More standard tech, new design elements and increased pricing define mid-life upgrade.

Volkswagen’s upgraded Tiguan SUV has arrived in Australia in 110TSI form, with upgraded 162TSI, 132TSI and 147TDI engine variants to follow soon.

When it was announced in February, Volkswagen Australia described the upcoming Tiguan as a major upgrade, offered in three model grades: Life; Elegance; and R-Line.

Replacing the existing Trendline, Comfortline and Highline grades (in non-Allspace form), all three new Tiguan variants share componentry with the latest Mark 8 Golf hatch, including safety and driver assistance technology updates.

VW Tiguan upgraded
Five-seat Tiguan remains a usable and practical SUV for urban environments, with 4509mm length, 1839mm width and 1635mm height (increasing to 1645mm on Elegance and R-Line).

“With the introduction of new technology from the new Mark 8 Golf, the 2021 Tiguan is not a mere mid-life upgrade,” Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch said. “Increasingly, Tiguan is the model with which Volkswagen is becoming synonymous.”

New Tech

Key improvements with this upgrade are on the tech side, with the inclusion of Digital Cockpit Pro, touch-sensitive climate control operation and IQ.DRIVE driver assistance features, all of which will be standard across the 2021 Tiguan range.

VW Tiguan upgraded
Digital Cockpit Pro allows instrument display to be customised to suit driver requirements.

Digital Cockpit Pro allows full customization of the 10.25-inch instrument display via steering wheel controls, so drivers can modify the display to suit their personal tastes.

The new, touch-sensitive climate controls allow temperature and fan speed adjustment by the swipe or push of a finger, with indented increases/decreases, so changes can be felt without taking your eyes off the road. Haptic feedback confirms inputs without the need for traditional buttons.

VW Tiguan upgraded
Climate control adjustment is now done via a touch-sensitive panel.

On the IQ.DRIVE front, Traffic Jam Assist has been replaced with Travel Assist, which allows partly autonomous driving – from low to high speed. When activated, Travel Assist utilises active lane guidance and active cruise control to keep the vehicle within its lane and a safe distance from vehicles ahead. On the Tiguan R-Line, this is upgraded further with the addition of haptic buttons that are force sensitive, adjusting cruise control speed depending on the amount of force used.

IQ.Lights feature on the Elegance and R-Line grades, using matrix technology to mix the low and high beam via individually controllable LEDs, allowing beam pattern to be adjusted to each driving situation.

VW Tiguan upgraded
IQ.Light upgrade features on the Elegance and R-Line grades.

Finally, Proactive Occupant Protection is a new feature that’s been added range-wide. If the system detects an imminent accident, it not only tightens the seat belts, but also closes the windows and (if fitted) sunroof, thus preventing the potential for further occupant injury if hands or arms are outside the vehicle in an impact or rollover.

VW Tiguan upgraded
Proactive Occupant Protection closes the windows when it anticipates an impact.

110TSI opener

The Tiguan 110TSI Life is the first arrival in the updated range, reaching VW dealerships in March. Defined by a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, which drives the front wheels only via a six-speed DSG transmission, the 110TSI Life is the new entry-level Tiguan, but with its increased standard specification, there’s a price increase of almost $5,000, meaning it now only just scrapes in under the $40,000 barrier with a list price of $39,960.

VW tiguan
Tiguan Life offers 18-inch alloys, which increase to 19-inch on the Elegance and 20-inch on the R-Line.

Standard features include 18-inch ‘Nizza’ alloys, an ‘Easy Open & Close’ power tailgate, auto headlights and wipers, power folding mirrors, full LED lighting (including headlights with high beam assist), three-zone climate control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and an 8.0-inch central touchscreen with Discover Media navigation that includes gesture and voice control.

The upgraded IQ.DRIVE tech also includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, Emergency Assist, Lane Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Park Assist (with front and rear parking sensors), and Driver Fatigue Detection.

vw tiguan
1.4-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder is the new entry-level Tiguan engine, with a more powerful 2.0-litre coming in June.

In June, the Tiguan 132TSI Life will be added, offering a more powerful 132kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, 7-speed DSG and 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard.

vw tiguan

More with Elegance

Step up to the mid-level Elegance grade and engine choices switch to a 162TSI turbo petrol 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 162kW/350Nm and a 147TDI turbodiesel 2.0-litre four-cylinder outputting 147kW/200Nm. The latter is the first diesel offering on a regular Tiguan since 2018.

Both engine options in the Elegance line are paired with a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch auto and come with 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard.

Externally, the Tiguan Elegance is defined by 19-inch ‘Auckland’ alloy wheels and additional chrome and silver styling elements.

vw tiguan
Vienna leather appointed seats are standard on the Tiguan Elegance and R-Line.

Upgrades over the Life include Vienna leather-appointed seats with power, heating, lumbar support and memory function on the front seats, a heated steering wheel, ambient interior lighting and a larger 9.2-inch Discover Pro satnav screen.

Adaptive chassis control, tinted rear windows and the aforementioned IQ.Lights are also part of the Elegance spec.

Both Tiguan Elegance variants are due for local release in late May, starting from $50,790 for the 162TSI.

vw tiguan

Sporty R-Line

The premium offering in the upgraded Tiguan family, the R-Line offers the same petrol and diesel engines in the same level of tune as the Elegance, as well as the same 7-speed DSG and standard 4MOTION AWD.

The R-Line also gets all the Elegance goodies, but adds a bunch of features of its own, including front and rear bumpers, sills, spoiler and R-Line badging, while the wheels are sportier 20-inch ‘Misano’ alloys.

Inside, there’s a black headliner, stainless steel sports pedals and an R-Line-specific version of the Vienna leather appointed trim. An R-Line steering wheel adds the aforementioned haptic feedback buttons for cruise control adjustment.

vw tiguan
Luggage area with second-row seats up is 615 litres, increasing to 1655 litres when they’re folded.

There’s an auto power tailgate, too, but it lacks the Easy Open & Close function of the Life.

In 163TSI form, the Tiguan R-Line lists for $53,790, while the 147TDI version starts at $55,290. Both variants are due for Australian release in late May.

vw tiguan

Option Packs

As well as individual options and upgrades, selected components have been combined into two packs – a $5,000 Luxury Package for the Tiguan Life and a $2,500 Sound and Vision Package for the Elegance and R-Line.

The Luxury Package adds heated front seats, power driver’s seat with memory function, a heated steering wheel, Vienna leather appointed upholstery and a panoramic electric glass sunroof.

The Sound and Vision Package adds a head-up display and ‘Area View’ system that combines four camera views to graphically display the vehicle’s position in bird’s eye form, making parking and slow speed manoeuvring easier. The Sound and Vision pack also upgrades the standard audio system to a Harman Kardon premium unit.

vw tiguan
Tiguan 110TSI Life is in VW dealerships now, with the full range to be available locally by June.

All new Tiguan variants come with a five-year, unlimited km warranty and capped price servicing, with three- and five-year care plans available at additional cost.

vw tiguan

See your Volkswagen dealer for more details.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan pricing

Tiguan 110TSI Life                    6-speed DSG    2WD                 $39,960 (available now)

Tiguan 132TSI Life                    7-speed DSG    AWD                $43,690 (due June)

Tiguan 162TSI Elegance            7-speed DSG    AWD                $50,790 (due late May)

Tiguan 147TDI Elegance           7-speed DSG    AWD                $52,290 (due late May)

Tiguan 162TSI R-Line                7-speed DSG    AWD                $53,790 (due late May)

Tiguan 147TDI R-Line               7-speed DSG    AWD                $55,290 (due late May)


BMW R 18 custom from Blechmann


Shelby Mustang Super Snake Down Under

About Author

Practical Motoring

The team of journalists at Practical Motoring bring decades of automotive and machinery industry experience. From car and motorbike journalists to mechanical expertise, we like to use tools of the trade both behind the computer and in the workshop.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also