2021 Volvo XC60 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 2020/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60 and Tiguan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 has 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 Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Volkswagen doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Tiguan. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 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 XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Tiguan’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 1 year and 16000 miles longer than Volkswagen pays for maintenance for the Tiguan (3/36,000 vs. 2/20,000).

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC60 has a standard 800-amp battery (850 T8). The Tiguan’s 360-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the XC60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Tiguan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 XC60’s reliability 29 points higher than the Tiguan.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volvo 3 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The XC60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 66 more horsepower (250 vs. 184) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 132 more horsepower (316 vs. 184) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 216 more horsepower (400 vs. 184) and 251 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 231 more horsepower (415 vs. 184) and 273 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC60 T5 is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

XC60

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

8.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.6 sec

15.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.5 MPH

83.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan:

MPGe

XC60

AWD

Electric Motor

56 city/57 hwy

Tiguan

MPG

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Tiguan:

MPG

XC60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

Tiguan

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Tiguan must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Tiguan AWD’s standard fuel tank (18.8 vs. 15.9 gallons).

The XC60 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

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For better stopping power the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tiguan:

XC60 T8 P. E.

Tiguan

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

The XC60’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 XC60 stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

XC60

Tiguan

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 has larger standard tires than the Tiguan (235/60R18 vs. 215/65R17). The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Tiguan (265/35R22 vs. 255/40R20).

The XC60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tiguan S/SE’s standard 65 series tires. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tiguan S/SE. The XC60’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 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 XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Tiguan (112.8 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Tiguan.

The XC60 T6 AWD R-Design handles at .88 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tiguan (8.5 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The design of the Volvo XC60 amounts to more than styling. The XC60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Tiguan (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the XC60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Tiguan.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC60 easier. The XC60’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Tiguan’s liftover is 29.4 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC60. The Tiguan doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tiguan’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a 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 XC60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Tiguan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The XC60’s standard 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.

Both the XC60 and the Tiguan offer available heated front seats. The XC60 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.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the XC60 Inscription 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 XC60 Inscription 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 XC60 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 XC60 R-Design/Inscription’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

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC60 is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because it costs $146 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC60 than the Tiguan, including $200 less for a water pump, $254 less for a muffler, $79 less for a starter, $147 less for front struts, $267 less for a timing belt/chain and $87 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volkswagen Tiguan isn't recommended.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its June 2018 issue and the Volvo XC60 T5 AWD Momentum won out over the Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4Motion®.

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

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