2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Terrain are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the GMC Terrain has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan’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.

Both the Terrain and the Tiguan 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, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Terrain comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. GMC 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.

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Terrain for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Tiguan.

There are almost 3 times as many GMC dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a standard 700-amp battery. The Tiguan’s 360-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 20th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

Engine

The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (252 vs. 184) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

 

Terrain

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Terrain

Tiguan

 

FWD

Auto

28 city/39 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

28 city/38 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

 

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

 

 

Terrain

Tiguan

 

2WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/30 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

2.0T

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/28 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

2.0T

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Terrain uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Terrain has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Terrain, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Tiguan.

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops shorter than the Tiguan:

 

Terrain

Tiguan

 

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Terrain has larger standard tires than the Tiguan (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R17).

The Terrain has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Tiguan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 350 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The front grille of the Terrain uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Tiguan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Terrain uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Tiguan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear legroom than the Tiguan.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Tiguan is limited to 1500 pounds. The Terrain offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Terrain (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Terrain’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Tiguan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Tiguan can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Terrain has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Tiguan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Terrain SLT/Denali has standard 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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Terrain and the Tiguan offer available heated front seats. The Terrain Denali also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Tiguan.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Terrain Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Tiguan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Terrain (except SL) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan by 82% during 2017.

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

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