Urban Roar to Wilderness Whisper

Saneet Dsilva
Tiguan trades city streets for trails at the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Experience day

As the sun hung low in the sky, casting long shadows across BKC’s urban jungle, an unexpected adventure awaited amidst the concrete landscape — an off-road course crafted by the folks at Volkswagen. The protagonist of this unconventional tale? The Volkswagen Tiguan. A vehicle traditionally associated with urban sophistication, it was poised to break free from the city’s grip and embrace its untamed side on this particular day.

The off-road expedition kicked off with a thorough briefing from our instructor, setting the stage for what lay ahead. The Tiguan, an anomaly in the off-roading realm, stood ready for the challenge. The first chapter of our journey unfolded with a sighting lap, paving the way for six distinct obstacles that awaited us.

Our first challenge: the formidable hill climb and descent. Positioned at the base, the instructor meticulously aligned the Tiguan, a critical step on the steep incline where visibility from the driver’s seat was limited. Halfway up, a pause allowed us to put the hill hold assist to the test. A three-second reprieve before gravity kicked in, a window just enough to move your leg from brake to accelerator.

The trick here was to give just enough gas to climb without spinning the wheels or going too fast. Guided by flags on either side, we ascended the hill with precision, the Tiguan demonstrating its prowess in controlled climbs thanks to the 4Motion all wheel drive system.

Reaching the top, we navigated the descent with caution, allowing the car to gracefully roll over to the other side. Here, the hill descent control took over, seamlessly applying engine braking without the need for manual intervention. No braking, no acceleration—just the Tiguan’s calculated descent, safely ushering us to the bottom of the hill.

Following the hill climb and descent, our Tiguan adventure continued with the tip-over angle test, a challenge that pitted the car against a steep slope. Slowly, we elevated the left two wheels on the slope, prompting everyone inside to lean towards the right. Remarkably, thanks to the well-designed seat bolstering in the Tiguan, nobody slipped out of their seats. The car handled the manoeuvre with ease, showcasing stability.

Midway through the test, it was time to switch to the other side, offering us a chance to evaluate axle articulation. This involved creeping with one wheel suspended in the air. As the 4Motion system kicked in, redistributing power to the grounded wheels, the Tiguan demonstrated its agility. The weight shift caused the car to see-saw, lifting the rear wheel into the air. The suspension system played a crucial role, ensuring a soft landing and underscoring the Tiguan’s structural rigidity, a testament to the precision of German engineering.

Our next challenges included navigating chicken holes and rumble strips, obstacles that the Tiguan effortlessly conquered. A mud pit with wet slush awaited us, tempting me to hit the throttle for an action-packed shot. However, the instructor’s wise reminder echoed in my mind: off-roading isn’t about speed but technique and car control. Approaching the mud pit with finesse, the 4Motion system worked seamlessly, reassuring me that Tiguan owners would navigate Mumbai’s monsoon without a struggle.

The final obstacle on our off-road menu was water wading. Adhering to the philosophy of going as slow as possible and as fast as necessary, we gently dipped into the water, creating a small bow wave. The Tiguan navigated the water obstacle effortlessly as it gets a 700mm of water wading capacit, completing our off-road journey without breaking a sweat. These challenges not only tested the Tiguan’s mettle but also reinforced its capability to handle diverse terrains, making it a reliable companion in both urban jungles and off-road adventures.

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