- 2.0L engine brings added grunt
- Excellent value for money
- Light leather option colour adds extra class
- Engine can be thirsty
- Expensive service pricing
- Not a true seven-seater if that's what you're after
Since its debut in 2007, the Volkswagen Tiguan has earned its stripes as one of the most well-rounded mid-size SUVs on the global automotive market. Its mix of quality, mature driving dynamics, punchy turbocharged engines, practicality and comfort have won it over six million global sales (to 2020). The second-generation of Tiguan brought with it the high-performance R and the seven-seat Tiguan Allspace, so it’s safe to say that it’s even more versatile than before. What’s the Tiguan like in 2023? We tested the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI to find out.
Measuring 4,734mm long, the Tiguan Allspace measures 225mm longer than the standard length Tiguan, and in Life 132TSI spec, adds in two occasional use seats in the boot for a total of seven. Suddenly, the Tiguan isn’t playing in the mid-size SUV segment – rather, it’ll be cross-shopped against larger SUVs like the (much more expensive) Toyota Kluger. Is it still worth consideration?
Price & Equipment: 9/10
While the Tiguan Allspace starts from $44,490 plus on-road costs for the entry-level Life 110TSI, we tested the 132TSI, which is the all-wheel drive variant of the entry-level Life. It’s priced from $48,490 plus on-road costs, or currently $49,990 drive away nationwide. Under $50,000 drive away for an all-wheel drive European seven-seat SUV is pretty good value to us.
For an entry-level model, the Tiguan Allspace Life comes with a decently long equipment list with 18-inch alloy wheels, dusk- and rain-sensing automatic LED lighting, auto wipers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, digital radio, a wireless smart phone charger, tri-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, heated and auto-folding mirrors with puddle lamps, an auto-dimming rear mirror, a digital driver’s display, cloth upholstery, height and lumbar adjustment for both front seats, three USB-C ports, an eight-speaker sound system and a cooled glove box.
Standard safety equipment across the Tiguan range includes seven airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian monitoring, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane assist with adaptive lane guidance, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, driver attention monitoring, auto high beam, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, low-speed rear auto braking, tyre pressure monitoring and even automatic parking.
Optional on the Tiguan Allspace Life are both a $600 power tailgate with kick-to-open functionality and the $5,600 Luxury Package that includes leather upholstery, ‘comfort sports’ front seats, a 10-way electric driver’s seat with memory, heated and cooled front seats and a panoramic sunroof. Our test car featured both options. We reckon the Luxury Pack is pretty good value – most manufacturers charge $3,000+ alone for a sunroof and that again for leather upholstery, let alone electric adjustment and both heating and venting.
The only standard colour available on the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Life 110TSI is ‘Pure White’, while ‘Deep Black Pearl’, ‘Atlantic Blue’, ‘Platinum Grey’ and our test car’s ‘Pyrite Silver’ cost $900 extra. ‘Kings Red’ is also available for $1,100. Black cloth seats come as standard while the leather in the optional Luxury Package can either be black or the beige of our test car.
While there are a number of competitors to the Tiguan Allspace – like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Skoda Kodiaq that shares the Tiguan’s platform – we consider there to be two main rivals for the Allspace Life 132TSI: the Mazda CX-8 Sport D35 AWD (around $54,000 drive away, depending on location) and the Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire (around $51,500 drive away).
The Sport diesel variant is the cheapest way to get all-wheel drive in the CX-8, and its pricing makes it around $4,000 more expensive than the Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI. The CX-8 is physically slightly larger than the Tiguan Allspace and it has slightly more equipment like a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen and a heads-up display, though the Tiguan still has a wireless phone charger and paddle shifters over the CX-8.
The Outlander is better value than both, however, thanks to its larger 20-inch wheels, leather and suede upholstery, heated front seats, a 9.0-inch touchscreen and a heads-up display. But regardless, we still think that the Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI is a great value product – especially considering that its drive away price is less than the standard length Tiguan Life 132TSI thanks to it being built in Mexico, not Germany. Its supply is also greater than the regular Tiguan because the Allspace is sold in significantly less countries globally.
Performance & Economy: 8/10
In the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Life 110TSI is a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine, but the $3,000 upcharge to the Life 132TSI adds a larger 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, that makes 132kW of power (between 4,387rpm and 6,000 rpm) and 320Nm of torque (between 1,500rpm and 4,387rpm). Whereas the 110TSI is front-wheel drive, the 132TSI is all-wheel drive and comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch ‘DSG’ transmission, which is one more gear than the 110TSI.
The ‘EA888’ engine in the Tiguan Allspace 132TSI is used in a plethora of other Volkswagen Group products, and in this tune, offers a nice slug of torque at low revs to help with around town driving. It offers a nice snarly engine note, while it feels more than quick enough for a car of this segment – the claimed 0-100km/h sprint time is just 8.2 seconds, which is 1.3 seconds faster than the lighter but less powerful Allspace Life 110TSI. It feels far gruntier than the naturally aspirated 2.5-litre engine in the Outlander, though the CX-8’s 450Nm peak torque is still 130Nm higher than the Tiguan.
The only available transmission on the Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with paddle shifters for part-manual control and a sport mode for sportier driving. The ‘DSG’ in our test car was fairly intuitive and displayed pretty good behaviour. There was little low-speed hesitancy, and its upshifts were typically fast. The Allspace’s various drive modes also help with different driving styles – eco mode dulls the throttle for more economical driving and sport mode makes the throttle sharper and adds weight to the steering.
The claimed fuel consumption of the Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI is 8.9L/100km with CO2 emissions of 201g/km, which is 1.2L/100km and 25g/km higher than the 110TSI. In mixed driving, we achieved 10.3L/100km, which isn’t too bad – though Australia is yet to receive the cleanest generation of this engine, which offers 140kW/320Nm outputs and is rated at 7.2L/100km for fuel consumption in Europe. The Tiguan Allspace 132TSI requires 95RON premium unleaded fuel and has a 60-litre fuel tank.
Ride & Handling: 9/10
Riding on 18-inch alloys, the Tiguan Allspace Life is very compliant without being too soft like some SUVs can be – the Outlander comes to mind thanks to its almost soggy body control. The ride in the Mazda CX-8 is a bit more compliant thanks to its longer wheelbase and smaller wheelbase, but the Tiguan Allspace is a better all-rounder with more driving fun from behind the wheel and a nimbler nature thanks to its smaller size – it really feels like you’re driving a larger Golf, which, you almost are.
One word we would use to describe the handling ability of the Tiguan is mature. The Tiguan feels safe when cornering with some slight body roll, but the solid nature of it and quick steering gives you reassurance. We would say that the Tiguan is one of the more dynamic offerings in this segment as it sits on the same platform as the smaller Golf. The Tiguan’s active safety tech works really well too – the adaptive cruise control works intuitively, the forward collision alert isn’t too sensitive and the lane keep assist only shows itself when necessary. The cameras are clear and sharp, making parking a simple task.
Interior & Practicality: 8.5/10
This generation Tiguan’s interior has always been one of the best in the mid-size SUV segment thanks to a winning combination of good build quality, great practicality and good integration of technology. Thanks to more of the latter and a general freshening with its mid-life update, the cabin of the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI Life is better than before. Cabin materials haven’t changed and are disappointingly hard in some places but the new dashboard inlays and leather materials on the seats and doors make it feel relatively plush.
Up front, there are plenty of storage options in the Tiguan. These include a sliding centre console, covered cupholders that double as a storage bin, lined door bins, a reasonable glove box, a small compartment by the driver’s right hand knee to hide valuables and map pockets on back of the front seats with portions for phones.
The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the Tiguan Allspace is simple but quite good as it’s easy to use on the move and the shortcuts on the sides of the screen make using it easier. We also love that there is still a physical volume knob, unlike some of Volkswagen’s newer systems. The satellite navigation works is easy to set – though there’s no live traffic functionality yet – and eight-speaker sound system is more than adequate. The wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto was simple to set up and faultless for our testing period. Finally too, there’s a wireless phone charger in the centre console.
The second row seating of the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is quite generous, with ample room in all directions, even for taller passengers. It’s reasonably well featured too, with a separate climate zone, sliding and reclining seats, map pockets, flock-lined door bins and a central arm rest with cupholders. There is also one USB-C input and a 12-volt power outlet for passengers to charge their devices, though no sun blinds.
Popping into the third row is easier than you may think as there is a lever to slide the second row forward and once back there, there is enough legroom for kids to sit. We wouldn’t recommend putting adults back there though, as they will likely be quite cramped, but that’s not unusual for this class. There are also not many features – a cupholder and some storage, but no charging ports or air vents.
Opening the boot of the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI reveals 230-litres of cargo space with all the seats in place. Folding down the third row via the handles on the seats opens this up to 700L and folding all the seats down reveals a cavernous 1,775L. In comparison, the larger Mazda CX-8 only has 209L with all seats in place and 775L with the third row folded. There are also some clever features like remote releases for the second row of seats, a second boot floor, a removable torch and hooks to hold bags. A space saver spare lies underneath the lower boot floor
Service & Warranty: 6.5/10
Like other new Volkswagen products, the Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI comes with a five-year/unlimited km warranty with a year of roadside assistance that’s topped up with each scheduled dealer service. Five years/75,000km of servicing costs a massive $3,769 ($753 per service), though you can lessen that by purchasing a service pack for the same duration, which costs $3,200 ($640 per service).
Mazda also offers a five-year/unlimited km warranty with five years of roadside assistance, while Mitsubishi also offers a five-year warranty up to 100,000km – though if it’s serviced through a Mitsubishi dealership, up to 10 years/200,000km of warranty is available and roadside assistance of up to four years in total. Five years/50,000km of servicing the CX-8 diesel costs $2,440 ($488 per service) and five years/75,000km of servicing the Outlander costs $1,595 ($319 per service).
The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.2/10
Overall, the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Life 132TSI is a great family car that offers a lot to buyers and it’s easy to see why so many Tiguans have been sold in its lifetime. Its cabin is spacious, it’s good quality, it’s packed with standard equipment, it drives well, it’s quiet and even relaxing to drive, Even if you tick the Luxury Package, it’s also pretty good value for money. Like many of its rivals, it’s not the most exciting car to drive – choose the upper-spec 162TSI for more of that – but its refinement and comfort make it feel almost luxurious, which will no doubt help busy parents keep the kids quiet.
Really, the only negatives we have about it are its expensive service pricing and that the third row of seating is tight. Other than that, we think the Tiguan Allspace is a great option and we’d definitely choose the larger Allspace over the five-seat model as it’s better value for money and supply is better too. Overall, it’s easy to see why there are so many Tiguans around, and the Allspace only adds further to its overall appeal and versatility.