Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review

Story and photos by Azfar Hashim
20 Dec 2012

Small, powerful engine in an SUV a winning formula?

Introduction, Exterior

Singaporeans are one of the highest consumers of SUV, which is a surprise considering the jungle we have here is a concrete one. If you ask any SUV owner out there “why?”, the usual answers will be “I love the high driving position”, “it gives me a sense of security”, “I feel very safe”. 

But what they rarely mention is how much the petrol bills are.

The other bane? SUVs typically come with big engines, and this equates to higher road tax and obviously insurance. 

A few years back though, a certain Japanese brand produced what became aspiring Singaporean’s favourite small SUV. It came with a 1.5-litre engine, has a cabin that’s fairly spacious for four and, depending on the badge – either a ‘T’ or ‘D’ – came in both two or four wheel drive.

Ever since then, nothing came along to cater to this group of consumers. Well there is the Nissan Juke, but with a rather quirky exterior, it became a rather niche small SUV.

Now, if you’ve been dreaming and aspiring for a mid-sized SUV that doesn’t cost much and with the frugality of a hatchback, then meet Volkswagen’s latest Tiguan 1.4 TSI. 

No, your eyes aren’t playing any tricks and you are reading it right: a 1.4-litre engine, shoehorned into one of Singapore’s popular SUV. Now think about it; this isn’t just an SUV, this is a brave new world.

Exterior wise, there isn’t much to give away that this is the small-engined variant. In fact, the only difference is located at the boot – the ‘TSI BlueMotion’ badge is the only indication. Everything else is exactly similar as the 2.0-litre variant.

Our test car here came fitted with the $9k option, which includes bigger 18-inch alloys, Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running light, and full sunroof (front) and glass roof (rear). Other goodies include an audio headunit with integrated reverse camera screen and GPS, parking sensors and also a park assist function that steers you into a parking lot.

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Engine Capacity 1390cc TurbochargedSupercharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 150bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 240Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 92.5 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 193 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 20.4 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Automatic
Drive Type FF


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4426 x 1809 x 1703) mm
Wheelbase 2604 mm
Kerb Weight 1621 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 64 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs