2019 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Rav4 has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses 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 Rav4 (except LE) offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic 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 Toyota Rav4 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 Rav4’s 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 Rav4 Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Tiguan Limited only offers a rear monitor.

The Rav4’s optional 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 Rav4’s optional 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 Rav4 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.

Warranty

The Rav4 comes with free roadside assistance for 2 years 25,000 miles. Toyota 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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 for 2 years and 25,000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Tiguan Limited.

There are over 89 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rav4’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 7 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

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

Engine

The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (203 vs. 200) than the Tiguan Limited’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan Limited:

 

 

 

MPG

Rav4

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

LE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/34 hwy

 

 

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 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 Toyota Rav4 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan Limited requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Rav4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Tiguan Limited.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Rav4 has larger standard tires than the Tiguan Limited (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 LE/XLE 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 Rav4’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the Tiguan Limited (105.9 inches vs. 102.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Tiguan Limited.

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 LE/XLE’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Tiguan Limited’s (36.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Tiguan Limited’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 LE/XLE has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Tiguan Limited (8.4 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Rav4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s minimum ground clearance is 1.7 inches higher than on the Tiguan Limited (8.6 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the Rav4 Adventure/Limited 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 Rav4 has 3.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tiguan Limited (98.9 vs. 95.4).

The Rav4 has .4 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan Limited.

Cargo Capacity

The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 23.8 cubic feet). The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Tiguan Limited with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 56.1 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Rav4 (except LE) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Limited, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited is limited to 2200 pounds. The Rav4 Adventure offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Rav4 has a higher maximum payload capacity than the Tiguan Limited (1240 vs. 1195 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Rav4 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals 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 Rav4 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 Rav4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Tiguan Limited’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Smart Key System standard on the Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited 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 (Rav4 Limited’s optional Smart Key System will also allow unlocking the passenger doors without taking your keys out). The Volkswagen Tiguan Limited’s Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the cargo door.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Rav4 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Rav4 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 Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited has standard extendable sun visors. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Rav4 and the Tiguan Limited offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Limited 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 Rav4 Adventure/Limited 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 Rav4 XLE AWD/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’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 Rav4 has a standard Dynamic 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 Rav4’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 Rav4’s available 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 Rav4 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.

The Rav4 Adventure has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Tiguan Limited doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited by over four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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