The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Has 1 Clear Advantage Over the Mazda CX-5

In a class full of predictable handlers, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 stands out with its agility. While the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t rank as high as the CX-5, it still serves up flair. And as you cross-shop between models, you could even say that the Tiguan has one clear advantage over the CX-5. 

What it’s like to drive the 2020 Mazda CX-5

2020 Mazda CX-5 parked on street
2020 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Respected critics and buyers agree that the CX-5 is the SUV you get for sports car handling. The CX-5 provides an array of fun-to-drive performance options. Furthermore, this Mazda also provides an exceptionally smooth ride quality that’s comparable to true luxury compact SUVs.

The CX-5 offers three different engine choices designed to benefit a diverse group of drivers. If affordability and fuel economy are your top priorities, then you’ll want to stick with the standard CX-5. The base model comes with a 187-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a polished six-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder has a fuel economy rating of 28 mpg overall, which is excellent for the class.

For the quickest experience in the CX-5, you’ll want to consider the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The turbo-four makes 227-hp with regular gas; 250-hp with premium fuel, as U.S. News highlights. There’s also an available 168-horsepower 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine.

What it’s like to drive the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 

A blue 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan parked ion a grass lot.
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

The Tiguan doesn’t offer the same sports agility that the CX-5 does. And sometimes, this VW can feel underpowered. But even with these flaws, critics still say that the Tiguan is pleasant to drive overall. Furthermore, the Tiguan entices with its unique, European style.

There’s only one engine option on the Tiguan. It features a 184-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder linked to an eight-speed automatic. The Tiguan offers adequate power, but it’s slower to accelerate to highway speeds. 

Another drawback here is that the Tiguan is below-average for fuel economy. The Tiguan has a fuel economy rating of a combined 25 mpg. However, the Tiguan impresses more with its interior.

Comparing the CX-5 and Tiguan’s car cabins

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature interior
2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature interior | Mazda

The CX-5 and the Tiguan present two of the most superior car cabins in the compact SUV class. Both come standard with cloth seats but have faux leather and genuine leather upholstery available as options. The two SUVs also earn praise for having spacious cabins. But, the Tiguan offers a bit more in this department. 

Even though it’s a compact SUV, the Tiguan is available with three-rows. As Consumer Reports put it, the Tiguan with the optional third-row makes it a roomy SUV within a modest footprint. So, if you want a small SUV that can seat up to seven people, the Tiguan is a worthy choice. The CX-5 only seats up to five.

A side view of a the interior of a three-row Tiguan model.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan interior| Volkswagen

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Is Inexplicably Lacking a Hybrid Option

The Tiguan also has an advantage over the CX-5 when it comes to infotainment. Standard infotainment features in the Tiguan include a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The CX-5 comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display, but it’s not as intuitive as the Tiguan’s, as some critics have pointed out. Additionally, you would have to upgrade the CX-5 to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Tiguan and the CX-5 have similar standard safety features. Both come with a rearview camera, forward-collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Although, the CX-5 comes with a few more, including lane departure warning.


The 2020 CX-5 starts at $25,190 and the 2020 Tiguan begins at $24,945. Overall, the CX-5 does about everything well. Nonetheless, the Tiguan’s versatile interior makes it a compelling option.