THERE comes a time in life when a seven-seat vehicle becomes an appealing option.
Petrolheads will pray such a vehicle is never the only car on their driveway but when the kids crank up the volume the benefit of succumbing to their calls to “sit in the boot” and stick them in that distant third row of seats is quite the benefit.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan Allspace has long been a standard bearer for seven-seat family transport and 2022 brought updates including semi-autonomous driving aids which support the braking, steering and acceleration at up to 130mph.
There is also intelligent LED headlights, a digital instrument cluster and an updated head-up display.
Aside from a mild styling update, the standard features remain.
Longer rear doors aid access to a third row of seats which can be folded flat to liberate 700 to 760 litres of load space depending on the position of a sliding second row.
Prices start at £32,135, with sporty R-line or comfort-focussed Elegance trim levels and power outputs ranging from 150 to 245PS.
We tested the Elegance version fitted with the “entry-level” 150PS TSI petrol engine and 4Motion all-wheel-drive, which came in at £41,500, or £45,290 with extras including a retractable tow bar (£860), a trailer assist parking system (£295) and Kings Red metallic paint (£825).
The overall look was on the conservative side, along with the performance.
Volkswagen claims 9.7 second acceleration to 62mph and a 122mph top speed alongside 42.8mpg combined fuel economy and fairly high 173g/km CO2 emissions.
On a run across the M62 to Chorley and back I returned a trip computer indicated 53mpg, however.
That makes the Tiguan Allspace remarkably frugal drive given its AWD drivetrain, but it always felt geared towards economy.
In conjunction with a seven-speed DSG gearbox, the Tiguan required a fair prod of the accelerator to add speed with any gusto.
The ride is a little firmer than you might expect from a vehicle of such modest performance too, but the Tiguan Allspace delivers where you would expect.
Its interior fittings go without the design flair of a Peugeot rival, but the quality of materials is high and the sense of impressive build quality is reflected in refinement.
Live sat-nav, wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, an automated bootlid, adaptive cruise control and an app that can tell you where your car is parked are among the convenience functions that will make life with the car easier.
A panoramic sunroof and interior lighting which can be switched through over 30 colours make the cabin that bit more fun, meanwhile.
For all the tech, though, it all felt a little staid.
Maybe the R-line spec might have delivered more excitement, but our recent road test of the Skoda Kodiaq Sportline was enough to convince me that seven-seats can be had for similar money with a dose more style.