2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 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 2020/01/18

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 Highlander Hybrid 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 Highlander Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move 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 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 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 Highlander Hybrid’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 Highlander Hybrid 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights and around view monitors.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid weighs 483 to 838 pounds more than the Volkswagen Tiguan. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Highlander Hybrid 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 Highlander Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Tiguan’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 89 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 27th.

Engine

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The Highlander Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 59 more horsepower (243 vs. 184) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Highlander Hybrid

Tiguan

FWD

Auto

36 city/35 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

4 cyl.

AWD

Auto

35 city/35 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

4 cyl.

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

Highlander Hybrid

Tiguan

2WD

Auto

36 city/35 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

4 cyl.

4WD

Auto

35 city/35 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

4 cyl.

Auto

35 city/34 hwy

n/a

Regenerative brakes improve the Highlander Hybrid’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 Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Highlander Hybrid has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Highlander Hybrid has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Transmission

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The Highlander Hybrid 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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Highlander Hybrid has larger tires than the Tiguan (235/65R18 vs. 215/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Tiguan (112.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Tiguan.

For greater off-road capability the Highlander Hybrid has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tiguan (8 vs.

7.9 inches), allowing the Highlander Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Highlander Hybrid 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 Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Tiguan can only carry up to 7.

The Highlander Hybrid has 17.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tiguan (141.3 vs. 123.9).

The Highlander Hybrid has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 4.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.3 inches more third row headroom and 7.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Tiguan.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander Hybrid’s middle and third row seats recline. The Tiguan’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/01/18

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

Highlander Hybrid

Tiguan

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

12 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

48.4 cubic feet

33 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.3 cubic feet

65.7 cubic feet

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Highlander Hybrid. The Tiguan doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Payload and Towing

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The Highlander Hybrid’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tiguan’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

The Highlander Hybrid has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Tiguan (1495 vs. 926 lbs.).

The Highlander Hybrid has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Tiguan (1535 vs. 1124 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the Highlander Hybrid the driver can close them all 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) 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 Highlander Hybrid 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 Highlander Hybrid and the Tiguan offer available heated front seats. The Highlander Hybrid Platinum also has standard heated second row 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 Highlander Hybrid Limited/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 Highlander Hybrid 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 Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum 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.

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 2020/01/18

The Toyota Highlander outsold the Volkswagen Tiguan by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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