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RPM TV Website | July 11, 2020

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New-generation VW Tiguan ups the turbodiesel ante

New-generation VW Tiguan ups the turbodiesel ante
Deon Schoeman

Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW – eat your heart out. The world’s most powerful four-cylinder turbodiesel production engine belongs to … Volkswagen.

In an unexpected display of one-upmanship, the VW Group has opted to debut its new, high-tech 2,0-litre bi-turbodiesel powerplant in the latest VW Tiguan compact SUV, which makes its South African debut at the Festival of Motoring next week.

The advanced engine is credited with 176 kW of maximum power, coupled to a torque peak of 500 Nm, the latter sustained between 1 750 and 2 500 rpm.

The VW mill’s closest competitor is Mercedes-Benz’s 150 kW/500 Nm two-litre turbodiesel, offered in the C-Class, CLS and GLC ranges. Both Audi and BMW have to currently make do with 140 kW of muscle from their best two-litre four-pot oil burners.

Not surprisingly, the Tiguan’s top-end bi-turbodiesel is only offered in conjunction with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system, while a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox is the only transmission choice.

From the VW Group’s perspective, you’d expect a flagship engine such as this – and especially one competing in a key segment – to be given its maiden journey in an Audi product.

But the decision to give the Tiguan the first bite at the bi-turbodiesel apple could be a strategic one. With the continued fallout from the emissions scandal still plaguing the German marque, it needs to attract some shine, while the new Tiguan is a key model with high volume expectations.

The bi-turbodiesel’s debut in the Tiguan will be followed by a wider rollout of the engine across both the VW and Audi brands. We’d expect a 180 kW version to be offered in next year’s new Audi Q3, as well as in the current A4 and the next-generation Q5.

South African buyers are unlikely to be offered the top-end bi-turbodiesel Tiguan model, at least not initially. Instead, expect Volkswagen here to focus on strong value and competitive pricing with a drivetrain range that will favour front-wheel drive and smaller, more frugal engines.


  1. Christopher

    Have u tested the new Vw Tiguan? What do u think of it? And competition

    • Deon Schoeman

      Good evening Christopher – we’ve only tested the 1,4 TFSI 4Motion, which is swift and responsive in dynamic terms, and also looks and feels quite upmarket. That’s a good thing for the most, although the optional R-Line body kit is too city-slicker for our liking. We liked the quality of the materials, though, and this new Tiguan really is a lot more upmarket than its predecessor. That excellence comes at a price, though: The Tiguan now knocks at the Audi Q3 door in pricing terms. As for rivals, there’s a long list to choose from, including the latest Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. However, its more natural rivals are the Ford Kuga and the Renault Kadjar. The Q3, for one looks like a better package considering its pedigree and similar mechanicals – but the Audi still uses an older-generation platform. For now, there’s no TDI model, but there should be one by year end, and if you travel regularly, the lower consumption alone might be worth waiting for. Bottom line – try before you buy … and that goes for its rivals, too. For your interest, the test was broadcast in Ep366 – and you should be able to see it on our YouTube channel in the next two weeks or so. Rgds

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