2019 Volkswagen Tiguan vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Tiguan offers optional Autonomous 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 Escape offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Tiguan has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Escape doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

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

The Tiguan SEL Premium has a standard Overhead View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Escape only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that flash a light and beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Tiguan and the Escape 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Volkswagen Tiguan is safer than the Escape:

 

Tiguan

Escape

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

2 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

25 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

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

Warranty

The Tiguan comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Escape’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Tiguan’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Escape’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Escape’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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

Engine

The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (184 vs. 168) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 170) than the Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (184 vs. 179) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 177) than the Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Tiguan is faster than the Ford Escape:

 

Tiguan

Escape 4 cyl.

Escape 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

9.1 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

16.9 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

81.5 MPH

80.9 MPH

78.6 MPH

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen Tiguan higher (7 out of 10) than the Ford Escape (3 to 5). This means the Tiguan produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Escape every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Tiguan

Escape

Escape EcoBoost

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11 inches

11 inches

The Tiguan stops shorter than the Escape:

 

Tiguan

Escape

 

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Tiguan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escape (255/45R19 vs. 235/55R17).

The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escape’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line has standard 20-inch wheels. The Escape’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tiguan’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Escape (109.8 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

The Tiguan SEL 4Motion® handles at .82 G’s, while the Escape Titanium AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Tiguan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Escape’s (37.7 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Tiguan has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Escape (7.9 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Tiguan to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Tiguan offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Escape can only carry 5.

The Tiguan has 25.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Escape (123.9 vs. 98.7).

The Tiguan has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escape.

Cargo Capacity

The Tiguan’s cargo area provides more volume than the Escape.

 

Tiguan

Escape

Third Seat Removed

37.6 cubic feet

34 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

73.5 cubic feet

68 cubic feet

The Tiguan’s cargo area is larger than the Escape’s in almost every dimension:

 

Tiguan

Escape

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

17.2”/39.7”/74.5”

n.a./33.6”/67”

Max Width

55”

45.6”

Min Width

39.8”

40.4”

Height

33.5”

34.5”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Tiguan’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Escape doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

The Tiguan uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Escape 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.

Ergonomics

The Tiguan’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 Escape’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Escape can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Tiguan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Escape doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Escape doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Tiguan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Escape doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Tiguan SEL Premium also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Tiguan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Escape and aren’t offered on the Escape S.

When the Tiguan SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Escape’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

The Tiguan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Tiguan will retain 46.47% to 52.31% of its original price after five years, while the Escape only retains 41.72% to 45.81%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Tiguan, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Escape isn't recommended.

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

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