2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-3 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests 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 Mazda CX-3 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 CX-3 and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-3 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

The CX-3 comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Mazda 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 Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 3 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 Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

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

Engine

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

 

CX-3

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

3.5 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.6 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.9 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

17.4 sec

17.9 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-3 gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan:

 

 

 

MPG

CX-3

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Tiguan

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

 

CX-3

Tiguan

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The CX-3 Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tiguan S/SE’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Tiguan’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 950 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The CX-3 is 1 foot, 4.8 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the CX-3 is 1.4 inches lower than the Tiguan (16” vs. 17.4”). The CX-3’s rear step up height is 1.5 inches lower than the Tiguan’s (16” vs. 17.5”).

Ergonomics

The CX-3 Grand Touring has a standard 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-3 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-3’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Tiguan’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-3 will be $4102 to $9239 less than for the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Mazda CX-3, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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

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