2020 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

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

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the GMC Terrain 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.

Both the Terrain and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Terrain comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. GMC 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.

There are almost 3 times as many GMC dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a standard 700-amp battery. The Tiguan’s 360-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Terrain’s reliability 11 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 GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (252 vs. 184) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

Terrain

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

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

MPG

Terrain

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/30 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/28 hwy

Tiguan

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

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

The Terrain 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.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Terrain, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Tiguan.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Terrain stops shorter than the Tiguan:

Terrain

Tiguan

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

The Terrain 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 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 350 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The front grille of the Terrain 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.

The Terrain uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Tiguan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Terrain has .4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear legroom than the Tiguan.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Tiguan is limited to 1500 pounds. The Terrain offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Terrain (except SL/SLE)’s optional 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 Terrain’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Tiguan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Tiguan can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Terrain 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 Terrain SLT/Denali has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Tiguan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Terrain and the Tiguan offer available heated front seats. The Terrain Denali also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Tiguan.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Terrain Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Tiguan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the GMC Terrain Denali has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Tiguan doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Terrain (except SL) offers an optional 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 Terrain Denali’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Terrain owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Terrain will cost $505 less than the Tiguan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Terrain is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because typical repairs cost much less on the Terrain than the Tiguan, including $217 less for a water pump, $240 less for a starter and $259 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/06

The GMC Terrain outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan by 11% during 2018.

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

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