Pecheles Automotive Compares 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan VS 2012 Jeep Compass Near Greenville, NC

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2012 Jeep Compass

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen Tiguan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Jeep Compass doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Tiguan (except S) offers an optional backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Compass doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the Tiguan and the Compass have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen Tiguan is safer than the Compass:





5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

44 g’s

45 g’s



5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

43 g’s

54 g’s

Leg injuries (L/R)

895 / 183

1250 / 1064

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard Electronic Stability Control, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Tiguan as a “Top Pick” for 2011, a rating only granted to 98 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Compass has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The Tiguan comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Volkswagen will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Jeep doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Compass.

The Tiguan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Compass’ (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tiguan for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Compass.

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Compass’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Tiguan has a 140 amp alternator. The Compass’ standard 120 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Tiguan’s reliability will be 20% better than the Compass.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 29th in reliability. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 33rd.

Engine Comparison

The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 42 more horsepower (200 vs. 158) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 141) than the Compass’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 28 more horsepower (200 vs. 172) and 42 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 165) than the Compass’ optional 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Tiguan is faster than the Jeep Compass 2.4 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

9.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19.6 sec

32.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.6 sec

10.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.7 sec

4.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

82 MPH

Top Speed

121 MPH

112 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Tiguan’s engine produces its peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the Compass:



Tiguan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

5100 RPM

1700 RPM

Compass 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

6400 RPM

5000 RPM

Compass 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

6000 RPM

4400 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Tiguan 4Motion ® Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Compass 4x4 CVT 2.4 4 cyl. (21 city/27 hwy vs. 21 city/26 hwy).

The Tiguan has 3.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass 4WD’s standard fuel tank (16.8 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Tiguan has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.8 vs. 13.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Tiguan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Compass:



Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors


10.3 inches

The Volkswagen Tiguan has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Compass. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Tiguan stops much shorter than the Compass:



70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

153 feet

170 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Tiguan SEL’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Compass (255/40R19 vs. 215/60R17).

The Tiguan SEL’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Compass Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tiguan SEL has standard 19 inch wheels. The Compass’ largest wheels are only 18 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Tiguan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Compass doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Tiguan is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.

The Tiguan SEL 4Motion ® handles at .81 G’s, while the Compass Limited 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Volkswagen Tiguan amounts to more than styling. The Tiguan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .37 Cd. That is lower than the Compass (.4). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Tiguan get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Tiguan has standard flush composite headlights. The Compass has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Tiguan SE is quieter than the Compass Limited 4x4 (75 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Tiguan has 1.6 inches more front shoulder room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Compass.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Tiguan has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Compass with its rear seat up (23.8 vs. 22.7 cubic feet). The Tiguan has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Compass with its rear seat folded (56.1 vs. 53.6 cubic feet).

The Tiguan’s cargo area is larger than the Compass’ in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Tiguan. The Compass doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Tiguan has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Compass doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When three different drivers share the Tiguan SEL, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Compass doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Tiguan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Compass’ power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left down on the Tiguan the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Compass can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless Access standard on the Tiguan SEL allows the driver to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Jeep Compass doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Tiguan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Compass doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Tiguan SEL’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Compass’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Tiguan SE/SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Compass doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Tiguan SEL has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Compass doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Tiguan SEL detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Compass doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Tiguan SE/SEL has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Compass doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Tiguan SEL also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Tiguan has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Compass doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Tiguan SEL’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Compass doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Tiguan and the Compass offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Tiguan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Compass doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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