2019 BMW X1 vs. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X1 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Tiguan Limited doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the BMW X1 has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan Limited’s traction control is for low speeds only. Low traction conditions at higher speeds are more dangerous, making the need for full range traction control important.

The X1’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X1’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X1 and the Tiguan Limited have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras 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 BMW X1 is safer than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

328

377

Neck Injury Risk

32%

48%

Neck Stress

360 lbs.

444 lbs.

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

135 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

257/329 lbs.

170/974 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

187

360

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk

31%

52%

Neck Stress

175 lbs.

286 lbs.

Neck Compression

68 lbs.

87 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

309/268 lbs.

804/948 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the BMW X1 is safer than the Tiguan Limited:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

22 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/0%

100%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

GOOD

Tibia forces R/L

1/1.9 kN

1.1/1.9 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the BMW X1 is safer than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

637 lbs.

756 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

HIC

278

402

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

61 G’s

Hip Force

815 lbs.

915 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan Limited was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The X1 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. BMW will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Tiguan Limited.

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Tiguan Limited’s (12 vs. 10 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Tiguan Limited.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Tiguan Limited’s 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Tiguan Limited isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 28 more horsepower (228 vs. 200) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 207) than the Tiguan Limited’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X1 is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

21.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

128 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan Limited:

 

 

 

MPG

X1

 

FWD

sDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

 

AWD

xDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Tiguan Limited

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X1, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Tiguan Limited.

The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X1’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tiguan Limited:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.1 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Tiguan Limited are solid, not vented.

The X1 stops much shorter than the Tiguan Limited:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

156 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X1 has larger tires than the Tiguan Limited (225/50R18 vs. 215/65R16).

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tiguan Limited S’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan Limited S.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Tiguan Limited’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X1’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the Tiguan Limited (105.1 inches vs. 102.5 inches).

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .87 G’s, while the Tiguan Limited Sport pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Tiguan Limited SEL 4Motion® (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the X1’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Tiguan Limited’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tiguan Limited (7.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The design of the BMW X1 amounts to more than styling. The X1 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Tiguan Limited (.37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X1 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X1 xDrive28i is quieter than the Tiguan Limited Sport:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

At idle

40 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space

The X1 has 5.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tiguan Limited (101.2 vs. 95.4).

The X1 has 2.8 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan Limited.

The front step up height for the X1 is 1.4 inches lower than the Tiguan Limited (17” vs. 18.4”). The X1’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the Tiguan Limited’s (17.3” vs. 18.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 23.8 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 56.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X1 easier. The X1’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the Tiguan Limited’s liftover is 31 inches.

The X1’s cargo area is larger than the Tiguan Limited’s in almost every dimension:

 

X1

Tiguan Limited

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

35.1”/69”

32.2”/63.6”

Max Width

51.5”

41.6”

Min Width

39.5”

39.7”

Height

33”

33.4”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the X1 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The X1 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Tiguan Limited uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the X1 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Volkswagen doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Tiguan Limited.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 29% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Ergonomics

The X1 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X1 and the Tiguan Limited have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X1 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Tiguan Limited prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X1’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 Tiguan Limited’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the X1 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Tiguan Limited can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X1 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the X1 has a standard extendable sun visor. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the X1 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 Tiguan Limited’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X1 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Tiguan Limited has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The X1 has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Tiguan Limited Sport/SEL.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the X1 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The X1’s standard steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Tiguan Limited’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.

The X1’s standard GPS navigation system offers an optional real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Tiguan Limited’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With optional voice command, the X1 offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a voice control system.

The X1’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X1 with a number “3” insurance rate while the Tiguan Limited is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Tiguan Limited isn’t in the top three in its category.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Tiguan Limited has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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