Volkswagen Tiguan vs. Ford Escape

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - December 18, 2017

Compact crossovers continue to be some of the hottest vehicles on the market today, picking up right where SUVs left off in the days of cheaper fuel prices.

Volkswagen has long struggled in this area due to the limited passenger room in its resident compact crossover, the Tiguan. But for 2018, the German automaker tried rectify this with a complete redesign of the Tiguan, making it larger and more passenger friendly than ever before.

Did VW do enough to push the Tiguan past the long-running and quite popular Ford Escape? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Tiguan & Escape»

What the Tiguan Gets Right

The Tiguan steps up to the plate and crushes it in passenger-hauling abilities, thanks to its third-row seats. Buyers will also find the Tiguan’s cabin is a touch more premium than the Escape’s interior, as its seats are more comfortable and the space is less cluttered. Also, moving up just one trim to the SE adds convincing leatherette upholstery and an eight-inch touchscreen.

Under its hood, the Tiguan’s base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine easily beats the Escape’s base unit (although the Ford does offer optional engines that are far more powerful). Volkswagen's 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplant injects 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, which is 16 hp and 51 lb-ft more than the Escape's base mill.

What The Escape Gets Right

The Escape rolls in with a more aggressive base price of $24,845 (including the $995 destination charge), which is $1,240 less than the base Tiguan's $26,095 (including $900 destination charge) starting price. That extra scratch can add a fair number of premium features to this compact SUV.

Though it lacks the Volkswagen's third row, the Escape's cabin is better suited for adult riders, thanks to its 36.8 inches of leg room — 0.3 inches more than the Tiguan’s second row. On top of that, the Ford's cargo room space ranges from 34.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 66.3 cubes with the seats folded, besting the Tiguan by 1.3 and 0.3 cubic feet, respectively.

The engine options are other reasons to choose the Escape. Sure, its base engine can’t match the Tiguan’s base four-pot, but the Escape's optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine packs 245 hp, while its optional 1.5-liter turbocharged engine delivers up to 26 miles per gallon combined. The Tiguan can only muster up 24 mpg combined.

Gotta have three rows?

If you’ve just got to have three rows of seating, then the Tiguan is likely the crossover for you. Yes, these seats are tiny and lack leg room, but they are good in a pinch.

Verdict: Ford Escape

While the Tiguan has its place, the Ford Escape is a better do-it-all crossover. Its measurables aren’t dramatically better than the Tiguan’s, but it nails it in a handful of areas, which are all key areas for success in this class, like cargo room, second-row leg room, and price.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Tiguan »

Take a closer look at the Ford Escape »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website