2015 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2015 Honda CR-V: Battle of the Redesign

As the top car makers continue to battle it out for dominance in the crossover market, consumers are being rewarded with more consistent and higher quality options than ever before. Two of the biggest winners of 2015 are the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2015 Honda CR-V – both of which saw a body redesign this year. While there are a number of other offerings in the compact SUV class, both the Tiguan and the CR-V routinely find themselves pitted against each other, and for good reason.

Comparing Tiguan and CR- V Engines

Released in 1997, the Honda CR-V has historically been one of the best selling compact SUVs in the market. In 2009, Volkswagen decided it was time to challenge Honda’s reign and released their own crossover compact SUV – the Tiguan S 4dr. Built from a modified Passat and crossed with a Golf, the Tiguan is a mixture of the stateliness expected from the Passat, and the fun and exhilaration associated with the Golf. The 200-horsepower 2 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides more than enough power to play with while still getting 13.0L/100km around town and highway of 11.2L/100km. This makes the Tiguan more powerful, though less efficient than the Honda CR-V’s 185-horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder engine, which sees MPG ratings closer to 8.6L/100km in town and 6.9/100km on the highway.


Tiguan’s Powerful Advantage

However, the Tiguan’s additional power allows for excellent road manners. The 200-horsepower engine is more than enough to provide a fun, sporty, European-style driving experience. The crisp construction of the Tiguan creates a precise driving experience through responsive handling and throttle control that the CR-V simply cannot match.

Throughout all 8 trims of the Volkswagen Tiguan S, the crossover sports a very capable front wheel drive drivetrain, but on the premium R-line model the Tiguan will have the option between a 2 wheel drive and All Wheel Drive. Both models will still be outfitted with the 2.0L turbocharged engines seen on all other options. Every Tiguan sold comes outfitted with a standard Automatic transmission as well. The Honda CR-V’s offering comes in form of Honda’s traditional LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. Each of these models has an option of drive trains – either Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive. All trims will come with the same 185 horsepower 2.4 L engine and standard automatic transmission.


Heated Seats Give the Upper Hand to the Tiguan’s Interior

Where the Tiguan lacks in gas mileage, it makes up for in quality and comfort. The interior is constructed only with high quality materials such as real aluminum trim and real leather upholstery is available on higher trims. The cabin of the Tiguan is well protected and will insulate the driver and passengers from most noisy roads. The interior of the Tiguan also comes with a wide variety of drivers aids – including a rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system, an eight-speaker stereo with a 5-inch touch screen display, satellite radio, both auxiliary and iPod connections, as well as Bluetooth and VW’s Car-Net telematics system. Additional options include push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and an eight-speaker Fender Premium audio system.

While the Honda does include many of these options, the Honda does NOT have an option for Bluetooth or heated front seats – a must have for Canadian winters.

Finally, the Tiguan’s interior is capped off with a beautiful touch-screen navigation system. Of course, many of these goodies are only available on specific models, but with 10 different models to choose from there will be plenty of options to make sure that you get exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us about viewing each different trim that the Tiguan is offered in.


Do You Want Crafted Eloquence or Cabin Space?

The Honda CR-V can’t quite match the German crafted eloquence of the Tiguan, but it does come with a little bit more cabin space. The CR-V’s cargo hold also offers up to 70.9 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded down using Honda’s 40/20/40 fold split seats. Whereas the Tiguan, with its 60/40 split, only has a maximum space of 56.1 cubic feet.

While the Honda has the advantage here, the Tiguan’s fold-down front passenger seat adds plenty of length for carrying long loads, like skis or lumber. However, the CR-V also has slightly more legroom for the rear seat passengers due to the length of the CR-V being just slightly longer than the Tiguan, but the Volkswagen’s sacrifice in car length does allow it to be somewhat easier to park than the Honda. The overall height of the Tiguan and high seating also easily enable drivers to see and navigate through particularly tough conditions.


What’s Safer, the Volkswagen Tiguan or Honda CRV?

Both the Honda CR-V and the Volkswagen Tiguan are well rated in crash testing and come with many similar features designed to protect drivers in the case of an emergency. For instance, both cars feature front and rear head airbags, as well as occupant sensing deactivation for passenger side airbags. Both cars have dual front airbags and come standard with an engine immobilizer and remote keyless power door locks. Both cars also come with a rollover sensor which is designed to deploy the side curtain airbags in the event the car rolls over.

The Volkswagen Tiguan, however, comes with a remote anti-theft alarm system, brake assist, and Volkswagen’s proprietary post-collision safety system. This safety system has been designed to mitigate damage after the initial impact has occurred. Essentially, the system automatically applies brakes in the event of the airbags being deployed and prevents the car from continuing forward and potentially into other cars. Watch the video below for an explanation from Volkswagen as to how their post-collision safety system can help protect you when the worst case scenario occurs.


4 Star Safety Ratings

Both the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan and Honda CR-V also received a 4 Star Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Volkswagen could have done a little better in the front impact aspect, but that area aside, the two cars have very similar safety scores. The IHS also indicates that the Volkswagen is somewhat more child friendly, as the CR-V has minor issues with the ease of use for their child seat tether anchors.

The Honda CR-V and the Volkswagen Tiguan also both come standard with a basic 3 year, 36,000 mile, warranty or a drivetrain warranty that extends to 5 years or 60,000 miles. In both instances it is either 3-5 years or 36,000 to 60,000 miles – which ever happens first. The main difference is that Volkswagen provides free 2 year maintenance for 2 years or 24,000 miles and then an additional Roadside warranty for either 3 years or 36,000 miles.

It is important to note that Honda has had to recall at least 137 of this year’s CR-Vs due to a short engine block, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA states that “the affected [Honda CR-V’s] may have been assembled with improperly torqued connecting rod bolts, which can cause the engine to lose power or leak oil”. Essentially, due to the improper installation of these engines there is a chance that the loss of engine power could result in a vehicle stall which would significantly increase the risk of a crash occurring.

The CRV isn’t alone when it comes to recalls though. The 2015 Tiguan has also seen a recall this year, and it affects a larger number of vehicles – close to 3,000. However, the Tiguan simply had a labeling problem, where the labels are missing the required tire-pressure information and may have incorrect weight and loading information. This can lead to vehicle instability which can lead to the risk of a crash, but according to Edmunds remedying this problem is as simple as a quick stop by your local Volkswagen Dealership.

Power, Handling and Modern Interiors for the Win

While the Honda CR-V may have a bit more space and may be a bit more fuel efficient than the Volkswagen Tiguan, but the German designed crossover more than makes up for its deficits with a beautiful interior, responsive handling, impressive array of drivers amenities and safety features.

Call us today at 604-536-7212 to schedule a test drive in the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan in Surrey, BC to get a first-hand view of what makes this year’s Tiguan a superior of compact SUV.