2021 Honda CR-V vs. Volkswagen Tiguan: The Better Pick for You Is Simple

If you’re after a vehicle with extra capabilities that’s still relatively small, you’ll want a compact SUV. And out of the models in this segment, the Honda CR-V and the Volkswagen Tiguan are among the roomiest. While they exhibit entirely different styles, the 2021 CR-V and 2021 Tiguan share similar performance qualities. Still, choosing between the two is simple.

What it’s like to drive the 2021 Honda CR-V vs. the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan 

2021 Honda CR-V Touring
2021 Honda CR-V | Honda

The CR-V and the Tiguan are both enjoyable, secure rides with good fuel economy. Though, critics particularly rave about how swift the CR-V is. Oppositely, the Tiguan earns praise for its cushiony suspension.

With the CR-V, you get a 190-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder. A continuously variable automatic (CVT) is also standard across the line. Overall, this Honda is responsive, but some might feel that it’s rather stiff. Regular CR-Vs have an EPA rating of up to a combined 30 mpg. The greener CR-V Hybrid can get up to 38 mpg overall.

A photo of the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan outdoors.
Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

As we mentioned earlier, the Tiguan is incredibly comfy. However, its 184-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder can feel underpowered. The Tiguan is one of the heftier models in the class, so it doesn’t move as quickly as some of its main competition. On the bright side, the Tiguan’s CVT shifts smoothly. It has a decent EPA rating of 25 mpg overall. And like the CR-V, the Tiguan is available with front- or all-wheel drive.

The CR-V is more stylish on the inside

Honda CR-V icompact crossover SUV interior on display at Brussels Expo
The interior of the Honda CR-V | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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The CR-V and the Tiguan offer plenty of modern amenities. But the CR-V’s cabin is notably more upscale, as U.S. News highlights. Comparatively, the Tiguan’s looks more drabby. What’s cool about the Tiguan is available as either a five-seater model or as a seven-seater. The CR-V is spacious too, but it can only seat up to five.

Plain white front seats of the VW Tiguan
Standard Volkswagen Tiguan interior | Volkswagen

The Tiguan offers up to 73.5 cu.ft. of cargo room with the seats folded; the CR-V has up to 75.8 cu.ft. of space. These figures are excellent for the class. Both models come with cloth upholstery and offer leather trimmings as upgrades. You may want to add niceties such as heated front seats. 

The Tiguan has the advantage with in-car tech

The Tiguan's sharp touchscreen at the center console.
2020 Tiguan infotainment display | Volkswagen

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As far as advanced safety goes, the Tiguan and the CR-V both please. The two have similar functions, such as forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The Tiguan will give you a few more gadgets, though. For instance, we like that the Tiguan comes with blind-spot monitoring and rear-traffic alert. You’d have to upgrade the CR-V to get these features.

Close up of the CR-V's optional touschreen.
2020 Honda CR-V Touring infotainment display | Honda

Furthermore, the Tiguan has the edge in the infotainment department too. The Tiguan comes with an intuitive 6.5-inch touchscreen plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. To spice things up, you may want to opt for the available digital cockpit display. Unfortunately, the CR-V’s standard infotainment features are sparse. Its regular 5-inch display isn’t a touchscreen, and the notable most connectivity function here is Bluetooth. The CR-V offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as options. But the downside is that the available 7-inch touchscreen isn’t very user-friendly.

Deciding between the CR-V and the Tiguan

The 2021 CR-V starts at $25,350, and the 2021 Tiguan begins at $25,245. These two are similarly priced and present resembling features. But if you desire a ride that’s explicitly engaging and eco-friendly, the CR-V is for you. The Tiguan is an enticing pick if you value extra tech. Plus, the Tiguan’s available third-row is pretty compelling too.