SAID to be named after the unlikely mix of tiger and iguana, the Tiguan is another of Volkswagen’s success stories.
There are four to choose from, and they include models with 2WD, 4WD, petrol, diesel, manual or DSG.
The one we had was great: the 132TSi.
The number refers to its output in kiloWatts, the letters are VW-speak for petrol engine and this particular one is sandwiched between the 118 and 155kW models in the petrol range and costs from $33,490.
That’s for the six-speed manual. The seven-speed automatic, as tested, is $2500 extra.
One of the later entrants to the over-populated SUV field, the Tiguan has made a lot of friends and it has lots of reasons for its popularity.
It has the right badge, good looks, impeccable road manners (even in the dirt), and comes with all the right equipment, too.
The engine is terrier-eager and, matched with the smooth seven-speeder, offers performance and driver-pleasing features not normally associated with SUVs.
It can, of course, be tootled along in Sunday driver mode, but it loves to get into the higher rev ranges to put a modicum of joy back into today's miserable driving conditions.
The manual will take it to 100km/h in 8.3 seconds, the DSG in a scorching 7.9 seconds, and fuel economy is up to you.
Careful pussyfooting will get you an average of about 9.0litres/100km, but more liberal use of the right pedal can zap that by two or more litres/100km.
The Tiguan also has a brake energy recovery system that charges the battery when slowing down.
Here’s an SUV that doesn’t mind the bends – and it has the steering, brakes, (16-inch alloy) wheels and suspension to match.
Its off-road performance was also much better than expected of a softroader.
The list of standard gear is extensive and includes six airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, push-button electronic handbrake, foglights, traction and stability control, cruise control, CD player, MP3-aux eight-speaker audio, Bluetooth, parking sensors, daytime running lights, trip computer, heated/power adjustable door mirrors, remote central locking and a multi-function leather-rimmed steering wheel.
In short, a classy, sporty number with great street cred and surprising off-road ability.