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Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure 2023 review

Curt Dupriez
Deputy editor

The new Adventure brings a big-engined, five-seat, all-terrain spin to Volkswagen’s stretched Tiguan Allspace. And it’s a combination that surprisingly works a charm

Good points

  • Big 162kW AWD power
  • Indulgent interior space
  • Impressive rough-road manners
  • Seductive $55k on-road price
  • All-round flexibility

Needs work

  • Some thrifty cabin parts
  • Limited soft-road capabilities
  • Some powertrain grumbles
  • No seven-seat or diesel option
  • Expensive servicing plan

With the six-strong variant line-up of Volkswagen’s newly facelifted Tiguan Allspace touching down in Oz mid-year, the arrival of a further, seventh Adventure variant might scratch heads. Particularly given the seemingly odd configuration it adds to the existing four-engine, three-tier Allspace line-up.

The Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Adventure is thus: the big 162TSI engine and 4Motion all-wheel drive, the entry-grade Life variant as a donor specification, the stretched seven-seat capable Allspace real estate if with strict five-pew seating, and a particular all-terrain theme if sat on a hunkered down sport suspension tune. A seemingly strange amalgamation indeed.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 driving rear 3/4

Or is it? As Volkswagen Australia points out, at the Adventure’s local launch, the stretched Allspace as a five-seater is the staple US market’s default Tiguan combination. And one current used locally by law enforcement – called ‘Proline’ spec – in a spec that’s close, though not quite identical, to the showroom Adventure package.

Crucially, though, Adventure puts 162TSI Allspace into showrooms. Component shortages have left the regular 162kW Elegance and R-Line variants with 162TSI as customer order only and very thin on the ground short term. MY23 versions will also lose the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert features of the current MY22 crop.

In short, Volkswagen found 1500 examples of the Allspace, with 162TSI power and the full IQ Drive safety and assistance suite, to line showrooms in five-seat Adventure spec for MY22. VW has managed to land it locally, with the big engine and complete smarts suite, at $51,990 list – or $54,990 driveaway – which is below the median Allspace pricing ($53,140) and undercuts Elegance ($55,690) and R-Line ($58,890) by a decent measure.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 headlight

To hit that price point, the Adventure is based off of the entry Life specification, which has only been offered with 110TSI front-drive and 132TSI all-paw motivation. But while there’s some big-engine/cheap-package whiff to the Adventure proposition, it does cover off needs while still presenting a solid array of niceties in the experience.

Outside, auto LED headlights with high-beam assist, power folding mirrors and heated washer nozzles are decent inclusions, though it fits a manual tailgate – the powered item is afflicted by today’s component scarcity.

The Adventure theme, though, is anchored through extra (plastic) underbody protection and the 17-inch ‘Dublin’ style wheels, smaller than anything else in the (18-20-incher) Allspace line-up. Why? Officially, because they’re snow chain-ready – indeed, chains are part of one of three complimentary Adventure accessory packages buyers can opt for. Direct tyre pressure monitors are standard.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 wheel

So far, so multi-terrain. But the Adventure sits on asphalt-centric Khumo rubber, sat on passive sport-tuned suspension offering no concession to raised ground clearance. It also fits the Volkswagen’s variable-ratio progressive steering system. For its go-anywhere pitch, this stretched Tiguan’s on-paper credentials appear, at least, certifably on-road…

But the key question is whether the five-seat pitch is convincing enough in a line-up otherwise offering seven pews. And whether the extra indulgent spaciousness the Adventure brings pays real-world dividends.

How does the Tiguan Allspace drive?

Of course, a key lure is the 162TSI powertrain, the most powerful of the four engines in the Allspace line-up and bringing 162kW (of course) and 350Nm. Like the rest of the range, the 2.0-litre turbo petrol four is paired exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and ‘4Motion’ on-demand all-wheel drive.

One-up, unladen and driven progressively around the town, the high-spec petrol unit offers ample shove without stress or sweat. It feels fulsome with energy and keen to rev, though there’s enough shove in the mid-range not to warrant a heavy right foot or much unnecessary engine rpm.

It’s quick enough, too. On the march, the Adventure matches the 6.8-second 0-100km/h claim of other 162TSI Allspace variants, though we’ve yet to test this claim independently.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 driving front 3/4

The shortcoming is powertrain response. In Normal drive mode, it’s not all that crisp off the mark and demands a fair bit of throttle input to wake up. Tap the transmission selector to access Sport livens response measurably, though the powertrain calibration becomes a little too fizzy and enthusiastic for casual around town cruising.

Sure, the 162TSI is most comfortable on the highway in Sport, offering fitting kick-down punch for overtaking, or out in the twisty backroads, where the engine hovers more naturally near its torque peak. Opting for Normal mode simply makes the powertrain unsatisfyingly flaccid. It’s almost begging for some absent middling drive mode.

Better resolved and more convincing – almost surprisingly – is the ride and handling balance of the chassis. And one that ultimately leans into the latter a little harder than the former.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 driving rear

The combination of the taut sport suspension and the nicely judged and tuned progressive steering is a supremely planted, solid and stable character, be it dialed up on the cruise control on the highway or seriously pushing on across sealed corners. The Adventure is far more dynamically adept than its small-wheeled, quasi-off-road appearance suggests.

The ride quality is mostly decent ambling along typical, pockmarked Aussie hotmix, though small road imperfection can filter through to the cabin and larger hit can, at times, jolt and thud. It’s good, though I’d wager that the adaptive suspension offered in higher-grade 162TSI Allspaces might – and should – bring better judged compliance across all and sundry.

But where the suspension transforms is on dirt and gravel, no matter how poorly graded or heavily potholed from recent and relentless Sydney rains. Faced with sudden vertical movements, the deft damping and chubby tyre sidewalls somehow manage to smother the most violent hits.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 driving front road

The upshot is that, driven in a manner approaching something to akin to rally driving, the big Volkswagen fronts up solid and consistent grip underpinned by what ultimately reveals itself as sublimely cooperative chassis balance. And a real enthusiasm to push on harder if you so choose.

It’s really, and surprisingly, that good.

So there’s definitely Adventure in its nature, if the sort of dividend paid most handsome of those owners who live in regional areas and habitually traverse across broken surfaces. The caveat is, however, that this Allspace is far from a dedicated off-roader and is best suited to broken road surfaces that are generally reasonably well graded.

It has its all-terrain limitations.

Drivability scorecard
Power & performance
Ride & refinement

How is the Tiguan Allspace’s interior?

This variant gets the same fresher and somewhat techier cabin as part of the recent Allspace facelift. So the Adventure gets the same 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit Pro as the rest of the range, though its Life-spec DNA brings the smaller 8.0-inch Discover Media touchscreen multimedia system rather than the larger 9.2-inch format found in upstream variants.

Still, there’s nothing poverty-pack about the infotainment: proprietary sat nav, DAB+ and wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto are all standard inclusions. In fact, the fact you can pair two phones at once proves to be quite handy, though the system does become clumsy to use when switching between features of two separate devices.

The upmarket tech flash is bolstered by the excellent three-zone climate control system with dedicated row-two adjustability. A large inductive charging pad and tough-to-get-at dual USB-C ports are tucked underneath the HVAC control array.

The Allspace does migrate towards Volkswagen’s new love of slide control interface, mostly in HVAC control, which is a format that tends to polarise opinion of those who’ve tried it. But it’s not as all-encompassing as Golf, the SUV still retaining arrays of old-school buttons and switches, maintaining proper audio dials, a conventional transmission selector and various shortcut buttons.

Material-wise, the Adventure blends tactile touches with some conspicuously hard and shiny plastics, if all executed with a fine sense of solidity and impressive fit and finish.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 digital display

For its Adventure namesake, there’s really not much of it in terms of theme, the cabin a sea of middling greys and minimal brightwork that leaves this Allspace variant with a base model ambience its fancy and colourful digital window dressing just manages to compensate for.

Seating is fine. The cloth trim seems hardy enough to easily maintain after muddy activity out in the bush and they’re shapely enough for adequate comfort on long trips, though the mechanical seat base adjustment is clunky and doesn’t really offer enough fine tunability.

But you do get handy under seat storage and Allspace, by nature, offers oodles of oddment storage throughout the cabin.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 back seats

Unsurprisingly, the five-seat format presents a huge amount of spaciousness in row two. Legroom is exceptional even with the rear split bench set forward in its adjustable rails and the seatbacks tilt to taste. The seating itself is very comfy, too.

Despite the third-zone climate control panel, row two is quite frill free. A sole USB-C port plus a single 12-volt power outlet cover off the basics.

Then there’s boot space, a whopping 760 litres, 60 litres up on the seven-seat Allspace. This converts to an incredible 1920 litres as a two-seater, the largest cargo area Volkswagen offers in its passenger range, period (the longer Touareg large SUV has 1800L).

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 boot 2

The real boon here is that the ability to load a pair of mountain bikes or a whole swag of sport activity gear is bona-fide and not merely some marketing spin. The elasticised netting to secure cargo is a neat inclusion.

In fact, as a five-seater, the Allspace Adventure could be viewed as arguably the most practical wagon in the Volkswagen passenger line-up, all-terrain pretensions or not.

Enticing, right? If you’re happy to permanently omit two seats for the privilege…

Interior scorecard
Layout & materials
Cabin technology
Driver comfort
Passenger space

What are the Tiguan Allspace’s running costs?

The combined fuel consumption claim is a fairly average 8.6L/100km though, interestingly, our tester proved to dip below the eight-litre mark (7.9L indicated) during one urban commute to the Chasing Cars Sydney office.

However, the Allspace 162TSI does require more costly 95RON premium petrol in its 60-litre tank.

Servicing is $2950 for Volkswagen’s five-year Care Plan or $1650 for a three-year package, with 12-month or 15,000km intervals, whichever comes first.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 taillight 2

The pricing of the Tiguan’s Care Plan is on the higher side for this segment. A more generous seven-year service plan costs $2700 for the Tiguan’s Czech cousin – the Skoda Kodiaq – while the Toyota RAV4 Edge hybrid costs just $1150 to service for five years.

Warranty is a typical five years of unlimited-kilometre motoring.

Running costs scorecard

The final verdict

Aussies love a seven-seater, regardless of whether all three seating rows are in regular use and, perhaps, in spite of the cramped accommodation can become applied to a midsize SUV. Because more seats are better, right?

The strict five-pew arrangement of the Adventure might deter some prospective buyers, though such an option in the stretched Allspace makes a compelling case for the indulgent roominess and luggage/cargo/pushbike space in the tangible experience.

Get accustomed to it and suddenly the regular, shorter Tiguan seems like a downgrade.

Tiguan Allspace Adventure 2023 driving front

Let’s face it, the Adventure isn’t the sexiest Allroad in the stable. Nor the fruitest in features. And its all-terrain schtick is somewhat limited against more off-road-focussed offerings out there.

And yet, the blend it brings of a large heartbeat, all-paw traction, fulsome safety and convenience and enticing pricing starts to really look appealing.

Add the accomplished driving manners, particularly across broken surfaces, as well as the smattering of nicetes that elevates this variant above base model doldrums, and the Adventure really stacks up as a short-lister for those after a flexible family wagon or a surprisingly capable getaway machine.

Overall rating
Overall rating
Running costs
Overall rating
Running costs


Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1984 cc
162kW at 4300rpm
350Nm at 1600rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
58 litres
7.7L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
753km (claimed)
All Wheel Drive
4734 mm
1839 mm
1689 mm
Unoccupied weight
1597 kg

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