MotorMartin had the pleasure of a long weekend with the VW Tiguan SE NAV 2.0 TDI recently, provided by the excellent Swansway Group of Dealerships which can be read about here, where the overriding feeling was of a well designed harmony between the driving experience and the technologies within. The driver aids had clearly been tested to the limit to make sure that they do just that, aid the driver and make their use simple and uncomplicated. MotorMartin is well aware of the need to integrate today’s consumer technologies such as smartphones seamlessly into our homes, offices and cars is becoming essential for many. Recognising this trend, when designing the new Tiguan, Volkswagen engineers have ensured the car is packed with state-of-the-art features that support connectivity and functionality more easily than ever. In part 2 of MotorMartin’s Tiguan review it’ll be exactly this element of the car and how the technologies work to provide the complete driving experience that I’ll be discussing.
Clearly then, the new Tiguan’s cool, calm, connected nature enables its driver and passengers to stay in touch while on the move. Whether it’s getting the latest traffic information, streaming some music or dictating a text hands-free the latest Volkswagen SUV is equipped for the task.
Fortunately, all new Tiguans offer, as a minimum, Volkswagen’s impressive Composition Media system. This includes an eight-inch colour touch-screen, DAB digital radio receiver, CD player, USB connection and the simultaneous pairing, via Bluetooth, of two compatible mobile phone devices.¹ this touch-screen is where the heart of the system lives and breaths and it’s simplicity of use that is such an impressive part of this system.
Once a smartphone is paired with the Tiguan the driver or passenger can make and receive phone calls via the car’s built-in microphone and infotainment speakers. When the car is stationary the driver or passenger can even read and reply to SMS text messages using the touch-screen display, if they have an Android smartphone.
Internet on the move
VW themselves have shared with MotorMartin that nowadays mobile phones now do so much more than merely text or call contacts and that this is where Volkswagen’s Car-Net comes in. Car-Net refers to in-car internet connectivity and it brings the best functions of a smartphone – entertainment and convenience – into the Tiguan, simply and securely. To prove their point, Volkswagen have provided the following two short films from their own YouTube channel to emphasis the next few points.
A range of services are available, and for access to the full functionality all the driver needs to do is set up an account at volkswagen-car-net.com and download the Car-Net app to their smartphone.
Car-Net kicks off with the App-Connect system. Available on entry-level S trim, and standard on all other trims, App-Connect allows the display screen of a smartphone to be ‘mirrored’ on the Tiguan’s Composition Media touch-screen by connecting the phone via a USB cable.² This is compatible with smartphones that run Apple, Google and Android operating systems, meaning the function is available to almost every smartphone user.
Crucially, the Tiguan also allows the use of certified apps on its infotainment touch-screen. And if the app supports voice control then that will work in the Tiguan too! With safety in mind, only certain apps can be used while the Tiguan’s wheels are in motion.
One such app is MirrorLink’s Cam Connect. This allows the infotainment display to be connected to a GoPro camera, which can be mounted in the vehicle or in a trailer that’s being towed by the Tiguan. This is useful if you have a dog in the rear of the vehicle, or if you’re towing a horse box and you want to check on your animal without having to pull over.
As we all know, especially those of us that struggle to remove ourselves from all manner of digital devices, in the fast-moving world of digital development, the list of apps that are accessible while on the move is growing all the time. Apple’s CarPlay supports Spotify; the music streaming service, Stitcher; which offers a variety of radio shows and podcasts; and the video calling app Skype. Android Auto works with a variety of apps, including instant messengers WhatsApp and KiK, and GoogleHangouts too. These apps are navigated using the car’s steering wheel controls. Clearly then, this is an area that is going to develop at an astonishing rate and as more manufacturers get involved, the pace of this development will increase considerably. MotorMartin can’t wait.
Volkswagen have informed MotorMartin that their ‘Guide and Inform’ system is the next step in truly bringing the online world into the new Tiguan. It operates via Volkswagen’s familiar Discover Navigation system and opens up access to a wide range of useful information, including traffic conditions, fuel location and pricing, parking space availability, the weather at the destination and customisable news feeds. A press of the Point of Interest button in the navigation menu provides a wide variety of options to find the precise information required. For example, a list of petrol stations can be sorted by the distance from the Tiguan or even by the price of the fuel.
Alternatively, the driver can search for points of interest on the volkswagen-car-net.com website while at home or at work. The ‘Destination Import’ function then allows them to send the information to the Tiguan’s navigation system. Complete routes can be sent to the car so the driver simply gets in, downloads the journey and starts driving. Wow.
Another feature that will prove its worth on a long journey will surely be that once under way, the Tiguan will know if traffic is building up along the route and will re-calculate the journey to find the fastest option. The Tiguan’s live traffic information is based on the Traffic Message Channel, which supplies continuously updated traffic data throughout Europe. Alternative routes are automatically chosen and the corresponding estimated time of arrival is updated accordingly.
All Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform’ services are standard equipment on trims from SE Navigation and above, and are optional on the Tiguan S. A three-year subscription to the ‘Guide and Inform’ service is included, so the maps are constantly updated, too.³
Tiguan’s active information
MotorMartin has been informed by Volkswagen that the most comprehensive mobile connectivity available in the new Tiguan is Car-Net ‘Guide and Inform Plus’. Optional on S, SE Navigation, SEL and R-Line trims, ‘Guide and Inform Plus’ adds voice activation technology to the already thorough ‘Guide and Inform’ offering. It brings Google Earth™ into the car, while Google Street View™ can also be displayed on the colour touch-screen. Incredible.
A crucial feature of Car-Net is the way in which the Car-Net app acts as an e-Remote for the new Tiguan. This is especially handy in MotorMartin’s opinion as before the driver gets into the car, he or she can use the Car-Net e-Remote to pre-set the air conditioning so the cabin is at their preferred temperature, extremely handy once the darker mornings and frost start to bite. The e-Remote also displays the vehicle’s mileage, last parking position and will even inform the driver if the headlights are on or not.
So what then does all this mean for you and I? For Volkswagen, the connectivity of the new Tiguan makes it one of the most advanced cars in its class, but it’s far from a ‘one trick’ SUV. Another technological highlight is the Active Info Display: a 12.3-inch high resolution TFT display screen located in the instrument binnacle. It offers a digital speedo and tachometer, and the display can be customised to show almost any of the car’s other parameters. Particularly useful is the wide-screen navigation display, which replicates the information on the TFT display in the centre console. Active Info Display is available on trims from SE and up, and is standard on the SEL and R-Line models.
Another key feature and one that MotorMartin would love to try is the Head-up Display that projects driving information, including current speed and the speed limit, onto a retractable screen within the driver’s field of vision. This fighter jet-inspired technology is an option on Tiguans from SE and above. Yes please.
So there we have it, the all new Tiguan is brimming with technology and is on sale now. For full details, together with brochures and pricing and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk. You know it makes sense.
Don’t forget to keep checking back on motormartin.com for part 2 of 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan SE NAV 2.0 TDI: Good Day Sunshine.
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