2020 Volkswagen Tiguan vs. 2020 Nissan Kicks

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 2020/06/04

The Tiguan has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Kicks doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Tiguan offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Tiguan’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Kicks doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Tiguan has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Kicks doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Tiguan and the Kicks 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The Volkswagen Tiguan weighs 1037 to 1156 pounds more than the Nissan Kicks. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

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, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tiguan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kicks last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.

Warranty

© 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 2020/06/04

The Tiguan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Kicks’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Tiguan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Kicks’ (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tiguan for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Kicks.

Reliability

© 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 2020/06/04

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Kicks’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

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 2020/06/04

The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 62 more horsepower (184 vs. 122) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Tiguan is faster than the Nissan Kicks:

Tiguan

Kicks

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

24.8 sec

36.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.9 sec

10.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84 MPH

80 MPH

Top Speed

126 MPH

110 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 2020/06/04

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Tiguan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Kicks doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Tiguan FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (15.3 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Tiguan AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (15.9 vs. 10.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/06/04

For better stopping power the Tiguan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:

Tiguan

Kicks

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

8” drums

The Volkswagen Tiguan has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Kicks. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Tiguan stops much shorter than the Kicks:

Tiguan

Kicks

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/06/04

For better traction, the Tiguan has larger standard tires than the Kicks (215/65R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Kicks (255/40R20 vs. 205/60R16).

The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kicks SV/SR’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tiguan S/SE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Tiguan has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Kicks has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Tiguan has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Tiguan flat and controlled during cornering. The Kicks’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tiguan’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the Kicks (109.8 inches vs. 103.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Tiguan is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Kicks.

The Tiguan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.9% to 44.1%) than the Kicks’ (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the Tiguan more stable handling and braking.

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

The Tiguan SEL 4Motion® executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Kicks SR (28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Tiguan has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks S (7.9 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Tiguan to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Tiguan’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the Kicks SV/SR (7.9 vs. 7 inches).

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 2020/06/04

The Tiguan offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Kicks can only carry 5.

The Tiguan has 30 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (123.9 vs. 93.9).

The Tiguan has 4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tiguan’s middle row seats recline. The Kicks’ rear 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 2020/06/04

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

Tiguan

Kicks

Third Seat Folded

33 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

37.6 cubic feet

25.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

65.7 cubic feet

53.1 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

73.5 cubic feet

53.1 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Tiguan’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium R-Line has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kicks doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Tiguan has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Kicks has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Tiguan uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Kicks uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/06/04

When three different drivers share the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Kicks doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Tiguan’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Kicks has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the Tiguan and the Kicks have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Tiguan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Kicks prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Tiguan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Kicks’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Kicks can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium R-Line’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium R-Line to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Kicks doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Tiguan’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Kicks’ headlights, which were rated “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 Tiguan’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Kicks’ headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Tiguan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Kicks doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Tiguan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Kicks SV/SR.

When the Tiguan SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Kicks’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold winter days, the Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium R-Line’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kicks doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Tiguan has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium R-Line’s 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. The Kicks doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Tiguan and the Kicks offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Tiguan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kicks SV/SR doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium R-Line has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kicks doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium. The Tiguan’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Kicks doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the Tiguan SE/SE R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium R-Line offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Kicks doesn’t offer a voice control system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volkswagen Tiguan SE/SE R-Line/SEL Premium R-Line has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Kicks doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 2020/06/04

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tiguan third among compact SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Kicks isn’t in the top three.

The Volkswagen Tiguan outsold the Nissan Kicks by 89% during 2019.

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

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