Volkswagen Tiguan vs. Honda CR-V

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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

The compact crossover segment continues its red-hot ways, and to better serve this segment, Volkswagen stretched its Tiguan and added an optional third row of seating as part of the redesign for its second generation. While this is a welcome sight, the Honda CR-V has long been the pacesetter in the class.

Can the elongated, seven-passenger Tiguan finally unseat the CR-V? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Tiguan & CR-V»

What the Tiguan Gets Right

Though the Tiguan is larger, making it less favorable in busy cities, this extra length gives it the room it needs to offer three rows of seating. This allows it to haul up to seven passengers to the CR-V’s five-passenger capacity. The more traditional looks of the Tiguan will fall in the favor of a lot of buyers, but its lack of boldness may push a few away.

With 221 pound-feet of torque from its sole engine option – a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder – the Tiguan’s acceleration feels more potent than the CR-V's base 2.4-liter.

Volkswagen also offers the Tiguan with one of the best warranties in the biz. Its bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for six years or 72,000 miles, which is double the CR-V’s bumper-to-bumper coverage. The Tiguan also comes well equipped, even in its base setup, as its standard equipment includes a six-speaker audio system, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, a USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity.

What the CR-V Gets Right

At $25,125 (including the $975 destination charge) the CR-V starts slightly cheaper than the $26,095 (including $900 for destination) Tiguan. That gives buyers an extra $970 in their pockets when compared to the Tiguan. And despite the lower price, the fit, finish, and build quality of the CR-V makes it feel like a more premium crossover.

Though it doesn’t have a third row, the CR-V’s interior treats passengers well. Its second row has 40.4 inches of leg room, which is 3.9 inches more than the Tiguan. It also hauls 39.2 cubic feet of cargo with the seats up and 75.8 cubes with the rear seats folded, beating the VW by 6.2 cubes (to the second row) and 10.1 cubes, respectively.

Though its base engine can’t match the VW’s torque, the CR-V’s optional 1.5-liter turbo outdoes it in horsepower with 190 ponies. What’s more, the CR-V best the Tiguan at the pump, as its front-wheel-drive versions get 28 miles per gallon combined with the 2.4-liter and 30 mpg combined with the 1.5-liter engine to the Tiguan’s 24 mpg combined.

Need more seats? The Tiguan’s your crossover.

Though the Tiguan can’t hang with the CR-V in most of the meaningful areas, the VW outdoes the Honda in one key place: seating. The Tiguan is one of the few compact crossovers that offers a third row. Sure, there’s only 27.9 inches of leg room back there, but it’s nice to have in a pinch.

Verdict: Honda CR-V

Honda continues to knock it out of the park with its CR-V. It bests the Tiguan in all the most meaningful areas for small-crossover shoppers, including interior roominess, cargo hauling, build quality, and fuel economy.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Tiguan »

Take a closer look at the Honda CR-V»

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