VW Atlas vs. Tiguan

By

Automotive Editor

After graduating from GMI with a bunch of other car geeks, Matt Pilgrim spent time in many areas of the auto industry - manufacturing, durability testing of prototypes, and collaborating with stylists to engineer exterior components for cars such as the NSX. Turning his attention to journalism, he brings together his engineering background and passion for cars and has written for several automotive publications and sites, including The Car Connection and his own site, Pilgrim Motor Press.


, Automotive Editor - December 23, 2022
2023 Volkswagen Atlas

The Volkswagen Tiguan and Atlas have been designed with the American consumer in mind, with big interiors, simple designs, and practical features. The Tiguan offers a third row while the Atlas provides one that is far more suitable for adults.

The Tiguan provides a sufficiently-powered turbocharged engine while the (majority of) Atlas trims are powered by the familiar responsiveness of a large V6. Volkswagen’s shift to bland designs has left a lot of the emotional aspect out of this decision process so let’s take a look at how they stack up, objectively and see which one works better for you.

Tiguan vs. Atlas Price

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2022 Tiguan may still be available while the 2023 models have begun to show up on the dealer’s lots but all models are impacted by the industry-wide supply chain shortage. The Atlas is in a similar position, although its 2022 model inventory has already been sold out.

Volkswagen offers a lease deal but, despite the attractive sound of $0 down, $0 security deposit, $0 due at signing, and $0 first month's payment, the respective plans’ monthly payments make it an unattractive deal for either the Tiguan or the Atlas. Volkswagen currently offers various small rebates, however, there are no attractive financing deals available - in fact, they have been on an increasing trend as of late.

The Tiguan competes largely against the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 and it is priced (and equipped) accordingly. The cheapest Tiguan is priced at $28,245 while the most expensive trim begins at $38,975. Compare that to the Atlas’ least expensive trim at $36,445 and its most expensive trim which starts at $53,635.

Tiguan vs. Atlas Dimensions

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Cargo

The Tiguan is the Atlas’ junior but both are on the large end of their respective competitive classes. The Tiguan even offers a third row which is a rarity in this class, although it is only offered with front-wheel-drive models and you won’t likely have any volunteers to hop back there. Still, the Tiguan’s 186-inch length is advantageous when it comes to interior space. It’s a similar story with the Atlas, whose length of over 200 inches is still considered large for the class despite its 2019 year debut and its third row is more adult-friendly.

Inside, the Tiguan provides 12 cubic feet of space behind the third row or 33 cubic feet with the seats folded. The models without the third row offer 37 cubic feet. That compares to the Atlas’ 20.6 cubic feet and 55.5 cubic feet behind the third and second rows, respectively.

At maximum capacity configuration, the Tiguan offers 73.5 cubic feet of space and the Atlas provides 96.8 cubic feet of space which is quite large. For those willing to trade the Atlas’ passenger and cargo space for a bit of added style, the Atlas Cross Sport is available with its sloped rear roofline.

Tiguan vs. Atlas Interior

2023 Volkswagen Atlas Interior

All trims of the Tiguan are reasonably equipped. Even the base trim includes premium features such as LED exterior lighting, proximity entry, heated seats, a digital gauge cluster, blind spot monitoring, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Stepping up to the SE trim brings a larger touchscreen, more safety technology, and a power tailgate, however, stepping up any further in the hierarchy diminishes the Tiguan’s sense of value.

The Atlas is similar in that it packs a pleasantly impressive roster of features that include LED exterior lights, proximity entry, 18-inch alloy wheels, and synthetic leather seats with heating for the front row and power adjustability for the driver. Heading up the trim range brings more features but the Atlas lacks any particular headlining or motivating feature to make the leap.

Volkswagen Atlas vs. Volkswagen Tiguan Specs

2023 Volkswagen Atlas

The Tiguan and the Atlas feature gasoline-only powertrain lineups. The Tiguan’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine churns out 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque and returns an EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon combined or 25 mpg with all-wheel drive. The Atlas, meanwhile, adopts a higher output four-cylinder engine with ratings of 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Although they are greater than the Tiguan’s numbers, the Atlas is a large vehicle and is better served by the 3.6-liter V6 with 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy suffers, however, and the Atlas returns 23 mpg combined in its most efficient form and just 19 mpg when fitted with all-wheel drive. Expect to pay about $500 more in fuel costs annually for the V6 Atlas over the Tiguan.

When properly equipped, the Tiguan and the Atlas match the towing expectations of their classes with up to 1,500-pound and 5,000-pound ratings, respectively.

VW Atlas vs. Tiguan: What To Buy?

The Atlas and the Tiguan are not the most spacious, efficient, powerful, or configurable as their competition and while the Tiguan offers a third row, it’s recommended only for short trips with short folks. The Tiguan still provides a roomy interior and its four-cylinder is enough for most situations, however, if you plan on using your Volkswagen as a people mover, the Atlas has clear advantages in spaciousness and power.

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

, Automotive Editor

After graduating from GMI with a bunch of other car geeks, Matt Pilgrim spent time in many areas of the auto industry - manufacturing, durability testing of prototypes, and collaborating with stylists to engineer exterior components for cars such as the NSX. Turning his attention to journalism, he brings together his engineering background and passion for cars and has written for several automotive publications and sites, including The Car Connection and his own site, Pilgrim Motor Press.


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