From the busy Muscat roads to the stunning locales of Jabal Akhar, the new Tiguan personified its tagline – ‘Expect some attention’
It was more than ‘some’ attention that our SUV earned on our long test drive to the luxurious Alila Jabal Akhdar. We wore our unsuppressed smug expressions as we caught other road users giving our Tiguan a look over. For this first Volkswagen SUV, built on the state-of-the-art MQB platform, is an eye-grabber on all counts.
We got behind the wheel at the VW Showroom in Azaiba, following a briefing on the safety features of Tiguan from Andrew Squires, General Manager of Wattayah Motors. The new model is spacious, flexible and appealing, he pointed out, and we experienced it first hand from the word go.
The noontime traffic thinned as we crossed Burj Al Sahwa Roundabout, begging us to let our guard down. But of course… We soon got a feel of its safety standards with Drive Alert System and Adaptive Cruise Control; the magnificent beast demonstrated why driving the right vehicle is such a pleasure. Our drive took us straight to Bayt Al Ridaydah Castle, about 24kms from Nizwa, the first stop for the Tiguan cavalcade from Muscat.
It was a short break to swap drivers and give the muscles a stretch after the hour-long drive. But we found comfort behind the wheel and continued the drive until we reached the spectacular Alila Jabal Akdhar resort, which has a dramatic effect, whether you are a first-timer or a repeat visitor. The stone façade of the resort, featuring rocks and stones from the area, had a perfect welcoming effect on us.
Surprisingly though, there was no sign of driver fatigue, despite the long winding drive from the checkpoint at the base of the mountain. The photo opportunity along the road, probably added to the excitement of this beautiful destination, whose cool climes well complement the natural scenic attractions.
We checked in at the resort and freshened up for the lavish dinner at Juniper, before retiring for the night, content in the knowledge that the return back on Tiguan would be as vibrant.
The new Tiguan lives up to its distinction as an all-rounder. It is the first sport utility vehicle from VW to be based on the modular transverse matrix and it sets new standards in design, comfort and functionality. And, as we experienced, it remains capable off-road, with a rugged all-wheel drive system that includes premium class technology for use on and off the highway.
With the 4MOTION Active Control, the Tiguan guarantees superior acceleration capability and tremendous driving fun in every situation and on every type of driving surface. It has individual tuning options and the driving comfort can reach a new level, especially in conjunction with the optionally available adaptive chassis control (DCC).
The spacious interior is well complemented with generous boot space, making it convenient and practical for everyday use as well as weekend trips out of the city. Added to the attractions of the SUV is the Active Info Display, a digital instrument cluster, which features a specific off-road profile.
Before our drive back to Muscat, following a heavy breakfast, we made time to explore the plains of Jabal Akhdar and savour the joys of driving the Tiguan afresh.
If test drives can be described as memorable, this one definitely was.