Did you know that Volkswagen offers two three-row SUVs? Heck yeah, they do. There is the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. But which SUV is better? Luckily I’ve tried both, so I can help you compare your options.
The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan vs. the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas
The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is smaller than the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, and this is reflected in the price. You can get started in a Tiguan for about $25,245, and the Atlas begins at about $31,545.
The price difference slightly reflects the quality. The Atlas includes a few extra luxury touches such as tri-zone climate control, leather seats, and ventilated seats. But the Tiguan still has an upscale, luxurious feel.
Does the Atlas or Tiguan have more power?
With the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan, you get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 1,500 lbs. This is enough power to haul smaller trailers and camping gear.
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6 engine for 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the VW Atlas can tow up to 5,000 lbs, which is enough power to pull smaller campers and boats.
With more power comes a sportier performance. The VW Atlas can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.1 seconds. The VW Tiguan can reach 60 mph in about 8.6 seconds. These SUVs have the automatic start and stop feature, and they quickly restart at red lights and other stops without delay.
Both the Volkswagen Tiguan and Atlas provide a smooth ride, but the Atlas is quieter on the road. The Tiguan has a quiet interior, but noise enters the cab at highway speeds, and you can hear the engine roar while accelerating.
Does the Tiguan or Atlas have better features?
If your kids are taller, then the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas will be a better fit. It has a more extensive third row. Smaller children can still fit in the back of the Tiguan, though. Also, the Tiguan has wide-opening back doors, making it easy to enter, exit, and install child seats.
With the Tiguan, you get between 12 to 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk area with up to 65.7 cubic feet total. In the Volkswagen Atlas, you can access between 20.6 to 55.5 cubic feet in the trunk area with up to 96.8 cubic feet total.
Both SUVs come with a standard 6.5-inch infotainment system, but you can upgrade to a larger 8.0-inch unit. Both systems are fast, attractive, and responsive. However, the infotainment system in the Tiguan felt a little easier and more initiative to use. But the Tiguan only has USB-C ports and 12-Volt outlets.
In both vehicles, using Apple CarPlay was preferred over the built-in navigation system. But the voice controls work well. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot come standard.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a Top Safety Pick, but the Atlas fell short of this award. The Atlas still earned five stars in crash rating tests, though. Both SUVs come with forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert. You can add adaptive cruise control.
The safety systems perform well without being too demanding. I like how the blind spot warning is on the side of the mirrors instead of on the glass. But both vehicles feature unique personal touches.
If you want more power and space, then the Atlas is the right choice. However, the Tiguan is still fun, comfortable, and capable. You can save a few thousand dollars with it as a more practical option.