Two cars that stand out distinctly in the barrage of launches in 2020 were the Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace and the T-Roc. Both were launched back to back to strengthen the company's SUV portfolio and also tell its customers about the direction it was heading in. Yes, the SUVW! A strategy that will see a whole bunch of SUVs hit the Indian market. The Tiguan All Space and the T-Roc are the new age SUVs that have made their way to Indian shores and set the tone for what's going to unravel in 2021.
The Tiguan AllSpace has more to offer and here we are comparing it to the 5-seater Tiguan which came to our markets 3 years ago. It's got three rows, so seats for 7 people and it comes in just one variant – so packed to the gills with features. There's a panoramic sunroof, full-digital instrument cluster with active info display so you know everything about the car, three-zone automatic climate control, hands-free boot opening, leather seats, keyless entry, a touchscreen infotainment system and eight speakers. The features are all encompassing and yes, it has been kitted keeping in mind that the car will be used by the family. So touches like USB charging ports at the rear and good space in the third row, all make sure that the AllSpace caters to the needs of those using that space. There's also a park assist feature for drivers, to help with parking in tight spots.
The Tiguan AllSpace feels agile, quick and fun to drive
The dashboard comes with soft touch material and the you get beige or black cabin depending on the exterior colour you buy and that's quite an offering as it adds to the opulence of the car. The driver seat can be adjusted electronically, and it offers good lumbar support as well. But it's the engine that truly makes the difference. It's only available with the petrol engine but it's refined and pretty special too. It gets a 2-litre turbo petrol unit good enough for 188 bhp on offer and 320 Nm torque and it's off the mark pretty quickly too. It's the 7-speed gearbox that makes a world of difference too when you drive because well, it's just so seamless and precise. You also get paddle shifters, so you can take control of the car and drive it the way you want to.
You have the option of Beige and Black interiors depending on the exterior colour you choose
The various driving modes like Eco, Sport and individual, add to the experience and you can fiddle around with the settings which best suit your driving style. But the big take away here is that it drives more like a hot hatch than an SUV and you really have to stay focused when changing lanes because this one is a big car but since it's so well balanced, it doesn't feel like one, a trait that we see even on the T-Roc.
The T-Roc targets a new audience, a younger crowd, one which VW had never targeted in India before. In fact, the strategy with the price too was to entice the younger crowd to buy this lifestyle vehicle and yes it has worked wonders, because VW has sold the first batch of units coming to India which shows the potential that the T-Roc holds.
The T-Roc gets a 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit which churns out 148 bhp and that's pretty good for a car this size. It's not exactly an SUV but more of a crossover stance and that's why it's even more fun to drive. Though it is 4234 mm long, it still is pretty quick on its feet and it's the perfect car to throw around a corner.
Now it's only the front wheel drive version that India gets but it's just so much fun behind the wheel and you can't help but push down the pedal every time you get a chance to do so. It's packed with features too and that makes its trendy and since there's just one variant on offer, there's a lot you get!
Both the T-Roc and the Tiguan All Space then have set the ball rolling for the company's India 2.0 strategy and with the success of both these cars, VW have certainly got the boost to bring in more such products to the country. But now localisation will be at the core of the cars made for the Indian market, and both these SUVs give the consumers a precursor of what's about to come to the market.