Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan VS 2017 Toyota Highlander Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

VS
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2017 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

The Tiguan has standard post collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Highlander doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Tiguan (except S/SE) offers optional Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Highlander doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Tiguan and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

The Tiguan comes with a full 6 year/72000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Highlander’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Tiguan’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Highlander’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 184) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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

 

 

Tiguan

Highlander

 

2WD

 

n/a

20 city/24 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0T/Auto

22 city/27 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto w/Start/Stop

 

 

n/a

20 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto

4WD

2.0T/Auto

21 city/27 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto w/Start/Stop

 

 

n/a

19 city/26 hwy

V6/Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/26 hwy

V6/Auto XLE/SE/Limited

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

 

Tiguan

Highlander

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.9 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Tiguan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (255/45R19 vs. 245/60R18).

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tiguan SEL Premium offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-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 Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the Tiguan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Highlander’s (37.7 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Volkswagen Tiguan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 800 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander.

The Tiguan is 7.4 inches shorter than the Highlander, making the Tiguan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Tiguan’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Tiguan SEL Premium’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Highlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

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

When the Tiguan SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Highlander’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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