2020 Ford Escape vs. 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/24

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Ford Escape has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan’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 Escape’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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Escape and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and front and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Escape the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 119 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Escape 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Tiguan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Tiguan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Escape’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Tiguan’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Escape’s reliability 15 points higher than the Tiguan.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 11 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 66 more horsepower (250 vs. 184) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Escape is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

Escape turbo 1.5

Escape turbo 2.0

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

n/a

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

6.9 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.2 sec

n/a

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

15.3 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

89.3 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/24

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

MPG

Escape

FWD

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

Tiguan

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escape 1.5 Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Escape uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine for maximum performance). The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escape has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Escape stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

Escape

Tiguan

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the Tiguan (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R17).

Suspension and Handling

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The Escape has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Tiguan’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Escape SE handles at .78 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.7 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Ford Escape may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Escape is 4.6 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the Escape easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Passenger Space

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The Escape has .4 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape easier. The Escape’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.1 inches, while the Tiguan’s liftover is 29.4 inches.

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

Escape

Tiguan

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

37.8”/68.5”

17.2”/39.7”/74.5”

Max Width

57.3”

55”

Min Width

41.4”

39.8”

Height

34.8”

33.5”

Towing

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/24

The Escape’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tiguan’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Tiguan is only 1500 pounds. The Escape offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Escape SEL/Titanium’s standard easy entry system 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 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Escape Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Escape SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Escape’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Tiguan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escape has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Tiguan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Escape’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Tiguan’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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

The Escape Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Escape owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Escape with a number “5” insurance rate while the Tiguan is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because it costs $300 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the Tiguan, including $386 less for a water pump, $279 less for a starter, $227 less for fuel injection, $177 less for a fuel pump and $201 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/24

The Ford Escape outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan by over two to one during 2019.

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

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