2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Murano are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Murano has standard Forward 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano (except S/SV) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Nissan Murano 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 Murano (except S/SV)’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 Murano (except S) offers an optional 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 Murano SV/SL/Platinum’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 Murano SV/SL/Platinum’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.

The Murano’s 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 Limited doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Murano 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

282

377

Neck Injury Risk

37%

48%

Neck Stress

292 lbs.

444 lbs.

Neck Compression

61 lbs.

135 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

226/341 lbs.

170/974 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

144

360

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

Neck Stress

199 lbs.

286 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

87 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

283/32 lbs.

804/948 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 Nissan Murano is safer than the Tiguan Limited:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

87

87

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

22 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

2.1/.6 kN

14.07/.99 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

100%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

122

Hip Force

354 lbs.

417 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

756 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

328

402

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

61 G’s

Hip Force

681 lbs.

915 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Murano the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan Limited was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Murano 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 Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Murano has a standard 550-amp battery. The Tiguan Limited’s 480-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Tiguan Limited isn’t in the top three in its category.

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.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 60 more horsepower (260 vs. 200) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 207) than the Tiguan Limited’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

85.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

 

2WD

3.5 V6/Auto

20 city/28 hwy

20 city/26 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

3.5 V6/Auto

20 city/28 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

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

The Murano has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan Limited (19 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Murano 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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Murano’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tiguan Limited:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

11.1 inches

The Murano’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Tiguan Limited are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops shorter than the Tiguan Limited:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the Tiguan Limited (235/65R18 vs. 215/65R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan Limited S. The Murano SL/Platinum’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Tiguan Limited SEL.

The Murano 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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the Tiguan Limited (111.2 inches vs. 102.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Tiguan Limited.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Tiguan Limited Sport pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Murano has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Tiguan Limited uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Nissan Murano amounts to more than styling. The Murano has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 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 Murano get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Murano 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 Limited doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 12.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tiguan Limited (108.1 vs. 95.4).

The Murano has .8 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan Limited.

The front step up height for the Murano is 2.6 inches lower than the Tiguan Limited (15.8” vs. 18.4”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 3.4 inches lower than the Tiguan Limited’s (15.1” vs. 18.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 23.8 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 56.1 cubic feet).

The Murano’s cargo area is larger than the Tiguan Limited’s in every dimension:

 

Murano

Tiguan Limited

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

32.2”/63.6”

Max Width

54”

41.6”

Min Width

43”

39.7”

Height

33.7”

33.4”

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Murano SL/Platinum’s power liftgate can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Murano’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The Murano uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Tiguan Limited uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Murano 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 Murano 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 Murano SL/Platinum’s standard 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 Limited doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the front windows are left open on the Murano the driver can close them 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. The driver of the Tiguan Limited can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Intelligent Key standard on the Murano allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Volkswagen Tiguan Limited’s Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the cargo door.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Murano 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 Murano has standard extendable sun visors. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Murano SL/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Tiguan Limited’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Murano and the Tiguan Limited offer available heated front seats. The Murano SL/Platinum also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Tiguan Limited.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Murano Platinum 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 Murano SL/Platinum’s standard 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.

The Murano 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 Limited Sport/SEL.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Murano (except S) offers an optional Intelligent 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 Murano’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 Murano SL/Platinum’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 standard voice command, the Murano 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan Limited because it costs $351 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Murano than the Tiguan Limited, including $189 less for a water pump, $110 less for a muffler, $179 less for a starter and $116 less for front struts.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Murano and the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited by 63% during 2017.

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

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