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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 Murano 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.
The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints 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 Nissan Murano 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 Murano’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 Murano 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 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 Murano’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Tiguan’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
There are over 67 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Murano has a standard 550-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 Murano’s reliability 48 points higher than the Tiguan.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Tiguan isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 16 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.
The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 76 more horsepower (260 vs. 184) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan 4Motion® (20 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Murano has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan FWD’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Murano has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan AWD’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 15.9 gallons).
The Murano has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a CVT.
The Murano’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Tiguan are solid, not vented.
The Murano stops much shorter than the Tiguan:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the Tiguan (235/65R18 vs. 215/65R17).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE.
The Murano 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.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Tiguan (111.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Tiguan.
The Murano Platinum AWD 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 Murano Platinum AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
The design of the Nissan Murano amounts to more than styling. The Murano has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 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 Murano get better fuel mileage.
The front grille of the Murano 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.
As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Murano Platinum AWD is quieter than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (41 vs. 42 dB).
The Murano has .3 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan.
The front step up height for the Murano is 1.6 inches lower than the Tiguan (15.8” vs. 17.4”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 2.4 inches lower than the Tiguan’s (15.1” vs. 17.5”).
The Murano has a much larger cargo volume than the Tiguan with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 12 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Murano. The Tiguan doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Murano SL/Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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.
If the front windows are left open on the Murano the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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 Murano 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.
Both the Murano and the Tiguan offer available heated front seats. The Murano SL/Platinum also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Tiguan.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Murano Platinum 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 Murano 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.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because it costs $355 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Murano than the Tiguan, including $196 less for a water pump, $115 less for a muffler, $191 less for a starter and $116 less for front struts.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volkswagen Tiguan isn't recommended.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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