2019 Nissan Kicks vs. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Kicks has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, 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 Nissan Kicks 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 Kicks SR has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Tiguan Limited only offers a rear monitor.

The Kicks SV/SR’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 Kicks SV/SR’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 Kicks 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Kicks comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Nissan 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.

There are over 66 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kicks’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 2 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Kicks

 

FWD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

31 city/36 hwy

Tiguan Limited

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Kicks uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan Limited requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission

The Kicks 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 Limited doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The Kicks 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 Limited S’ standard 65 series tires.

The Kicks 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 Limited doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Kicks SR handles at .83 G’s, while the Tiguan Limited Sport pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kicks’ turning circle is 4.9 feet tighter than the Tiguan Limited’s (34.1 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Kicks may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 900 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited.

The Kicks is 5.4 inches shorter than the Tiguan Limited, making the Kicks easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Kicks has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Tiguan Limited uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Nissan Kicks amounts to more than styling. The Kicks has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .334 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 Kicks get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Kicks has 1.6 inches more front headroom and 3.6 inches more front legroom than the Tiguan Limited.

The front step up height for the Kicks is 3 inches lower than the Tiguan Limited (15.4” vs. 18.4”). The Kicks’ rear step up height is 2.7 inches lower than the Tiguan Limited’s (15.8” vs. 18.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The Kicks has a much larger cargo volume than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat up (25.3 vs. 23.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Kicks to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and tire rotation 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 Kicks SV/SR has a standard 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kicks 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.

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

The Kicks’ 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.

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

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