Volkswagen’s Tiguan was the company’s first offering in the compact sports utility vehicle sector, and as you’d expect from the German manufacturer, it quickly got a reputation as a very good vehicle indeed. And the latest generation of the award-winning Tiguan is even better writes Ian Strachan

With muscular and rugged good looks but still unmistakably a Volkswagen, the Tiguan is a genuine off-road performer, with the firm’s 4MOTION four wheel drive system. Serious off-roaders can opt for the Escape specification with under-body protection, sump guard and hill descent control. Oh, and a compass in case you forget which direction you should be travelling in.

But despite its off-road abilities, the Tiguan behaves very well on-road, with no body roll and excellent cornering. Once inside you feel as if you’re in a car, not an off-roader.

The interior is an extremely comfortable and airy place to be, with excellent visibility all round and pleasant trim and seat materials. Clear, well-lit instruments and easily accessible controls help the overall feeling of well-being inside the cabin.

Specification on the Match specification which I tested is good, with electronic air conditioning, all-round airbags, touch-screen navigation system with DAB radio plus CD/MP3 player with Bluetooth compatibility and USB port, and integrated aircraft style folding tables in the seat backs. You also get 18 inch alloy wheels, chrome-plated roof rails, all round electric windows and door mirrors, an electronic parking brake with auto hold and lots of storage space. The Match trim level also has body-coloured front and rear bumpers, front fog lights, park assist with front and rear sensors,  under-seat drawers, keyless entry and ignition and automatic stop/start..

Volkswagen’s clever park assist system – Volkswagen was one of the first to introduce this –  allows you to put your feet up while the car effectively parallel parks itself. Extras on my test car included a rear view camera (£410) tow-bar with electrical connections (£670), heated front seats and window washers (£270) and metallic paint (£540).

I test drove the 2.0 litre 150 horsepower diesel version which gives a respectable 49.6 miles to the gallon in mixed driving, and is a smooth unit with adequate power across the range. At motorway speeds it feels comfortable and unfussed. Two litre 110 bhp (two-wheel drive versions only) and 2.0 litre 184 bhp diesel engines are also available. Volkswagen has done away with petrol options for the Tiguan.

Handling is good, with crisp steering, and no sea-cruise body roll on cornering. My test car had a smooth seven-speed automatic gearbox

The Tiguan has made a very good impression on the market over the last few years. It looks good, has a nice driving environment and good performance. And if you want to take a short cut across the fields you can do so with confidence.

The Tiguan Match 2.0 TDI SCR 4MOTION automatic which I tested comes in at a competitive £28,915 on the road, and holds its value well. And you can park in a tight spot.

Motoring Reviews are bought to you courtesy of Midlands Business News and its Motoring Editor Ian Strachan of Ian Strachan Communications