2021 Mercedes GLA 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 2020/10/26

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLA 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 GLA’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.

The GLA’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Mercedes GLA 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 GLA’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 GLA and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The GLA’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Tiguan’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 2020/10/26

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 6 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 37 more horsepower (221 vs. 184) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

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 2020/10/26

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

MPG

GLA

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

Tiguan

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Transmission

© 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 2020/10/26

The GLA 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.

Tires and Wheels

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

The GLA’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 GLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the GLA can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Tiguan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLA offers an optional 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 GLA’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Tiguan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLA is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Tiguan.

Chassis

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The Mercedes GLA may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The GLA is 11.5 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the GLA easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes GLA amounts to more than styling. The GLA has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 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 GLA get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the GLA 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 GLA has .8 inches more front legroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the Tiguan.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLA has a much larger cargo volume than the Tiguan with its rear seat up (15.4 vs. 12 cubic feet).

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

Servicing Ease

© 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 2020/10/26

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 39% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line, the GLA has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GLA’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The GLA offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the GLA 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 lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Tiguan can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The GLA’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.

The GLA’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the GLA 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 GLA offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Tiguan.

The GLA 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 GLA 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.

The GLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Tiguan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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