Until now, if you wanted a Volkswagen SUV with seven seats you were out of luck.
That’s being remedied, but not in the way you might think. The bigger in size but smaller in sales Touareg still only has five seats.
Instead, Volkswagen has increased the seating in its much more popular mid-size Tiguan. The Tiguan Allspace is a slightly stretched version of the five-seat model.
It’s on sale now and prices start at £29,370. That’s £6,000 more than the Skoda Kodiaq, a very similar car, but people seem happy to pay a premium for the VW badge.
In the Allspace, overall length is extended by 21cm over the stock Tiguan ,to 4.7m, accommodating a wheelbase of just under 2.8m – about 10cm longer.
The third row of seats fold flush into the boot floor and are, Volkswagen says, designed for occasional use.
Essentially, that means they’re fine for carting children around but adults can’t expect to be comfortable back there.
That’s pretty par for the course in this sector, however – you have to spend another £15,000 and go up to a Land Rover Defender before you find a vehicle that can properly seat seven.
For parents who sometimes ferry their friends’ children as well as their own, the Tiguan Allspace should be ideal.
The added length give you more boot space when the rearmost seats are not in use. Used as a five-seater, luggage capacity is up from 615 to 700 litres. With all seats folded there’s a very generous 1,775 lires to play with.
Five engines are on offer – two petrol and three diesel. Petrol choices start with the 1.4-litre TSI which develops 148bhp on the entry-level car.
At the top of the petrol motor range is the 178bhp 2.0-litre engine which comes in four-wheel drive as standard in SEL trim and costs from £35,960.
Diesel engine options include three 2.0-litre turbocharged engines, with power outputs of 148 bhp, 187 bhp and 237 bhp.
All versions can be ordered with Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive with the exception of the lower powered petrol model.
The all-wheel-drive is intended to position the Tiguan Allspace as a “proper” off-roader.
The system includes “Onroad”, “Snow”, “Offroad” and “Offroad individual” driving modes, and an optional off-road pack is available with a front bumper increasing the approach angle from 16.9 degrees to 24 degrees, plus extra underbody protection and chrome door sill protectors.
From launch the Tiguan Allspace will be available in two trim levels, SE Navigation and SEL, the latter of which adds luxuries including a panoramic glass roof.
A more sports-styled R-Line grade will be offered from late Spring 2018.