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Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome 2023 review


The Tiguan Allspace Monochrome is part of Volkswagen Australia’s solution to supply issues, deleting equipment to get buyers into a 162TSI more quickly

Good points

  • Standard black pack
  • Strong 162kW engine
  • Wireless phone projection
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Great interior practicality
  • Optional sunroof

Needs work

  • No option for power seats
  • Haptic climate controls
  • Tight third row
  • Can be thirsty
  • Basic interior
  • DCT can be clunky at low speed

Though we might now be two years clear of 2020 according to the calendar, the effects of that tumultuous, lockdown-filled year haven’t dissipated from the car industry as quickly as we might have hoped.

The lingering, massive disruptions to automotive supply chains are still evident, with parts shortages still leading to production delays, meaning the days of strolling into a dealership and driving out with your dream car are still a while away.

Volkswagen, like other carmakers, continues to be affected.

Over the last year or so, we’ve seen automakers attempt to circumvent vehicle delays in different ways, and Volkswagen Australia has been one of the most prolific problem-solvers of late, coming to the party with a number of Tiguan SUV special editions that strip out some chip-heavy equipment so that they can be built – and delivered – sooner.

And that’s all while retaining the buyer-favourite 162kW 2.0-litre AWD turbo engine. Chasing Cars deputy editor Curt Dupriez reviewed the rugged semiconductor-special Tiguan Allspace Adventure in recent months. Today, we’re looking at the blacked-out Tiguan Allspace Monochrome.

Volkswagen Australia has confirmed that 500 Monochrome vehicles will be landing locally before the end of Q1 2023, meaning buyers are able to skip out on waiting, and get into a vehicle a lot sooner.

Key rivals for the Tiguan include the closely related Skoda Kodiaq as well as the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mercedes-Benz GLB.

What are the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome’s features and options for the price?

Starting at $61,742, the Monochrome sits above the entry-level 110TSI in the Tiguan Allspace family, but is around $1000 cheaper than the 162TSI Elegance, which represents the starting point of this engine.

As the name suggests, the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome is powered by the popular 162kW/350Nm variant of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.

This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

So while this Tiguan Allspace gets the engine that everyone seems to be after, in order to get these vehicles here, Volkswagen Australia had to drop a few features that are affected by parts shortages.

Most notably are the powered seats, as the Monochrome makes do with manual, cloth seats. Though this might seem a little low rent, they are actually plucked from Europe’s R-line parts catalogue – so they look the part and are comfortable.

Matrix headlights with adaptive high beam and dynamic indicators are another tech-heavy part that stayed on the Monochrome, despite shortages.

In terms of standard kit, the Monochrome wears a black pack on the exterior, which consists of a black grille, roof rails, wing mirrors, and 19-inch alloy wheels – though you miss out on a power tailgate.

As you’d expect with something called a ‘Monochrome’, colour options are limited with black, grey and silver coming at no extra cost, but buyers will have to fork out an extra $900 for pearlescent white.

On the inside, standard kit includes a black dashboard and carpets, with an 8.0-inch infotainment that gets wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

This is flanked by a 10.25-inch digital cluster, but no heads-up display. It’s also worth noting that the Monochrome comes standard with seven seats, unlike Volkswagen Australia’s receent Tiguan Allspace Adventure, which only gets five.

Aside from the colours, the only other option available on the Monochrome is a panoramic sunroof, which comes at a $2100 premium.

Because Australia’s allocation of the Monochrome is already en route, Volkswagen’s local arm confirmed that around half of the vehicles featured a sunroof, so once they’re gone, it will no longer be an option.

How does the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome drive?

Despite the fact that this Monochrome sits one model above the entry-level Tiguan, it benefits from one of the most powerful engines in the line-up, only bettered by the bonkers Tiguan R with its 235kW/400Nm.

Because of this, performance from the Monochrome’s 2.0–litre turbocharged petrol engine with 162kW/350Nm feels more than adequate for a family friendly, seven-seat SUV.

As mentioned, power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and Volkswagen claims it will hit 100km/h in seven seconds flat.

During independent testing, Chasing Cars found that the Monochrome was able to better this time, and do it in just 6.89 seconds, which is bordering on hot hatch territory. For reference, a 180kW Golf GTI completed the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.17 sec.

With this in mind, it’s clear that the Monochrome is no slouch, and has more than enough shunt for its purpose.

In a real-world scenario, this translates to an SUV that has no trouble overtaking on the open road, and feels extremely comfortable cruising at 110km/h.

Despite this hefty helping of torque, traction is never an issue, even in slippery conditions. This would be easy to put down to that 4Motion all-wheel drive system, but is also likely helped by the rather large 235/50 tyres that it rides on.

As is the case with most dual-clutch-equipped vehicles under the Volkswagen umbrella, the transmission is extremely smooth, and the shifts are lightning fast. It also gets a pair of paddles behind the steering wheel for those wanting to shift their own gears.

One issue I did come across with this transmission is a clunky feeling at low speed. By no means is the Monochrome alone with this issue, as it’s something that’s symptomatic of a dual-clutch transmission, but it’s just something to be aware of.

Another standard feature of the Monochrome is Volkswagen’s adaptive chassis control system. Not only does this give the driver choice as to which driving profile is selected, but also means that the ride is very impressive.

Not only is the cabin well insulated from the outside world, meaning road noise is kept to a minimum, but the large tyres in unison with the chassis control system means that the Tiguan is composed in most scenarios.

Most drivers will find themselves using either ‘Eco’ or ‘Comfort’ mode for the majority of driving, and this is where the Monochrome is the most comfortable on the road. In these modes, the suspension is at its softest setting, and the transmission will shift earlier to increase efficiency.

Though this makes for a very comfortable ride, these modes are where body roll in the corners is most evident, and you can feel the weight of the SUV.

Sport mode does a decent job in leveling out this body roll in the corners, making for a tighter drive, but in doing so, the suspension also stiffens up a bit, meaning it loses some of its comfort.

Another element that is affected by driving modes is the steering which is reasonably fast, and quite light for an SUV of this size. Sport mode adds some weight to the ratio, but it remains relatively light.

One issue I found with this Monochrome has how disconnected from the road the steering felt, as the road feeling at the wheel is basically non-existent.

This likely wouldn’t be helped by the large tyres, and the lack of road feeling can be excused for the excellent ride that the Monochrome offers.

Refinement is a strongpoint of this Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome, as it’s an incredibly comfortable car to drive. At its price point, it feels like one of the most polished seven-seat SUVs.

What is the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome’s interior and tech like?

Despite being the answer to a parts shortage, the Monochrome is impressively appointed on the inside when it comes to both technology and creature comforts.

There’s no denying the premium feeling of the interior, with soft touch materials covering almost every surface you’ll come into contact with as a driver.

It also gets a perforated leather steering wheel as standard, which only adds to this premium feeling. The haptic touch panels on the multifunction steering wheel is the only offensive matter on this front, but without a steering wheel heater, it’s a little more livable than other iterations.

In terms of technology, the 8.0-inch infotainment display is the main attraction.

Here, both Apple Carplay and Android Auto systems support wireless connections, and it also gets built-in navigation. There are a pair of USB-C charging ports below this display, as well as a wireless phone charger.

Behind the steering wheel sits Volkswagen’s standard 10.25-inch digital cluster, which is very easy to use. In my opinion, a heads-up display would’ve perfectly topped-off this technology package, but it’s a small price to pay for an otherwise complete system.

Though manual, cloth seats might not be to everyone’s taste, I found no problem getting comfortable with them in this Monochrome.

Sure, leather seats might make for a more luxurious cabin, but on the comfort front, there’s little difference. Some might find the ‘R’ branding on these seats a little OTT, but it seems to work with the Monochrome colour scheme nicely in my eyes.

Given that it’s called an ‘Allspace’, it should be little surprise to learn that space is one thing that the Tiguan isn’t short on.

There’s plenty of leg and head room in the second row, and although middle seat passengers will have to deal with a raised transmission tunnel, it’s nothing too serious.

The same can’t be said for the third row, so this should be reserved for children exclusively. In saying this, the fact that there is a third row of seats is impressive in itself for a mid-sized SUV.

Lastly, cargo space is reasonably generous, with 230L with both rows of seating in place, 700L with the third row folded, and 1775L with both rows folded.

Beneath the boot sits a space saver spare tyre, and it’s also worth noting that the Tiguan Allspace is rated to tow up to 2.5-tonnes.

Is the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome a safe car?

The last time that ANCAP tested a Volkswagen Tiguan was back in 2016, a test that also encompassed the Allspace variants that were later introduced in 2018. Though it scored five stars in the test, these ANCAP results have since expired due to a change in test protocols.

Safety ratings aside, the Monochrome comes packed with all the active systems that anyone would want from a family friendly SUV.

This includes aspects such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and blind spot monitoring just to name a few. As with all modern Volkswagen systems, the active driver assists are non-invasive, and nice to use.

Standard safety equipment on the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome includes:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control with stop and go function
  • Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring
  • Lane Assist
  • Park Assist, parking bay and parallel parking assistance
  • Travel Assist with Adaptive Lane Guidance
  • Rear View Camera (RVC Plus) with multi-angle views and dynamic guidance lines
  • Driver Fatigue Detection system
  • Automatic flashing brake lights activated in emergency braking situation 
  • Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR)
  • Electronic Differential Lock (EDL)
  • Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP)
  • Extended Electronic Differential Lock (XDL)
  • 4MOTION Active Control all-wheel drive with hill descent control

What are the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome’s ownership costs?

Volkswagen claims a combined fuel economy of 8.6L/100km when it comes to the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome.

During independent testing, Chasing Cars managed to land on this exact figure during a mix of urban, highway, and back road driving. It’s also worth noting that this engine requires 95 octane to run.

On the service front, Volkswagen Australia offers a capped-price service plan for the Tiguan Allspace, which covers it for five years, and costs $2950.

Service intervals occur every 12 months or 15,000km, and on average, owners will be paying $472 each visit. Volkswagen’s five year/unlimited KM also covers this model.

The honest verdict on the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome

For a vehicle created out of a parts shortage, the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI Monochrome is a remarkably complete package.

Without knowing the origins of the Monochrome, I can imagine that a lot of buyers would assume that it was just a tastefully specced SUV that was ordered in bulk to whittle down Aussie wait lists.

Considering the popularity of subtle colours and black packs on vehicles in modern times, I’m sure Volkswagen Australia will have little issue in moving the 500 vehicles coming to the country on aesthetics alone.

On the inside, the Monochrome is just as handsome as the outside, complete with creature comforts and impressive modern technology.

Some might take issue with the manual, cloth seats which are the only option, but after spending a week with the vehicle, I had no issue with the cloth upholstery.

Haptic touch panels continue to pain me inside these Volkswagens, but the fact that the Tiguan has retained the full-sized shifter gives me hope for the model.

Lastly, this Monochrome is a joy to drive on the road, and it’s little surprise why this engine is so popular with buyers.

It’s got plenty of power and torque on hand, and the fuel economy that it returns isn’t too shabby. Some might find the transmission finicky to deal with at low speed, but as I mentioned, this is symptomatic of any dual-clutch vehicle.

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
60 litres
8.6L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
697km (claimed)
All Wheel Drive
4734 mm
1839 mm
1688 mm
Unoccupied weight
1773 kg

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