Volkswagen India has forayed into the mid-sized SUV segment with the Tiguan SUV to extend its market share in the Indian market. It is not the first VW SUV to be introduced in the country as the company, in 2012, had launched the Touareg, which unfortunately turned out to be an exasperating farrago of expensiveness and exquisiteness. It was priced rather wayward at Rs. 58.50 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom), thus having limited success and the company was compelled to pull the plug a couple of years later in 2014. Meanwhile, let bygones be bygones, coming to the Volkswagen Tiguan, it is offered in diesel fuel trim only in two grades: Comfortline and Highline. Initially, it was expected to be locking horns with Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour as it was believed to hit the Indian shores in a 7-seat version as the International-spec model, but the German automaker shook everyone by presenting it in a 5-seater avatar, whereas the aforementioned SUVs are available in a 7-seater configuration. Therefore, we would be comparing it with Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V in this piece.
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Speaking of the dimensions, Volkswagen Tiguan measures 4486mm in length, 1839mm in width and 1672mm in height. The SUV looks quite proportionate and expressive in terms of styling. As for the Hyundai Tucson, it measures 4475mm, 1850mm and 1660mm in length, width and height, respectively. Adorning the South-Korean automaker's Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, it appears exorbitant from all ends. Coming to the Honda CR-V, it measures 4545mm in length, 1820mm in width and 1685mm in height. Unquestionably, the CR-V has snatched several buyers due to its exemplary exterior styling in the past and still distracts a lot. Going by the dimensions, it is quite evident that Honda CR-V is the longest SUV, while the Hyundai Tucson is the widest one. Again, the SUV from the stable of Japanese automaker takes the honors of being higher than the other two. The Tucson lags behind in every aspect, albeit by a narrow margin.
Speaking of the wheelbase, which is the decider in evaluating the cabin space, subsequently resulting in the amount of legroom for the front as well as rear passengers. The VW Tiguan has a wheelbase of 2677mm, while the Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V has wheelbase of 2670mm and 2620mm, respectively. You get the drift? Despite being the shortest SUV in length, the Tiguan topples both the SUVs and emerges with the best cabin space. Though, the fuel tank capacity doesn't matter a lot but buyers find it quite a perk when it is larger as they don't need to take a break for fueling purposes, regularly. The Tiguan has the largest fuel tank of 72 litres, while the Tucson is far behind at 62 litres and CR-V at the last with 58 litres.
Moving on to the mechanical aspects as, unapologetically, they are the driving force for a buyer, at least when such beasts are concerned. Volkswagen Tiguan packs a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged TDI diesel engine which belts out top power of 140bhp at 4000rpm and peak torque of 340Nm between 1750-2750rpm. It is available only with the company's 7-speed Dual Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic gearbox. Talking of the Hyundai Tucson, it is on offer with both petrol and diesel engines, but we would stick to the oil burner here. So, the diesel variants get a 2.0L 4-cylinder DOHC powerplant with maximum power of 182bhp at 4000rpm and highest torque of 400Nm between 1750-2750rpm. It can be availed with both 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Last but not the least, the Honda CR-V comes in petrol guise only but with two powertrains: a 1997cc 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC motor with 153bhp at 6000rpm and 190Nm at 4300rpm & a 2354cc 4-cylinder DOHC i-VTEC mill with 190bhp at 7000rpm and 226Nm at 4400rpm. The former is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the latter comes with a 5-speed automatic gearbox only. The Tiguan feels quite under-powered on the paper, but the inclusion of 4Motion all-wheel-drive system gives it an upper-hand over the other two SUVs.
Pricing is the ultimate ingredient which influences a buyer's decision the most, let alone appearance, features and performance. So, when it comes to pricing, the Volkswagen Tiguan is priced in a range between Rs. 27.98-31.38 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi); quite bizarre or obnoxious, despite being locally manufactured at the company's production facility in Aurangabad. As for the Hyundai Tucson, the diesel variants are priced in a range between 21.65-25.01 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi). And, the Honda CR-V is priced in a domain of Rs. 22.64-26.79 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi). One can clearly see the decent difference in the price of Volkswagen SUVs, and perhaps Volkswagen might slash the prices of Tiguan following the implementation of GST in India. But, for the time being, it is clearly overpriced by a huge margin and that could hurt the sales real bad.
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