In order to own a new car, and enjoy all the comforts and conveniences that a new car affords, you need to spend money.
This, as they say, is an unfortunate truth.
And from my point of view, the actual cost of any car can seriously sway my opinion of it. It’s unavoidable, especially at a time where value for money is paramount and people are more likely to keep their big purchases for much longer than they did in the past.
It’s for this reason, I do my best to avoid the price of any car that I am testing until I’m finished with it. At least that way I know I’m basing the review on what I drove, without any “it cost HOW MUCH?” bias sneaking in.
Most of the time, I am not surprised by a price tag. You can tell when a manufacturer has gone the extra mile by using a quality interior, or just tried to compensate with some flashy gadgets thrown in.
So, as far as sticker price goes, the biggest surprise I have come across this year has to be the Volkswagen Tiguan.
In terms of sheer size, there is a lot of car here. It may not be the biggest car on the road, but as far as the popular compact SUV segment goes, the Tiguan is a pretty beefy customer.
Nobody is breaking any new ground in terms of looks or styling, but that’s not really the point.
What we have is a very handsome, incredibly well-built, spacious and practical car that has been very keenly priced with some serious specifications.
It was actually last year when Volkswagen restructured the pricing and spec of the Tiguan range to give customers more value for money. This year there are two further spec levels, the Life & Leisure line and the Edition-R line.
Stuck between these two is the Sport & Style option, which I was lucky enough to test for a week.
The practical advantages of the spacious interior a compact SUV offers are obvious, and VW have been careful to make sure seats adjust easily to offer maximum carrying ability.
On top of this, the build quality is exactly what you should get from VW – rock solid.
And where they have added some serious value for money in the Sport & Style edition, is with the extras.
On top of the multi-function leather steering wheel, radio with mp3/CD-player and aux-in, front fog lights and air-conditioning that come in the entry-level Tiguan, this model also brings some real-world, useful technology. This includes Bluetooth connectivity, parallel Park Assist, including front/rear park distance control, 65% light absorbing windows and a flat tyre indicator.
But the Sport & Style pack doesn’t end there. There are also incredibly attractive New York 18” alloy wheels, silver-anodised roof rails, automatic headlamp activation with separate daytime lights, cruise control and a rain sensor.
That is a serious amount of extras considering the price of many cars goes up when you ask for the optional arm rest!
This is a well thought-out set of specifications, with not a lot of money separating each level.
The entry-level Tiguan, with the Trend & Fun option, costs €26,995, whereas the Sport & Style model comes in at €31,405.
For my money, that is an awful lot more car for just over €4,400, making the Sport & Style Tiguan a very sensible option indeed.