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In-depth reviews

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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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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