Car group tests

Volkswagen Tiguan vs Renault Kadjar vs Nissan Qashqai

We see if the Volkswagen Tiguan can go straight to the top of the crossover class as it meets the Renault Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai

When the first Volkswagen Tiguan was launched nearly a decade ago, the crossover class was only just coming into bloom. But today, this market is arguably the most competitive sector of all, with a large number of advanced models fighting for sales.

The original Tiguan was good, but it didn’t have the Golf-like appeal it needed to be the trailblazer for the sector. However, this is something the all-new car is looking to address, thanks to a bold look, upmarket  cabin, improved practicality and driver-focused handling. For this first test, we’ve lined up the Tiguan against a pair of rivals that’ll be tough to beat. The Renault Kadjar is our current crossover favourite, thanks to its efficient engines, practical interior and great value. Does the new VW measure up to these strong points?

Best 4x4s and SUVs

Our second rival is the car that kicked off the crossover craze, and the class’s best seller: the Nissan Qashqai. It’s closely related to the Kadjar and, as with the Renault, has an efficient 1.6-litre diesel and plenty of kit. The Tiguan will need to be pretty special to overcome Nissan’s genre-defining family car.

Head to head

Equipment

Our mid-spec Tiguan can’t rival the range-topping Kadjar and Qashqai tested here for kit. Sat-nav, LED headlights, leather and keyless entry all need to be added as options to match its competitors’ standard specs. This takes the price over £30k, and makes the other cars look even better value for money.

Practicality

While the Volkswagen has levers in the boot to fold the back seats, they don’t drop completely flat. The Renault’s seats fold the same way, but do go flat, while a roll-out load cover is more useful than the Tiguan’s parcel shelf. Like the Nissan, the Kadjar has floor boards, although there’s less space under the false floor.

Efficiency

The VW’s 2.0 TDI isn’t as efficient as its 1.6 rivals. While AdBlue now helps to reduce NOx emissions, a CO2 figure of 125g/km isn’t as good as the Renault’s (117g/km) or Nissan’s (120g/km) – and these aren’t even the greenest Kadjar and Qashqai models.

Verdict

First place: Renault Kadjar

Once again, it’s the Kadjar that takes the spoils in our crossover battle. It delivers more boot space than the Qashqai, is very well equipped in flagship Signature S trim and the 1.6 dCi diesel has a reasonable balance between performance and economy. Even better is the fact it manages this at a price that undercuts both rivals here, while the four-year warranty gives added peace of mind.

Second place: Nissan Qashqai

Runner-up spot in this test proves that the Qashqai still has the right ingredients to be a contender in the class; it’s just that the Kadjar has taken the original formula and expanded on it. While the Nissan isn’t as spacious overall as the Tiguan, it has clever storage solutions, plus the extra safety kit, competitive pricing and surprising performance give it an edge over the newcomer.

Third place: Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan delivers everything you’d expect from a VW, with first-rate quality, classless design and a functional interior. However, if you’re expecting it to drive like a jacked-up Golf, you’ll be disappointed. The suspension is easily unsettled on UK roads, and the diesel isn’t as responsive or efficient as its rivals’. High price and a lower kit tally also count against this SE model.

Coming soon

SEAT Ateca 2.0 TDI Xcellence

Due: Now Price: £25,815Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 148bhp

SEAT Ateca - silver wade

The all-new Ateca uses the same MQB platform as the Tiguan and the same engines, so it should be a close rival in terms of performance. But it offers marginally less space and a sportier driving experience.

Figures

 Renault Kadjar 1.6 dCi Signature S NavNissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi TeknaVolkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI SE
On the road price/total as tested£26,795/£27,420£27,160/£28,110£27,310/£30,710
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£11,977/44.7%£12,005/44.2%£12,645/46.3%
Depreciation£14,818£15,155£14,665
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£1,230/£2,460£1,301/£2,602£1,361/£2,723
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,130/£1,884£1,154/£1,923£1,105/£1,842
Insurance group/road tax band/cost18/C/£3019/C/£3018/D/£110
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£399 (3yrs/60k)£179/£269/£179£288 (2yrs)
    
Length/wheelbase4,449/2,646mm4,377/2,646mm4,486/2,681mm
Height/width1,613/1,836mm1,590/1,806mm1,632/1,839mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,968cc
Peak power/revs128/4,000 bhp/rpm128/4,000 bhp/rpm148/3,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs320/1,750 Nm/rpm320/1,750 Nm/rpm340/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel55 litres/foam55 litres/foam58 litres/sp saver
Boot capacity527/1,620 litres430/1,503 litres615/1,655 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,429/543/1,800kg1,419/541/1,800kg1,568/631/2,000kg
Turning circle10.7 metres10.7 metres11.5 metres
Basic warranty/recovery4yrs (100,000)/4yrs3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers18k miles (1yr)/15320k miles (1yr)/225Variable/223
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos8th/12th*28th/29th*24th/30th*
NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/stars89/81/74/71/588/83/69/79/5N/A
    
0-60/30-70mph10.4/10.2 secs9.3/9.3 secs9.4/8.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.4/4.6 secs3.6/4.7 secs3.7/6.1 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th7.2/9.3 secs6.7/8.9 secs8.4/10.9 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph118mph/2,100rpm118mph/2,100rpm127mph/1,900rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph44.7/35.5/10.5m55.6/36.1/12.7m49.2/32.9/11.5m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph64/45/62/69dB64/48/62/70dB69/45/60/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range53.2/11.7/644 miles52.1/11.6/630 miles54.4/12.0/694 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined55.4/68.9/62.8mpg54.3/65.7/61.4mpg48.7/67.3/58.9mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined12.2/15.2/13.8mpl11.9/14.5/13.5mpl10.7/14.8/13.0mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket142/117g/km/23%145/120g/km/24%139/125g/km/25%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/yesSix/yes/yes/yesSeven/yes/yes/£295
Auto box/stability/cruise ctrl/AEB**No/yes/yes/£400£1,450/yes/yes/yesTBC/yes/yes/£275
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/yesYes/£495^/yesYes/£1,750/£275
Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless go£525/yes/yes£550/yes/yes£560/£1,350/£375
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes£725/yes/yes/yes

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