In this article’s subhead, I described the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan as “practically a poor man’s Audi Q3.” That statement would’ve been closer to the literal truth had I been talking about the first-gen Tiguan, which indeed shared its platform and chassis with its luxury-branded corporate sibling.

But this newest Tiguan is all new while the Q3 soldiers on with its current platform since its world debut in 2011. Nonetheless, the VW Group’s industry-leading modular platform-sharing technology means that the Tiguan might likely share its platform with the next-gen Q3. Which means that this unassuming little German crossover rides on a world-class chassis with typical Teutonic levels of low NVH and a smooth, supple ride one even harsh or broken pavement.

German solidity

Nothing can match a German car when it comes to chassis solidity and this is the Tiguan’s strongest point. It may not be as quick and responsive on the road nor have as many toys or gimmicks in the cabin as its Japanese or Korean rivals, but drive reasonably fast on rough roads or broken pavement and the Tiguan simply shrugs off the bumps and potholes like its vastly more expensive luxury car compatriots. And that’s just priceless.

Teutonic understatement

Volkswagen, like its more prestigious Audi stablemate, is noted for its understated design, both inside and outside. Unless you prefer an extrovertly designed small SUV with flashy curves and lines (think Hyundai Tucson or Nissan Juke), you would appreciate the subtle and more timeless minimalist design of the Tiguan. Go for a silver Tiguan and you’re really projecting an Audi vibe. If you want a little more visual pizzazz, you can always get a Tiguan in our test unit’s head-turning orange finish.

VERDICT

You can look at the VW Tiguan as offering not much more than its vastly more affordable Japanese and Korean rivals. You can also look at it as being more exclusive than its Asian rivals yet more affordable and just as solidly constructed as the luxury German luxury brands. Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

Specifications
Engine 150ps/250Nm 1.4-liter DOHC direct-injection turbocharged petrol inline-4
Drive Front-wheel drive
Transmission 6-speed DSG automatic
Suspension Wishbones with stabilizer/independent four-link with stabilizer
Brakes Ventilated discs/discs with ABS
Tires 235/55R18
L x W x H 4,486 x 1,839 x 1,632mm
Wheelbase 2,681mm
Features Auto-on LED headlamps with LED DRL’s, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding heated side mirrors, push-button engine start/stop, stationary start-stop function, 6.5-inch touchscreen Aux/USB infotainment system, 40-20-40 split-folding rear seats, front/side/head/curtain airbags, Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) with Anti-Slip regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Electric Parking Brake with Hold function
Price P2,259,000
Test: Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI Comfortline: practically a poor man's Audi Q3
Form Factor9
Build Quality8.7
Ease of Use9
Performance8.7
Value for Money8.7
8.8Overall Score