Pecheles Automotive Compares 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan VS 2012 Toyota Rav4 Near New Bern, NC

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2012 Toyota Rav4

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 Toyota Rav4 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Compared to metal, the Tiguan’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Rav4 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Tiguan and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 Rav4:





5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

43 g’s

47 g’s

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Tiguan earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Tiguan’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Rav4 was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Tiguan is safer then the Rav4:



Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

28 mm

40 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

8 mm

42 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Tension



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

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 Rav4 was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

The Tiguan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Rav4’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tiguan for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Rav4 (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Rav4’s 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 Rav4’s standard 100 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (200 vs. 179) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Volkswagen Tiguan is faster than the Toyota Rav4 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85.8 MPH

81.9 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 Rav4:



Tiguan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

5100 RPM

1700 RPM

Rav4 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

6000 RPM

4000 RPM

Rav4 3.5 DOHC V6

6200 RPM

4700 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Tiguan gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4 V6:





22 city/27 hwy

19 city/27 hwy



21 city/27 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

The Tiguan has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Rav4 (16.8 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Tiguan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:



Rav4 7-Passenger/V6

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

10.8 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

The Tiguan stops shorter than the Rav4:



70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Tiguan SEL’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 (255/40R19 vs. 235/55R18).

The Tiguan S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4’s standard 70 series tires. The Tiguan SEL’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Rav4 Sport’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tiguan SEL has standard 19 inch wheels. The Rav4’s largest wheels are only 18 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Tiguan SEL 4Motion ® handles at .81 G’s, while the Rav4 4WD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Tiguan SE performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver faster than the Rav4 4WD (59.3 vs. 58.5 MPH).

The Tiguan SEL 4Motion ® executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Rav4 (28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 30 seconds @ .52 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Tiguan is 4.2 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Tiguan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Tiguan SE is quieter than the Rav4 Limited 4WD (75 vs. 77 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Tiguan’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Tiguan disables the starter while the engine is running. The Rav4’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Rav4 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 Rav4’s passenger windows don’t open or close 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 Rav4 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Rav4’s 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Rav4 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 Rav4 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’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Rav4 Base doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Tiguan’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s standard power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Tiguan has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear vents.

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