In-depth reviews

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

VW Tiguan hybrid
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Relaxing to drive
  • Proven plug-in powertrain
  • 30-mile electric driving range

Cons

  • Reduced boot space
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Awaiting economy and emissions figures
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid31 miles165mpg (est)40g/km (est)

VW 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 properly known, shares a powertrain with GTE versions of the VW Golf and Passat – which means it's blessed with a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor with a 13kWh battery. When working together, the combined power output is a healthy 242bhp and the Tiguan hybrid is also capable of driving a decent 31 miles in electric-only mode.

As you'd expect, the Tiguan eHybrid makes a compelling case for itself in terms of quoted CO2 emissions, which range from 33-38g/km depending on things like trim level and wheel size. As with plug-in hybrids generally, that means the Tiguan is likely to hold most appeal for company-car drivers taking advantage of Benefit-in-Kind tax breaks. Fuel economy is quoted at between 138 and 157mpg, 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 looks broadly similar to before – 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 grades of the standard SUV. The hybrid powertrain isn’t offered with the entry-level or Active version, but you can choose a Tiguan eHybrid Life, Elegance or R-Line. Updates to the car's interior include a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons, along with a new 10-inch 'Digital Cockpit Pro' 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 9.2-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 new 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 have full UK pricing and specification info, but initial indications are that it'll be a strong entry into the increasingly crowded plug-in hybrid family SUV class.

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