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Volkswagen South Africa has quietly added a new derivative to its seven-seater Tiguan Allspace range, now offering the base engine in Comfortline guise.

Previously, the local Tiguan Allspace line-up comprised four variants, with only the entry-level Trendline model employing the firm’s turbocharged 1,4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (the 2,0 TSI, meanwhile, is offered in two states of tune, alongside the 2,0 TDI).

Now, however, VW SA has added the front-driven 1,4 TSI Comfortline model to the range, priced at R535 400. Interestingly, though, this is a mere R10 100 less than the 2,0 TSI 4Motion Comfortline, which not only offers the same trim level but also higher outputs (at 132 kW and 320 N.m) and all-wheel drive.

For the record, the 1,4 TSI Comfortline delivers the same 110 kW and 250 N.m (the latter between 1 500 and 3 500 r/min) as the base Trendline model, directed to the front axle via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (the bigger engine boasts a seven-speeder). The zero to 100 km/h sprint takes a claimed 9,5 seconds, with top speed pegged at 200 km/h. VW says this newcomer will sip at 7,1 L/100 km on the combined cycle.

Compared with the base (R466 300) Trendline model, the 1,4 TSI Comfortline gains various drive modes, a different style of 17-inch alloys, 10 mm extra ground clearance (at 201 mm), VW’s "Composition Media” infotainment system (with an eight-inch touchscreen), front and rear parking sensors, lumbar support adjustment up front (for the standard “Comfort” seats), different seat upholstery, chrome side-window trim, three-zone automatic climate control, an uprated multi-function display, an electric tailgate and LED headlamps.

Interestingly, Volkswagen SA has also discontinued the manual version of the five-seater Tiguan 1,4 TSI Comfortline.

CAR magazine’s distinguished annual Top 12 Best Buys were presented at a gala dinner in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening. Look out for our upcoming April 2019 issue for the full article and rationale behind each decision.

Top 12 Best Buys is our definitive guide to the very best cars in South Africa. As a reminder, here is our judging criteria:

Only vehicles that the majority of the eight-member CAR editorial team has driven: We factor in the findings of road tests and driving impressions we’ve published up until this March issue. Don’t see your favourite in the running? The CAR team might not have driven it yet, with a number of important vehicles (such as the new BMW 3 Series and the fresh Mercedes-Benz GLE) launching locally just too late to meet the deadline.

Ranges, not individual models: Except in the Budget and Performance Car segments, we consider an entire range, not merely one outstanding example. Also, remember that we measure cars against their direct rivals in their classes and then rule on their relative levels of excellence.

We consider all the facets: We look at package, personality, performance and, most importantly in the more value-led categories, price.

The bun fight … and then the vote: We set aside a day for the team to debate, argue and arm wrestle over the contestants. Then we draw up a list of six finalists per award and vote.

So, here are all the winners…

Budget car (under R170 000): Suzuki Swift 1,2 GA
2nd: Kia Picanto 1,0 Street
3rd: Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GA

Small car: Volkswagen Polo Vivo/
2nd: Ford Fiesta
3rd: Volkswagen Polo

Midsize car: Volkswagen Golf

2nd: Audi A3
3rd: Toyota Corolla Quest

Premium midsize car: Audi A4
2nd: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
3rd: Volkswagen Arteon

Luxury car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
2nd: BMW 5 Series
3rd: Porsche Panamera

Performance car: McLaren 720S

2nd: Ferrari 488 Spider
3rd: Porsche 718 Cayman GTS PDK

Small SUV/crossover: Renault Duster

2nd: Ford EcoSport
3rd: Honda BR-V

Midsize SUV/crossover: Volkswagen Tiguan

2nd: Kia Sportage
3rd: Mazda CX-5

Premium midsize SUV/crossover: Volvo XC60

2nd: BMW X3
3rd: Audi Q5

Large SUV/crossover: Kia Sorento

2nd: Ford Everest
3rd: Toyota Fortuner

Luxury SUV/crossover: Range Rover Sport

2nd: Volkswagen Touareg
3rd: BMW X5

Double-cab bakkie: Ford Ranger

2nd: Toyota Hilux
3rd: Volkswagen Amarok

Company of the year: BMW Group South Africa


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