2018 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: Compare Cars
The 2018 Honda CR-V and 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan represent two different takes on the people’s crossover. The five-seat Honda CR-V shoots for the mainstream with its versatile cargo area and refined, upmarket interior. With its 2018 Tiguan, Volkswagen courts shoppers who might want seating for two more—as long as they’re pint-size.
We rate the 2018 Honda CR-V higher than the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: 7.0 for the Honda compared to 6.8 for the Volkswagen, but there’s some fine print worth reading here. The Honda has been thoroughly crash-tested by independent and federal testers, while we’re still awaiting some scores for the Volkswagen. It may wind up being a draw.
Both crossovers rely on turbocharged power for most versions. The base CR-V LX uses a non-turbo 4-cylinder engine, but the vast majority of CR-Vs shoppers will find on dealer lots have a 1.5-liter turbo-4 under their hoods instead. With 190 horsepower sent to either the front or all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission, it’s the little engine that could. The CR-V is brisk around town and has decent highway-passing punch.
Volkswagen fits the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that’s neither particularly powerful nor fuel efficient. Its 8-speed automatic transmission makes the most of what power is available, again shuttled either forward or to all four wheels in all-wheel-drive versions. The 2018 Honda CR-V rates an impressive 29 mpg combined with all-wheel drive, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is rated at a less-miserly 23 mpg combined.
Neither relishes spirited driving, but these two crossovers are calm and collected in town and on the highway. The Honda is the more hushed of the two, but only by a hair and it lacks a branded audio system like the Fender unit available in the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.
Volkswagen took a conservative approach when it come to designing the 2018 volkswagen Tiguan. Its shape is devoid of excess flair, and we think that will help it age well even if its proportions are awkward when viewed from the side. The 2018 Honda CR-V is overdone, but not necessarily unattractive. It’s the more distinctive of the two, an admittedly backhanded comment.
Inside, the 2018 Honda CR-V’s expressive dashboard is nearly overwrought when compared to the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan’s buttoned-down, precise design. Honda makes better use of high-end materials and offers leather upholstery at a more reasonable price point. Conversely, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan’s infotainment system’s software is easier to navigate and its interior can be swathed in more expressive shades. Both crossovers have comfortable front seats, but neither offers much adjustment for the passenger seat. Riders in the rear seat will find stretch-out space in either. Only the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan offers a third row of seats standard in front-drive models and a option with all-wheel drive—but that space is suited only for kids and there’s little cargo room behind with it deployed.
Speaking of space, the Honda is deceptively roomier—by a lot. Its maximum capacity is nearly 76 cubic feet, which outpaces the Volkswagen’s 65.7 cubes. Even with the second row upright, the Honda comes out ahead by a couple of cubes. Moreover, the Honda has an especially low load floor.
Both crossovers come with the goodies buyers expect, like power windows and locks, alloy wheels, and tinted rear windows. The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan goes a step further in its base S trim level with a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment that’s Apple Car-play and Android Auto compatible, and it’s available with a reasonably priced suite of safety gear including automatic emergency braking. Getting that level of gear on the 2018 Honda CR-V requires stepping up to the EX trim level, with all-wheel drive. An equivalent 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan stickers with synthetic leather upholstery but without a moon-roof.
Loaded up, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan tickles $40,000, but we don’t necessarily recommend going there—other choices make more sense at that price point. The swankiest 2018 Honda CR-V Touring, at about $35,000, represents a solid value for the money, which is why it earns our nod.