2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus UX Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The UX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Lexus UX Series 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.

The UX Series’ 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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the UX Series and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The UX Series comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Lexus 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.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 58 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

UX Series

 

FWD

200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

AWD

200h 2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/38 hwy

Tiguan

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the UX 250h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lexus UX Series uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Tiguan (225/50R18 vs. 215/65R17).

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE.

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

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the Tiguan’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The Lexus UX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 450 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The UX Series is 8.1 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the UX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus UX Series amounts to more than styling. The UX Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Tiguan (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the UX Series get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the UX Series. The Tiguan doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 43% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Ergonomics

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 UX Series 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 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the UX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) 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 UX Series 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Tiguan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The UX Series 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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series 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 UX Series 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 SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

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

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