Our Cars: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI 150 DSG

27 August 2018: In defence of an unglamorous feature

The Details

Current mileage 4,601
Claimed economy 47.9mpg
Actual economy 41.2mpg

Nobody talks about keyless entry. Why? 

Actually, that's not entirely true. We motoring writers mention keyless entry occasionally, like when we're copying and pasting a spec sheet for a new car review. And sometimes in my videos I'll put it in a list of standard features of a car, way down at the bottom if I'm running out of interesting things like moose detection or rear cupholders.

And yet, I honestly think it's one of the greatest car convenience features ever invented. I mean, when automatic central locking was invented it was a true... and I hate this phrase but I'm going to use it anyway... game changer. I'm old enough to have owned a couple of cars that required sticking a key in the door to open them, but I'm not old enough to really appreciate how amazing remote central locking must have been to a generation of people familiar with a choke. 

Remote central locking is ubiquitous now, of course, but proper hands-free keyless entry with engine start - which is what I'm talking about here - isn't. It's still novel enough for manufacturers to justify charging for it as an optional extra - to the tune of £450 in the case of our Tiguan. Yikes.

 Volkswagen _car -keys

An old Volkswagen key. They're better than this now. 

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the system that will unlock the car automatically when you have the key about your person and pull the door handle. Same for starting the engine. In practice it means the key could be in the depths of your bag and it wouldn't matter - you'd still be able to get into the car and start it without having to empty out all the stuff you've just bought. 

For a prolific rucksack user like me, it's a solid gold convenience. Seriously, I can't tell you how many times I've appreciated it. The times it's saved me, for example, from having to ferret about the bottom of my bag for the keys when it's raining. Compare that to one of the Tiguan's glamour options, adaptive cruise control, which I've used maybe twice. (I don't like how ACC uses the brakes on the motorway. Using your brakes on the motorway is generally a hallmark of terrible driving. I'll not get into that now.) 

Of course, £450 is a scandalous amount to charge for what is essentially a small radio transmitter, but in the pantheon of £30,000+ premium crossover options shennanigans, it's not too bad; our car's blue paint costs £570.  

« Earlier: Big holiday airport trip success     Later: Remembering what we love about Big Volkswagen »

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