-inch Estoril alloy wheels, Head-Up Display, Harman Kardon sound system, Adaptive Cruise Control as well as the trailer hitch with Trailer Manoeuvring System with Park Assist.


Then in my humble opinion you will have one cool looking, well-kitted and fast SUV parked in your driveway.

The Tiguan R comes standard with a three-year/120 000 km warranty and a five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.

For more information, visit the manufacturer’s website.

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