With only two SUVs in the lineup, and iconic models like the Golf and Beetle, it’s pretty easy to forget about the Volkswagen Tiguan and VW Touareg. Visually, the two family SUVs look similar, so many people lump the two models together. In fact, they’re two incredibly different trucks for two totally different drivers.
While both offer a tremendous amount to any driver, which SUV is better comes down to your wants, needs, and lifestyle. We’ll compare the Touareg and Tiguan to demonstrate exactly how each model could fit into your life.
First produced in 2002, the Volkswagen Touareg was named for the Tuareg people—inhabitants of the Saharan interior in North Africa. The SUV began its life in a joint project spearheaded by the VW Group, Audi, and Porsche.
The original goal was to create an off-road vehicle that handled like a sports car but had the comfort and utility of an SUV. The result was the VW Group’s PL71 Platform, which is found on the Touareg, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne, with some minor differences in styling, equipment packages, and technology.
Once released, the SUV was an instant hit. The truck didn’t receive its first facelift until four years after its release in 2006. From 2008 to 2010, the SUV received its first major updates. During this period, the family SUV was dubbed the “Touareg 2.” The Touareg is notable for its headlight technology, which includes a glare-free high beam and adaptive high-beam system to continually and gradually adjust the range and pattern of the high beam.
The VW Touareg was also the third vehicle in the Volkswagen lineup to receive the “R” designation, behind the Golf and Passat.
The Volkswagen Tiguan has always been an interesting car, starting with its name. The word “Tiguan” is a portmanteau of the German words tiger (tiger) and leguan (iguana). It was the winning entry in a naming contest held by German car magazine Autobild. Other suggested names included Namib, Rockton, Liger, Samun, and Nanuk.
The Tiguan was first produced in 2007 and is entering its second model generation, which debuted in 2016. The truck is a little shorter and wider than previous years, but has lost none of the stripped-down efficiency that made it so successful over the past decade.
Touareg vs. Tiguan: The Comparison
Both the Touareg and Tiguan offer a tremendous amount to drivers, but the two vehicles were designed to occupy opposite niches. While both are safe, offer plenty of room, and boast strong towing capacity, they are purpose built: The Tiguan provides economical value; the Touareg lets you ride in the lap of luxury.
Before we examine each car, let’s take an overhead view at some of the big differences between the Tiguan and Touareg.
The Touareg offers a considerable amount “more” than the Tiguan. Starting with increased engine size, towing capacity, and technology, the Touareg satisfies buyers looking for a luxury SUV that still feels like a sports car.
On the other hand, Tiguan owners are rewarded with an economical SUV that’s fun to drive, with enough size and power to get work done.
The Touareg offers drivers far more creature comforts than the Tiguan.
A Technological Advantage
As an entry-level SUV, the Touareg offers drivers features and amenities that simply aren’t found in the 2016 Tiguan. Standard features for the Touareg include the 4Motion AWD system, hands-free easy-open liftgate, park distance control, Bi-Xenon headlights, rearview camera, premium touchscreen, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry with push-button start, and lane-departure warning.
The Tiguan—at half the size and half the cost—comes with standard features like heated side mirrors, Bluetooth with Audio, rearview camera, the new 5-inch MIB II system with resistive touchscreen, and keyless access with push-button start.
One key difference is that the Tiguan does not offer any driver assistance safety features. Blind-spot warning, lane departure, and frontal-collision warning systems are all standard on the Touareg.
Picking Between the 2016 Touareg and 2016 Tiguan
Admittedly, most people aren’t losing their minds trying to decide which is right for them. The price gap between the two vehicles appeals to two very different budgets. The Touareg—roomier, more powerful, and laden with technological goodies—was designed for those with a larger budget (who still don’t want to break the bank).
On the other hand, the Tiguan is a value-laden compact SUV that isn’t too hard on the budget. It provides the power of an SUV and space of a minivan, but with significantly more style.
Still not exactly sure which SUV is right for you? Contact White Rock VW today and have our talented sales representatives answer your questions. Our knowledgeable staff will ensure you get all the information you need to make an educated decision.