Volkswagen Tiguan hybrid review
The plug-in VW Tiguan hybrid is comfortable and great to drive, while its efficiency numbers will appeal to business users
- Relaxing to drive
- Proven plug-in powertrain
- 30-mile electric driving range
- Reduced boot space
- Not much fun to drive
- Conservative styling
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||30 miles||157-177mpg||38-43g/km|
Volkswagen added another string to the hugely popular Tiguan SUV’s bow in 2021, with the long-awaited arrival of a plug-in hybrid version. The Tiguan eHybrid, as it’s known, shares a powertrain with GTE versions of the Volkswagen Golf and Passat – which means a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor, plus a 13kWh battery. Combined power output is a healthy 242bhp and the Tiguan hybrid is also capable of driving a decent 30 miles in electric mode.
As you'd expect, the Tiguan eHybrid returns impressive official CO2 emissions, which range from 38-43g/km depending trim level and wheel size. That means the Tiguan is likely to hold particular appeal for company-car drivers due to its resulting low Benefit-in-Kind tax rating. Fuel economy is quoted at between 157 and 177mpg, and while that's theoretically possible with a fully charged battery and lots of electric-only driving, we think our road test figure of 44mpg is a much more representative level of consumption for real-world driving.
The Tiguan was facelifted in 2020, yet looks broadly similar to before, as its bodyshell is unchanged from the previous car's. But the latest model gets a new front-end treatment, new bumpers and new head and tail-lights that help maintain some family resemblance with the latest Golf. While it’s not a standalone model in the line-up, the Tiguan eHybrid isn’t available in all the trim levels of the standard SUV.
The hybrid powertrain isn’t offered with the entry-level or Active versions, but you can choose Life, Elegance or R-Line spec. Updates to the car's interior include a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons, along with a new digital-dial setup. A new central infotainment screen also features, as seen on the latest crop of Volkswagen products, with higher-spec models getting the biggest 10.25-inch version. Elsewhere, a number of physical controls, including those for the heater, have been replaced by touch-sensitive equivalents.
So the Tiguan has been made to feel more modern to help it keep pace with ever-slicker rivals like the bold Hyundai Tucson, and with the addition of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain it's aimed squarely at the company-car market, too. Buyers and user-choosers alike won't be disappointed by the Tiguan's fundamental abilities as a family SUV. There's space in the back for three adults and the boot is well shaped, even if the battery does rob 139 litres from the standard car's figure.
The Tiguan eHybrid is a very relaxing car to spend time in. The ride is smooth and body control is good, while the refined hybrid drivetrain keeps noise to a minimum, especially at low speeds in pure-electric mode. Performance is strong: 0-62mph takes 7.5 seconds and thanks to the 400Nm of torque on offer (with a charged battery) there's plenty of overtaking punch. And despite the extra weight of the car's battery and electric motor, the Tiguan eHybrid doesn't feel particularly overburdened.
As ever, there are a number of electric driving modes and settings to pick from to make the most of the car's electric power, with settings to hold onto battery charge for use later in a journey, or to maximise efficiency by letting the car shuffle between power sources as it sees fit with the help of sat-nav data to assess the road ahead. A definitive verdict on the Tiguan eHybrid will have to wait until we drive the car in the UK, but initial indications are that it'll be a strong entry into the increasingly crowded plug-in hybrid family SUV class.