Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid performance, engine & drive

Performance is strong in the plug-in hybrid Tiguan, although the driving experience is let down by a gearbox that’s slow to respond

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Performance, engine & drive rating

3.0 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
7.5s127mphFront242bhp

Although the Tiguan eHybrid shares its powertrain with Golf GTE and Passat GTE – which means a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor, fed by a 13kWh battery – the plug-in family SUV doesn’t have the same focus on performance as those models.

Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

Accelerating from 0-62mph in the Tiguan takes a respectable 7.5 seconds, which is over a second faster than its rivals from Ford or Hyundai can manage. The outright pace of the Tiguan eHybrid isn’t the issue however; rather, it’s the lethargic automatic gearbox. This can take an age to kick down when overtaking, or to engage when pulling away. Normally, the instant power from an electric motor disguises a turbocharged engine’s flat spots, but this hesitancy can make the VW feel quite ponderous. Adopt a more careful approach with the throttle and it takes on a much more amenable character, more in keeping with its efficiency-focused approach.

Handling

Gentle driving is the name of the game here, which is a pity, because the Tiguan handles relatively well. True, a Ford Kuga is more fun, but the VW’s steering is direct and body control is good. There’s a 'B' mode for the gearbox, which gently feeds energy back into the battery through regenerative braking when you lift off the throttle. The ride is a little harsh on the R-Line's 20-inch wheels, but we expect the smaller rims on the entry-level Life will improve things. Even on big wheels, though, refinement is impressive for a car in this class.

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