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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor


VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI: GTI power wrapped in a sexy SUV

Flagship Tiguan goes from 0 to 100 km/h in a hot hatch-bashing time of 6.5 seconds, albeit at a premium.


The facelift Volkswagen Tiguan is said to be a SUV designed for every kind of drive. With this in mind, I thought I would use some of my time with the high-performance, R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion, slicker playing out by one of my favourite cycling spots. The high-performance part is admirably taken care of by Volkswagen's familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that offers 162 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque. The numbers speak for themselves. A claimed 0 to 100 km/h time in a hot hatch-bashing 6.5 seconds to go with a top speed of 225 km/h make this…

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The facelift Volkswagen Tiguan is said to be a SUV designed for every kind of drive. With this in mind, I thought I would use some of my time with the high-performance, R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion, slicker playing out by one of my favourite cycling spots.

The high-performance part is admirably taken care of by Volkswagen’s familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that offers 162 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque. The numbers speak for themselves. A claimed 0 to 100 km/h time in a hot hatch-bashing 6.5 seconds to go with a top speed of 225 km/h make this SUV one of the quickest offerings in its class.

Slick shifting

And being quick on tar and as well on the dirt is effortless thanks to the slick shifting seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive system that you can control with the simple twist of a dial.

Since our test unit came fitted with the optional electric towbar among a bunch of other cool to have options, I loaded up my mountain bike and headed out to The Circus.

The Circus? That’s correct. Well kind of. You slightly older folk are going to remember this with some fondness, while you younger millennials are going to think I am talking about some fictional time when dinosaurs freely roamed the earth with Fred Flintstone.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI 162 road test
It can do the family too.

In 1954, Whilma Howe Wilkie brought all the showmanship of clowns, sawdust, lions, elephants and other wild animals to Durban from New Brighton, England as part of the W H Wilkies Great Continental Circus.

What started as a small two-pole canvas tent affair that could be seen travelling around the country in their famous red and yellow trucks, turned into the Boswell Wilkie’s Great Combined Circus in 1972 when Mr Wilkie bought shares in the Boswell Circus.

Disappearing act

But the world was already changing and when in 1994, the no animal Chinese Circus joined the scene, the public stayed away due to the demand for animals in the circus.

With people spending their entertainment money elsewhere and the circus no longer being a family tradition, the Boswell Wilkie Circus performed their last show in 2001.

Their well-known big top tent was moved from Alberton to the Boswell Wilkie Circus farm in Randvaal and became a venue for corporate functions and the like.

But the glitz was gone, as were the animals and clowns, and finally in 2015 the tent was taken down and sold, thus effectively ending the Boswell Wilkie Circus.

ALSO READ: Facelift gives popular Volkswagen Tiguan added appeal

Today, on the farm you will find Café du Cirque, a quaint and well-supported circus inspired coffee shop that serves a brilliant cappuccino with banana bread.

Alongside it you’ll find the Circus Cycling Shop that has become the meeting place for both locals and out-of-town cyclists. And a round trip from here to Reitvlei and back on some easy dirt tracks is a nice 50 km flat recovery-type ride.

Flagship features

Back to the Tiguan. Being the top-of-the-range derivative, this model comes standard with the R-Line exterior package, ambient lighting with 30 interior lighting options, Vienna leather seats with the R-line logo in the two front seats, the Active Info Display instrument cluster, multi-functional steering wheel with touch and swiping actions and the R-line logo as well as keyless entry.

Beside the already mentioned towbar, the other options fitted to our test car came in the form of a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, Head-Up Display and a Harmon Kardon sound system.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI 162 road test
Interior with the optional 9.2-inch Discover Media infotainment system.

It also featured 20-inch Suzuka alloy wheels, the Discover Pro infotainment system with App Connect, rear view camera including Park Assist and Park Distance Control, plus IQ Drive and Matrix LED headlights.

The IQ Drive option includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Change System, Park Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Conclusion

It’s not cheap at a suggested retail price of R720 700, and some R100 000 more with the listed extras fitted. But just take a look the next time you are out on the road and you will see I am right.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI 162 road test
Not the full Tiguan R but still, the 162 has the same engine as the Golf GTI.

With the much-loved GTI engine under the bonnet, smart styling courtesy of R-Line, and a host of standard and optional technology on board, it is easy to see why the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion DSG is so popular in South Africa.

For more information on the Volkswagen Tiguan, click here.

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