Time is money. Apparently. It’s an alien concept to us journalist type folks, but I’ll pretend to agree. That’s why we all call the Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace TAS — to save all of one whole second it takes to say its entire name. A second saved, a million earned. Or whatever is the equivalent of nothing.
Anyway, I borrowed the TAS from Ishan for a few days. It was a sudden trip to see my family folks.
My two cars aren’t in the prime health to do hard and non-stop 12 hours of driving. A quick call to Ishan and an hour later, I had the keys to the TAS. I left in the wee hours of the following morning.
Those who are even mildly drawn to cars would know that the TAS doesn’t take road abrasions sportingly and it makes sure that you are made aware of its protest by sending audible and perceptible deflections into the cabin.
Despite knowing that, I was quite sure that the TAS would manage things just fine. Half of the 3,000km to-and-fro drive was on straight, smooth expressway roads, and if you know how to settle the car down on its suspension, even the stiffly sprung crossover like the TAS can be a flattering experience. Especially because the seats are nice for long hauls.
But — there’s always a but, isn’t it — the other half of my driving was on typical tier 2 city roads and over moderately maintained state highways. That meant the suspension became overly critical of my choices. That said, my spine is still in one piece, so I guess that suggests something about compliance?
In fact, usually, when a car is stiffly set up and applied to our roads, it starts showing effects on the cabin parts. Plastic endings and fixtures start rattling and the car generally becomes a misery over extended durations of driving.
I feared that the same would happen with the TAS but it didn’t. By now I must have become a TAS salesperson to many, but hold your thoughts.
The one big issue lies with the engine. It isn’t the best fit for this crossover. The power delivery builds smoothly enough, but the gearing is a bit off when you start pushing it. The TAS is best experienced when cruising along between 100-120 clicks — which is plenty fast and at the far end of legal limits, I know.
But what I mean by this is that it feels the most comfortable between 1,000-2,500 revs. So you could be doing 50km/h in first gear for all I care, but once it goes beyond 3,000rpm, the engine just doesn’t like you very much. It feels like it is panicking and begging for an upshift. It would’ve been completely agreeable had it felt like this beyond 4,000, but it starts fairly lower than that.
So, just short shift and get to your comfortable cruising speed (100-120km/h, trust me) and the TAS will be happy. On the other hand, you won’t be because of the damned spending on petrol.
I need to find another gig to offset that expense. I’m off searching for it...
When it came: November 2020
Current Odo reading: 8,900kms
Mileage this month: 3,450kms
Fuel efficiency: 7km/l
What's good: Long-distance comfort
What's not: Fuel cost per km
Well, a few months ago, when I bid adieu to my long-term Tiguan, it was a bittersweet parting. You see, having driven it for a long time, I’d gotten used to the lovely qualities of the Tiguan – comfort, peppy engine, great suspension and excellent dynamics. So, when Volkswagen India asked if I would like to run the new Tiguan AllSpace for a few months, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
Of course, the AllSpace is quite a different machine compared to the normal Tiguan. Not only is it longer, but also features a third row of seats and is now powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine instead of the diesel unit. Now, the addition of the 3rd row makes the Tiguan a lot more practical, even if the 3rd row is best suited to children. However, the elongation of the car – mostly in the rear door, if you look closely – has messed up the design of the Tiguan a little bit, with the proportions not being as perfect as before.
But, as I spend time with the AllSpace to discover more about it, I must admit, my favourite part of the car right now is the bright Tangerine paint shade, which VW refers to as Habanero Orange. And I’ll go as far as saying that I never thought I would love driving a bright orange car, but with the AllSpace, the colour is such a perfect shade and suits the car so well, I’m happy to drive it around. And let’s admit it, a classy looking bright orange car always brings a smile to people’s faces.
When it came: November 2020
Current Odo reading: 3,120kms
Mileage this month: 1,455kms
Fuel efficiency: 9.5km/l
What’s good: Space, size
What’s not: Petrol engine not as fun