2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Tiguan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the XC40 and Tiguan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Tiguan’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Volvo XC40 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 XC40’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 XC40 and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tiguan was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

The XC40 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Volvo 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.

The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Tiguan’s (12 vs. 10 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Tiguan.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC40 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Tiguan’s 360-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (187 vs. 184) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 64 more horsepower (248 vs. 184) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the XC40 T5 is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

XC40

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan:

MPG

XC40

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Tiguan

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

The XC40 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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tiguan:

XC40

Tiguan

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.8 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the Tiguan:

XC40

Tiguan

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the Tiguan (235/55R18 vs. 215/65R17).

The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tiguan S/SE’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE.

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Tiguan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is .8 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Tiguan.

The XC40 T5 R-Design 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.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tiguan (8.3 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The XC40 is 10.9 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has .7 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The Tiguan doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tiguan’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Tiguan is only 1500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Tiguan can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The XC40’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Tiguan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC40 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 XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Tiguan’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Tiguan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The XC40 offers optional 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 XC40 and the Tiguan offer available heated front seats. The XC40 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo XC40 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Tiguan doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The XC40’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because it costs $326 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the Tiguan, including $296 less for a water pump, $154 less for a muffler, $299 less for a starter, $181 less for fuel injection, $194 less for front struts and $109 less for a power steering pump.

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

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