Go big or go home. That is what VWs latest strategy the “Sarvottam 2.0” is all about. Changing VWs perception as a company that is a high-end, expensive alternative to making it a premium but an approachable and affordable brand. The focus is clearly on customer satisfaction and VW is gunning ahead with plans of offering low cost of ownership and turning the tables.
A difference of almost 3-13% in the overall costs along with a 30% drop in engine oil costs for petrol engines will surely add up to a strong number. Overall, we can expect a 20-25% lower cost of ownership and that for VW is big. Other additions include better after-sales in terms of warranty and assistance.
VW will be offering 4 years warranty on all their cars and 4 years road-side assistance as well. That paired with 11 mobile service stations that can turn up at your doorstep and get the basic service done seems like a positive plan going ahead. What’s interesting is that you will also have the option of a ‘live service’ wherein you will get access to a camera that shows the service being done to your car. This of course is so that utmost clarity is maintained and you know exactly what all is done to your prized possession.
The big news also brings along with it some big cars. SUVs actually. VWs plan of having four new SUVs in its portfolio had everyone excited and we were all waiting after the launch of the Tiguan Allspace and the T-ROC to find out about the other two SUVs.
Well, to no surprise, it was the Taigun that generated the most buzz at the unveiling. The long-awaited Creta rival was set to amaze everyone and as it pulled out from behind the banner, the gasps were quite reassuring. In its production-ready guise, the Taigun is unmistakably a VW from every angle. Sure, the design is all new and there has been no part sharing from older VWs, but the inherently subtle, German and premium effect has been carried on.
The front is sleek and modern with a generous amount of chrome and straight sharp lines that are a VW staple. The LED headlamps with DRLs sure grab your attention and then on it is the chrome that will keep you glaring at it. Premium it surely is, and if you look closely, you will also notice the fabled ‘GT’ badge on the grille. That of course means the Taigun will be offered in a ‘GT’ trim as well. Yes, there will also be the standard model on offer, but the GT will have a few more goodies and will be the range-topping version.
Dimensionally, the Taigun might not have the outright SUV stance like the Hyundai Creta or the Kia Seltos, as it sits lower, but the segment-best wheelbase means you definitely can’t write it off as a compact SUV. Sure, it is more European in its styling and customers might want a more raised look, but oodles of premium kit and build is what VW has, does and will stick by.
The rear though, is where the Taigun really comes into its own. The long LED bar stretching the width of the car gives it that modern and concept-like look which is sure to be a big hit.
Now the interior is something VW wouldn’t allow us to photograph, but we did get a good feel and impression on the inside. If you have seen the VW T-ROC, you will find a few bits similar here. The fully-digital instrument cluster, the 10-inch touchscreen, climate control switches it is all very typically VW, and by that, we mean built to last. You also get wireless Apple and Android connectivity along with the My Volkswagen Connect app support. The seats too are nice and broad along with ventilated function and there is a good amount of room in here. Is it bigger than the Creta? Probably not, but then you do get that German precision and solid build. The steering is new with new switchgear and yes there will be a sunroof as well.
In the back, the Taigun has space for three and thanks to that wheelbase, taller adults will be satisfied with the room on offer. The transmission tunnel is negligible, and the middle passenger will have adequate room in here. However, the backrest is a tad upright and the dark upholstery robs away some sense of space. That said, the bigger worry is packing the Taigun with passengers and luggage. Yes, the boot is big enough to swallow three big suitcases, but the low ride height will be a worry on our appaling roads. The safety features too will be offered in plenty. ABS with EBD, hill-hold control, ISOFIX mounts, TPMS, ESP, six airbags, it is all there.
Powering the Taigun will be two engine options. A 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with 113bhp and 175Nm that will be mated to a manual and an automatic gearbox and then you will have a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine churning out 148bhp and 250Nm with the option of a manual and DSG gearbox.
Overall, it is evident why VW is a bit late to the party. There has been a fair amount of work gone into the Taigun and its development. Be it the 1.5 million km testing or the 99% utilisation of local steel which will help in making it more affordable. The launch is set for this upcoming festive season, and from what we have seen, it is going to be quite a fest at the VW showrooms.
However, the Taigun wasn’t the only SUV that came out of the covers. VW also unveiled the fourth SUV that was part of the plan. And to a pleasant surprise, it was the new Tiguan. A much bolder design, a fresh face with new goodies, in roughly the same old trusty body-style that was loved by many. Sure, it might not have set sales charts on fire, but it sure got with it that premium appeal that many customers preferred.
The new Tiguan was expected to be vastly similar to the Tiguan Allspace, but thankfully, there are differences right from the word go. The front is completely different which flaunts the new VW logo. The Tiguan incidentally will be the first SUV to bring that in. Then you have a new paint shade dubbed ‘night shade blue’ and then there are the revamps. New headlamps with a new cluster and impressively, these will be MATRIX LEDs which offer supreme visibility. They call it the VW IQ lights and being MATRIX LEDs they do get a different setup for country, city, dynamic and even offroading. Yes, like the previous one, the new Tiguan will also have the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. Powering the Tiguan will be the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine seen on the Allspace and if that is anything to go by, the Tiguan is sure to excite the driving enthusiasts. There was a lot more hidden in the new Tiguan which we would be getting to see at a later date like the interior, but the first impressions overall were quite positive.
However, the highlight had to be the Taigun and seeing it in flesh. Will it beat the Hyundai Creta? Only time will tell, but does it have what it takes to get in the ring? Definitely.