2019 Volkswagen Tiguan vs. 2020 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Tiguan has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RDX 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 that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The RDX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Tiguan and the RDX 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, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Tiguan comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The RDX’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

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

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tiguan’s warranty.

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Tiguan

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

RDX

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

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 Acura RDX (6). This means the Tiguan produces up to 1.1 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the RDX every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Tiguan

RDX

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.4 inches

The Tiguan stops shorter than the RDX:

Tiguan

RDX

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tiguan’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the RDX (109.8 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The Tiguan SEL 4Motion® handles at .82 G’s, while the RDX AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Tiguan’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.7 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

Passenger Space

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

The Tiguan has 19.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RDX (123.9 vs. 104).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tiguan’s middle row seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

Tiguan

RDX

Third Seat Folded

33 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

37.6 cubic feet

31.1 cubic feet

Payload

The Tiguan has a higher standard payload capacity than the RDX (970 vs. 838 lbs.).

The Tiguan has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the RDX (1213 vs. 838 lbs.).

Ergonomics

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Tiguan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX 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.

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Tiguan will be $1949 to $6281 less than for the Acura RDX.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Tiguan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Volkswagen Tiguan outsold the Acura RDX by 62% during 2018.

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

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