2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-5 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 Limited doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The CX-5 has standard Smart City Brake Support, 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 Mazda CX-5 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 CX-5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The CX-5’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the CX-5’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the CX-5 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

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 Mazda CX-5 is safer than the Tiguan Limited:

 

CX-5

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

1 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

24 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

.7/.3 kN

14.07/.99 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

100%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan Limited was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

The CX-5 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 Limited.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-5’s reliability 17 points higher than the Tiguan Limited.

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

The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (250 vs. 200) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 207) than the Tiguan Limited’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-5 gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan:

 

 

CX-5

Tiguan

 

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

25 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

 

 

n/a

20 city/26 hwy

2.0T/Auto

4WD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/30 hwy

n/a

 

 

2.5 Turbo/Auto

22 city/27 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

2.0T/Auto

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mazda CX-5 as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Volkswagen Tiguan Limited is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tiguan Limited:

 

CX-5

Tiguan Limited

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The CX-5 stops shorter than the Tiguan Limited:

 

CX-5

Tiguan Limited

 

60 to 0 MPH

133 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

156 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Tiguan Limited (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Sport/Touring has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan Limited S.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Tiguan Limited (106.2 inches vs. 102.5 inches).

The CX-5 Grand Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Tiguan Limited Sport pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the CX-5’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Tiguan Limited’s (36 feet vs. 39 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tiguan Limited (7.5 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has 8.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tiguan Limited (103.8 vs. 95.4).

The CX-5 has .6 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 3.8 inches more rear legroom than the Tiguan Limited.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 23.8 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 56.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CX-5 easier. The CX-5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.2 inches, while the Tiguan Limited’s liftover is 31 inches.

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Tiguan Limited’s in almost every dimension:

 

CX-5

Tiguan

Max Width

57”

41.6”

Min Width

41.3”

39.7”

Height

32.4”

33.4”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CX-5 (except Sport) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the CX-5 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and air filter replacement based on odometer mileage. 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.

Ergonomics

The CX-5 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The CX-5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-5 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Tiguan Limited only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the CX-5’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Tiguan Limited’s headlights, which were rated “Poor” to “Good” (depending on model and options).

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CX-5 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 and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the CX-5 has standard extendable sun visors. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the CX-5 and the Tiguan Limited offer available heated front seats. The CX-5 Grand Touring also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Tiguan Limited.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the CX-5 (except Sport/Touring) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-5 Grand Touring’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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-5 offers an optional Radar 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 CX-5’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 CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard GPS navigation system has a 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 CX-5 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-5 with a number “1” insurance rate while the Tiguan Limited is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan Limited because it costs $342 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-5 than the Tiguan Limited, including $438 less for a water pump, $266 less for a muffler, $5 less for front brake pads, $287 less for a starter, $60 less for fuel injection, $213 less for a fuel pump, $196 less for front struts, $213 less for a timing belt/chain and $108 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The Tiguan Limited has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Mazda CX-5 outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited by 52% during the 2018 model year.

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

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