I was always concerned about small engines, especially a SUV sized car with a 1.4… but I may have been wrong. The story started with the fact that we needed a car, that’d be good for daily driving in the city. So I started looking. At first it was all about cars with internal combustion engines, perhaps more about diesels, later we started testing hybrids too. But, we found most affordable hybrids ugly. Until I gave a last shot to VW. There was VW Passat GTE that drew my attention and I checked few reviews, however I managed to book a test drive with Tiguan eHybrid. Primary intention was just to familiarise myself with VW hybrids and understand if that is something we should really be looking for. Yes, this post is going to be a quick review of Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid R-Line 2021.
So I came to VW dealership in the morning, picked the car up fully charged and went for a drive. VW build quality felt solid in this car, nice big screen, panoramic roof and other nice things. But the focus was how it drives? It is 1.4 petrol plus electric powertrain in the end. Does it drive? Before checking that out I was enjoying peace of the electric mode. Because it is VW with it’s dual clutch gearbox, not a CVT as an example, it felt like a really nice and solid drive. I drove it for quite a while in the city, and I can say I started to get used to regenerative braking, that felt like I’m not wearing the car at all, compared to the internal combustion cars where braking is actually wearing the brake pads! In addition this car felt really light to manoeuvre, stop and set off from the traffic lights. I also tried electric mode on the highway, however it was slightly incline and petrol engine kicked in for help above 80kph. To be continued… By the way, accelerating harder from the stand still often ended up in wheels spin in the 2nd gear. Yes, it is only front wheel drive, because four wheel drive is not available for the eHybrid Tiguan.
Leaving the driving experience a little aside, this VW Tiguan looks nice from the outside too! Thanks to the R-Line styling. If I ever buy VW, it’ll have R-Line badge on it! Compared to previous generation R-Line, this one looks so much more aggressive from the front. Rear styling is improved too, I’m just not fully convinced by the fake exhaust styling. There was one thing that made me think twice, why VW did go that route: the steering wheel buttons. Previous generation had physical buttons and nice round shape of the airbag area. Now things changed and you’ve got two touch panels on the steering wheel… seems a little bit odd decision, however, I understand that they had to follow the trend too… even if you check Cayenne or the latest Macan. Overall just check the pictures, it is indeed solid looking car.
Well, 245hp of combined electric and 1.4 petrol engine power, I can say, I was surprised when switched to GTE mode and pushed hard entering the highway. My expectations were exceeded. I thought this will not give much sense of acceleration. But it did! Let’s be honest, it didn’t feel like a true sports car, but was fairly fast and lively. I would like to indicate that I was expecting less satisfactory experience.
Back to the numbers
I’m not going to list down the spec of this car. However, since the purpose of it is 95% city driving where in many cases only electric power would be used, I was more interested in finding out the practicality and real world consumption. Which, with my experimental and a bit temperamental driving was 3L/100km. I drove total of 43km, of which many were using just electricity. I ended up with 23km of electric charge available (because I was pushing harder to see what the 1.4 combination can do). These figures can be found in the photos too.
Overall this 1.5 hours driving experience left me a very positive impression about this VW Tiguan eHybrid. I think that could be a perfect solution for a family that needs only one car, which would be mostly drive in the city, as well as convenient form factor for the weekends! A trip or two to Europe per year would be no problem too, and no range anxiety involved. With this Tiguan R-Line eHybrid you’d have flexibility of both worlds: electric mode for increasing efficiency while in the city, as well as quick refill convenience of petrol if you’re in a rush, and most importantly combination of both – the GTE mode, that would let you have a little fun when you want it.