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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
46 December 2010 / January 2011 Best SUV Under $40k VW Tiguan 103 TDi, $39,190 Driveline: 2.0 litre; 4 cyl; 7 speed; DSG transmission Fuel economy: 6.6 L/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFSA, HAB, ABS, ESC, TC, EBD ANCAP: ★★★★★ GVG: ★★★★ Volkswagen’s Tiguan 103TDI has scored a convincing overall win in the largest and most hotly contested Australia’s Best Cars category. It’s now labelled SUVs or Spor t Utility Vehicles rather than Recreational 4WDs, because this increasingly popular category now encompasses 2WD and 4WD versions of the same model, as well as petrol and diesel engines. Despite being closer to the new categor y price cut-off than many of its competitors, the Tiguan has received a number of technical improvements since last year, while retaining the same pricing str ucture for the five-model lineup. Volkswagen’s acclaimed 2.0 litre diesel is the ideal choice for this type of family-oriented vehicle because it delivers effortless all-round performance and remarkable fuel efficiency. In keeping with the current Volkswagen range, Tiguan delivers an impressive ride and handling pack age in all situations. The steering is light and direct in car parking manoeuvres, there is a firmer feel and rock-solid directional stability on the open road and this outstanding handling is always accompanied by a particularly well- insulated ride over broken or patched surfaces. Off the bitumen, Tiguan performed creditably, thanks to Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, ensuring power is directed to the wheels with the most grip. The gravel component of our test course also allowed evaluation of the ESC which ensured the Tiguan maintained excellent composure even on the loosest surfaces. Drivers will be impressed by the high standard of presentation displayed in the dash, instrumentation and control layout, and they will also find a wide range of seating and steering adjustment that should cater to all shapes and sizes. Cabin convenience and practicality are the major reasons families turn to compact SUVs and Tiguan is among the best when it comes to things such as access, child-seat anchorage points and seat-folding combinations. Regrettably some of this convenience comes at the expense of a full-size spare wheel. A full complement of occupant safety equipment is standard across the Tiguan range, build and finish quality is first-class, the galvanized body has a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and, of course, there’s an extensive range of dress-up options and accessor ies to suit all lifestyles. Best SUV over $40k Kia Sorento SLi $45,990 Drivetrain 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, six-speed auto Fuel economy 7.4L/100km, diesel Safety Features: DFSA, HAB, ABS, TCS, ESC ANCAP: ★★★★★ GVG ★★★ Kia Sorento SLi diesel drove into the w inners’ circle this year, thanks to a robust argument in Design and Function and an improved show ing in On the Road to complement some already impressive numbers in Value for Money. Not only did the seven-seater Sorento knock Subaru’s well- regarded Outback Premium off its pedestal, but it managed to see off Korean kindred brother, the Santa Fe R Series Elite, and newcomer BMW X1 2.0D xDrive. This is an SUV not short on standard features.Tick the boxes for active front and adjustable rear headrests, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioners, centre rear lap/sash belt, immobiliser, remote central locking, au xiliar y power outlets, map reading lights, cruise control, driver’s footrest, tie-down hooks, door and seatback pockets and steering reach/tilt adjustment. Also standard fit are AM /FM tuner, CD player, wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, MP3 connectivity and auxiliary input, tinted w indows, trip computer, auto-off headlights, front fog lamps, heated powered mir rors, powered windows and intermittent wipers. It’s extremely user-friendly in having flat floors and no inter nal load lip or intrusions to the cargo area. There is also rear ventilation for back seat passengers, a full-size alloy spare and, as mentioned, e xtra seating capacity. Three child restraint mounts are fitted. Sorento is now a monocoque construction with multilink rear suspension. While OK around tow n, the ride feels underdone when smooth hot-mix gives way to the patchwork quilt that is often Australian back roads. Handling is another area that Kia will hopefully shar pen up. Compared with, say, the X1 and Outback, Sorento is nowhere as nimble on its feet nor as responsive. The tur ning circle is 10.88 metres. Peak power of 145kW ar rives at 3800rpm while Sorento w ith auto transmission enjoys 14Nm more torque than its manual sibling (436Nm versus 422Nm, both between 1800 and 2500rpm). But the manual version boasts a higher tow ing capacity, able to pull 2500kg as against 2000kg (both braked).
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011