2020 Kia Niro 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 2020/09/29

The Niro has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Kia Niro 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 Niro LXS/Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium’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 Niro and the Tiguan 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Niro comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Tiguan’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Tiguan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Tiguan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 18 percent more Kia dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Niro’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Niro’s reliability 40 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 Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 18 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

© 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 2020/09/29

As tested in Consumer Reports the Kia Niro is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

Niro

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

3.6 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.9 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

17.6 sec

17.9 sec

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 2020/09/29

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

MPG

Niro

FWD

LX 1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

52 city/49 hwy

LXS/EX 1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/46 hwy

Touring 1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

46 city/40 hwy

Tiguan

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Niro’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Niro uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The Niro offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Niro stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

Niro

Tiguan

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Niro LX/LXS/EX Premium’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tiguan S/SE’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Niro 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 Niro Touring Special Edition handles at .82 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring Special Edition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Tiguan’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2020/09/29

The Kia Niro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Niro is 1 foot, 1.6 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Kia Niro amounts to more than styling. The Niro has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Tiguan (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Niro get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/09/29

The Niro has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front legroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the Tiguan.

The front step up height for the Niro is 1.9 inches lower than the Tiguan (15.5” vs. 17.4”). The Niro’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the Tiguan’s (16.2” vs. 17.5”).

Ergonomics

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The Niro Touring’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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro 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 Niro’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Tiguan’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro EX Premium 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.

The Niro has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium R-Line.

The Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring) 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.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/09/29

The Niro will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Niro will retain 40.77% to 42.14% of its original price after five years, while the Tiguan only retains 28.65% to 38.41%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Niro will be $4285 to $9224 less than for the Volkswagen Tiguan.

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

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