Does the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan JOIN make the perfect weekend getaway vehicle?
In this 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan JOIN review, we’re finding out if the new 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan JOIN would make the perfect road trip vehicle. And since being in the market for three years, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan JOIN doesn’t need any further introduction.
So, to find out whether 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan JOIN would make the perfect getaway vehicle to faraway places, we had our road trip in one; by taking the 2019 Volkwagen Tiguan JOIN from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Moreover, we’re not taking the easy way up.
Our journey started from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh via the old Malaysian Federal Route 1 (FT 1) highway. It was the backbone road system in the western states of Peninsular Malaysia before being superseded by the North-South Expressway (E1 and E2).
This stretch of tarmac is not just a living museum, but it is still frequent with heavy goods vehicles. While the combination of Pre-War civil engineering and idyllic scenery makes FT 1 the perfect makan angin route.
Our trip started at the break of dawn at 7.00 am, heading down south towards Desa Petaling to get two friends of ours. The Tiguan’s 615-litre boot space was more than enough to fit overnight bags of four people. While folding the seats down, that number goes up to 1,655-litres. But, it is not just the space that matters, but the additional compartments at the edges do house flip flops or lose items easily.
Speaking of which, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s interior scores high on practicality. The door bins fit 1.5-litre drinks bottles easily with additional room to spare. Moreover, the rear-seat occupants get additional cubby at the edges of the seat bottom. If that’s not enough, the seats slide up to 170mm and recline allowing more space for extra luggage or legroom. It has a big cooled glovebox and deep centre storage under the armrest.
Malaysia isn’t particularly a cold country which clear skies on that day would mean plenty of exposure from the sun. And for an SUV, this means strong air conditioning is needed. Thankfully, the Climatronic three-zone automatic climate control system enables all occupants in the car to have their own ideal temperature setting. While the VW Tint fitted – standard for the JOIN variant – keeps harmful UV rays out well.
My friends and I aren’t tall and large and have no issues regarding occupant space. And when it comes to refinement, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s isolation is on par with many premium brands; wind and road noise is not apparent until speeds exceed 150 km/h. Moreover, the Tiguan’s plush ride filters out FT 1’s blemished and bumpy surface effortlessly.
We made our first stop at Sungai Klah for a quick lunch break. After that, we made our way back on the road. And being a famous spot for holidaymakers, traffic on a two-lane road can be hectic. While merging back into a busy road required patience, jumping in back when the opportunity arises requires a quick accelerating vehicle.
That is something the Volkswagen Tiguan’s EA211 1.4 TFSI engine is really good at. This engine makes 148 bhp at 5,000 – 6,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 – 3,500 rpm. Matched with the torque-centric output, the six-speed wet-clutch direct shift gearbox (DSG) rapidly transmits the driving force to the Tiguan’s front wheels. This allows the Tiguan to merge into traffic effortlessly. Moreover, the DSG gearbox features launch control for racier launches off the lights.
But, besides the performance aspect, the 1.4 TFSI engine is frugal when it comes to fuel consumption. As recorded during our road trip, the Tiguan managed to equalise at 7.4 L/100 km (13.5 km/l) combined. We reached our destination on time with 600 km fuel range left with two bars blank from the Active Info Display digital instrument cluster.
Soon after we’ve checked in, temperatures taken and settling in, we decide to head back out into Ipoh town for dinner. With the Tiguan’s 8-inch Discover Media touch screen infotainment system makes a great travel companion. Especially with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on board. Using the latter, navigating through Waze and browsing our favourite playlist on Spotify without ever touching the phone while driving is very valuable, especially when navigating through unfamiliar streets.
The next day, we checked out and headed back south, this time through the North-South highway. The Volkswagen Tiguan’s refinement shines especially on long straight roads albeit slightly bumpy. With the road and wind noise at bay combined with the Tiguan’s plush ride help to reduce driver fatigue. Moreover, the Vienna seats offered plenty of support and comfort for both front and rear occupants.
The rear foldable tables located on the front seatbacks comes in handy; with the tables upright, the rear occupants are able to stand their iPad upright while placing light food and drinks items stable. Though having to put up with impatient drivers on the fast lane, the Tiguan’s low-end torque and progressive power delivery pushed the crossover’s 1.5-tonne weight up to speed easily. As we reached back home in KL, the Tiguan covered 600 km with 240 km of range left.
In conclusion, the Volkswagen Tiguan ticks all of the right boxes. It is very versatile and will take on whatever you can throw at it. Moreover, it is not a difficult car to drive, and with a driving refinement comparable to cars twice its price, the Volkswagen Tiguan feels like its worth every single Sen. And what impresses me the most is that the 1.4 TFSI engine is able to clock plenty of mileage out from a 60-litre fuel tank.
Tester’s Note: Considering that Volkswagen is not a premium brand, the Tiguan feels and drives something which belongs in a segment above. Moreover, being laden with relevant creature comforts, though it is not a fair comparison, the Volkswagen Tiguan could go head to head with the likes of the Lexus UX.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan JOIN
Price From RM 165,990
On sale Now
Engine 1,395 four-cylinder, turbocharged, direct fuel injection
Power 148 bhp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
Torque 250 Nm @ 1,500 – 3,500 rpm
Gearbox 6-spd DSG direct shift gearbox
Kerb weight 1,470 kg (kerb)
Top speed 200 km/h
0-100km/h 8.9 seconds (Tested)