VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TSI: Ace of space?

VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TSI: Ace of space?
VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TSI

Introduced in 2017, the latest VW Tiguan represents a big step up from its predecessor. The new Tiguan Allspace adds extra length, extra seats – and extra versatility. But all those extras come at a price, and not just in money terms.

The rise of the sports utility vehicle has been as inexorable as it’s been all-embracing.

What started out as a niche segment that comprised a handful of vehicles targeting adventurous motoring types with an appetite for exploring roads less travelled has become a universal phenomenon.

Today, SUVs are offered in more sizes, flavours and price points than anyone would have thought possible. It not only questions traditional model segmentation, but is threatening the very existence of some.

The demand for station wagons, for instance, has taken a worldwide knock. In fact, they’ve already become effectively obsolete in countries such as South Africa. Larger sedans are under threat too, as buyers increasingly opt for the versatility epitomised by similarly sized SUVs.

The original Volkswagen Tiguan was an early, relatively bland adopter of the compact SUV formula. In fact, it was more crossover than SUV, with a talent set focused specifically on a generous, configurable and family-friendly interior.

The all-new Tiguan joined the crossover/SUV fray in 2017 – and it represents a significant step forward for the nameplate. Larger, bolder and more emphatically styled, it’s a much more convincing example of the compact SUV genre.

In an effort to draw the Tiguan’s circle of appeal even wider, Volkswagen has now added an extended-wheelbase version to the line-up. Dubbed the Allspace, it targets larger families with a need for extra accommodation by offering a third row of fold-down seats.

While still very much recognisable as a Tiguan, the Allspace’s expanded dimensions endow it with a distinctive identity. It’s 215mm longer than the standard model, and rides on a wheelbase extended by 110mm, creating a vehicle that’s not only bigger, but more imposing.

The aesthetics certainly aren’t as athletic as the standard Tiguan, mainly due to the stretched rear overhang. A larger rear door and a revised C-pillar underline the extra length, while a bolder bonnet and a new grille with lashings of chrome are further Allspace hallmarks.

As a result, the more corpulent Allspace doesn’t cut as dashing a figure as the standard Tiguan, but then buyers of the newcomer will be more concerned about practicality than cosmetic appeal.

Just how much extra space does the Allspace offer? Well, that depends on how it’s configured.

With just the second seat row in place, the most obvious gain is in cargo space terms, with an additional 115 litres luggage space on offer. That bumps up total boot size to a generous 700 litres.

The second-row bench seat is split 60:40, and can also slide forwards and backwards, offering up to 60mm of extra legroom. For transporting really bulky items (why does a kitchen sink come to mind?) the second seating row can also be folded down, increasing the cargo area to a cavernous 1,775 litres.

But the Allspace’s real party trick is the presence of a third seating row. Those seats are folded into the cargo floor by default, but when raised will accommodate two additional passengers.

There are some caveats, though.

For starters, raising the third seating row shrinks the luggage compartment to a puny 230 litres. And restricted head and legroom means third-row passengers won’t be particularly comfortable – especially taller folk.

At the same time, middle row occupants will also feel the pinch, so to speak, as the second-row bench seat needs to be slid forward to accommodate the third row, robbing the three centre passengers of legroom.

Finally, access to that third row of seats isn’t ideal: yes, the middle row slides forward, but you still have to clamber up and into the those rearmost seats, an endeavour best left to younger, more agile individuals.

Of course, much depends on the proportions of the individuals being accommodated. If younger children occupy those two rear seats, they won’t need nearly as much legroom or headroom as adults, who will then find accommodation in the middle row more than adequate.

Remember also that the middle row is divided 60:40, while the third-row bench is split 50:50. That allows an almost endless variation of seating vs luggage configurations. Certainly, the Tiguan Allspace is vastly more versatile than its slimmer, more conventional standard sibling.

In the case of the 2.0 TSI Highline model on test here, that versatility is accompanied by an arm-long list of luxury features. Electric windows, remote central locking, cruise control, Bluetooth-enabled hands-free telephony and audio streaming, climate control and a touchscreen-driven infotainment system are only some of the highlights.

There’s been no skimping on active and passive safety: front, side and curtain airbags, three-point seat belts for all seven seating positions, LED headlights with daytime running lights, electronic stability control, ABS brakes, IsoFix child seat mounts, and park distance control are all on the standard list.

For those without budget concerns, there is an equally extensive options list, including VW’s active info display (which replaces analogue dials with a seamless TFT screen displaying ‘virtual’ instruments in various configurations), satnav, leather upholstery, premium sound, and more.

Does the Allspace’s extra size and weight (it’s 86kg heavier than the standard Tiguan) have a significant impact on its dynamic demeanour? Not when you compare the flagship 2.0-litre models.

At 6.8sec for the 0-100km/h dash, the Allspace trails its more svelte sibling by just 0.3sec, while its 223km/h top speed is actually 3km/h faster.

But let’s face it, the Allspace is more about utility than performance. The peppy 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine has ample power and torque to comfortably cope with a fully laden vehicle, even one also towing a trailer.

The seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission is a slick shifter, and those who prefer manual cog swaps can use the shift paddles behind the multifunction steering wheel.

Midrange tractability is impressive, endowing the Tiguan Allspace with the responses of something smaller and sportier when it really matters. And for a tall SUV with a 20mm ground clearance, handling is succinct and predictable, even though the steering places comfort and easy turn-in above outright feedback and precision.

That the 2.0 TSI Tiguan gets all-wheel drive as standard potentially extends its application to include all-terrain conditions. However, without low-range and all-terrain tyres, off-road excursions should be limited to benign gravel routes and sandy tracks.

However, the 4Motion system does offer significant benefits in overall traction terms on slippery surfaces, making it a boon on wet roads or poor roads.

Fuel consumption isn’t the Allspace 2.0 TSI’s strongest suit: VW claims an average figure of 8.1 litres/100km, but around town, around 12 litres/100km is more likely, with a mixed-use average of approximately 10.5 litres/100km a realistic target.

For many, the Tiguan Allspace will represent a useful alternative to either the extensive array of conventional five-seater compact SUVs on offer, or the full-sized seven-seater premium SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery and the Audi Q7.

It offers significantly more space, utility and versatility than the former, but is priced well below the latter. Granted, the Allspace isn’t perfect, and its seven-seat status is tainted by compromise.

But for around R33k more than a standard Tiguan 2.0 TSI 4Motion Highline, the Allspace makes a lot of family motoring sense. DM


Luxurious, spacious and versatile.


Seven-seater configuration entails some compromises.


VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TSI 4Motion


In-line four-cylinder, 1,984cc, turbo


162kW @ 6,200rpm


350Nm @ 1,500 – 4,400rpm

Power-to-weight ratio

91,26 kW/ton


Seven-speed DSG, AWD


19-inch alloy, 235/50 R19 tyres

0-100 km/h


Top speed


Fuel tank capacity

60 litres

Fuel consumption (claimed/tested)

8.1/11.8 litres/100km

Operating range (claimed/tested)

740 / 510km

CO2 emissions


Retail price/as tested

R604,800 / R662,688


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