2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Kia Sportage

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  • 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

    A grey 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is shown angled left.

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    2022 Kia Sportage

    A grey 2022 Kia Sportage is shown angled right.

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    73.4Max Cargo Space (cu.ft.)60.1

    Compact SUVs have become some of the most popular vehicles on the road today. Many drivers have discovered the advantage of buying a vehicle with the roominess of an SUV with the convenience and fuel economy of a compact car. These compact SUVs are easy to drive, provide plenty of space for your passengers and stuff, and are not difficult to parallel park or navigate through a busy city street. Two of the most advanced models on the market today that are often compared are the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Kia Sportage.

    Volkswagen introduced the Tiguan in time for the 2009 model year, jumping on the growing bandwagon of automakers that wanted to offer a compact SUV to its customers. The Tiguan is currently in its second generation, which started in 2016 and represents a refreshed styling on the platform of the second-generation model. Furthermore, the 2022 Tiguan continues the Volkswagen tradition of offering this model a choice of two or three rows of seats, which was first introduced with the 2018 model. The latter gives you more interior space to fit seven passengers, although it comes at the expense of a smaller trunk than the two-row Tiguan.

    The 2022 Kia Sportage has an even longer bloodline, tracing its lineage back to 1995. The 2022 Sportage is scheduled to be the last model produced in the fourth generation, as Kia has announced a new fifth generation of its compact SUV. Let’s take a look at how both vehicles compare in three different areas that are important to drivers looking for a reliable compact SUV.

  • Performance

    A close up of the grille on a blue 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is shown.

    Engine Options

    Volkswagen and Kia have taken decidedly different approaches to their respective compact SUVs. Volkswagen has opted to go with a standard engine on all models of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan. This means that you will get the same performance and fuel economy no matter which trim level you choose. As a result, the higher trim levels reflect finer interior fabrics, more advanced electronics on the MIB infotainment system, and additional driver assistance features.

    Each 2022 Tiguan comes equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine. This engine features a modified version of the Miller cycle called the Budack cycle, giving it a more efficient combustion system. Volkswagen has also equipped the engine with an automatic stop/start system to improve fuel efficiency. It utilizes direct fuel injection to deliver 184 hp at 6,000 rpm and 221 lb-ft of torque at a very efficient 1,900 rpm.

    Kia has taken a completely different approach with the 2022 Sportage, offering two engine options. For those looking to get the more advanced engine, you will have to pay more for the SX Turbo, the top trim of the Sportage. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder gas engine and features an aluminum block and head with a DOHC configuration, giving it 16 valves for its four cylinders. This direct injection engine will provide 181 hp at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

    The more advanced engine is only available on the SX Turbo trim. Just like the standard engine on the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, it is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine. This turbocharged engine relies on direct fuel injection, providing 240 hp at 6,000 rpm on front-wheel drive models and 237 hp at 6,000 rpm on all-wheel drive Sportage models. Both models will get 260 lb-ft of torque at 1,450-3,500 rpm. While this is comparable performance to the engine on the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, it comes at a premium price for Kia Sportage drivers.


    Both Volkswagen and Kia have chosen a standard transmission for all models of their respective compact SUVs. The 2022 Kia Sportage sports a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan pairs its engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The two additional gear speeds on the Volkswagen will give you more efficient and responsive performance than you will find on the Kia.

    Fuel Economy

    Many drivers love compact SUVs for their exceptional fuel economy. With the price of fuel up around the country, any savings you can achieve each week with your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will mean more money in your pocket. With the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and 2022 Kia Sportage, you are looking at two great models that will save you at the pump.

    In general, choosing the front-wheel drive will give you better fuel economy than going with the optional all-wheel drive on either model. However, the Volkswagen Tiguan generally provides better fuel economy across the board than the Kia Sportage, with one exception. The front-wheel drive Tiguan has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.[a] The Kia Sportage gets the exact same EPA-estimated fuel economy rating when it is equipped with its 2.4L engine. In this area, the models are evenly matched.

    However, things change when you look at the other options available to you. You will get better performance out of the turbocharged engine of the Tiguan than the 2.4-liter engine on the Sportage.

    If you opt for a Tiguan with 4Motion all-wheel drive, you will get an EPA-estimated 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway.[a] This outperforms the 22 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway provided by the all-wheel drive Sportage with its 2.4-liter engine.

    The Tiguan also blows away the Sportage with the 2.0-liter Turbo engine. If you choose the 2.0-liter engine with front-wheel drive for the Sportage, you can expect to get an EPA-estimated 20 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. Choosing all-wheel drive drops the Sportage’s fuel economy numbers to 19 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. Both of these options are a far cry from the great fuel economy numbers you can expect on the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan.

  • Interior Space

    A person is shown driving a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan during a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Kia Sportage comparison.

    Passenger Space

    The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan comes with a two-row or three-row configuration, while Kia only offers the 2022 Sportage with two rows of seats. The three-row Tiguan provides more passenger space than either the two-row Tiguan or the Sportage, with a massive 124 cu.ft. in the passenger compartment.

    As it is, the two-row Tiguan still offers more room for your five passengers than you will find in the Sportage, 101.1 cu.ft. compared to 98 cu.ft. In addition, Volkswagen has done a more equitable job of distributing this space between the two rows on the 2022 Tiguan than Kia has done on the 2022 Sportage. For example, the Tiguan has 38.2-inches of headroom in the front row of models with a moonroof and 37.7-inches in the back. In the Sportage, these numbers are 37.6-inches in the front row and 37.9-inches in the rear, leaving front row passengers with a narrow area for their heads.

    In addition, the Tiguan will feel roomier since it is slightly wider than the Sportage. The Tiguan has 54.5-inches of hip room in the front row and 53.5-inches in the back, while the Sportage has 54.3-inches in the front and 51.2-inches for rear row passengers, which might make things feel a little cramped when you have to travel with three passengers in the back.

    Cargo Capacity

    When you need to move a large object, or you’re simply coming back from a shopping trip, you need to know that your compact SUV has the trunk space you require for all your things. The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan will give you this peace of mind with a full 37.6 cu.ft. of space in the trunk, which is more than the 30.7 cu.ft. in the Sportage’s trunk. This difference becomes even more pronounced when you fold down the rear row of seats. Doing this will give you a voluminous 73.4 cu.ft. of space in the Volkswagen Tiguan. The Kia Sportage does not even come close, with only 60.1 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the first row of seats.

  • Safety

    A white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL is shown from a rear angle with a mountain view.

    Shared Safety Features

    Volkswagen and Kia are commended for making many active driver assistance features standard on their respective compact SUVs. The 2022 Tiguan comes with an array of safety features as part of the Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE system. Similarly, Kia has put a large number of standard Dynamic Driving Systems into the 2022 Sportage. However, if you compare the number of standard safety features, the Tiguan has more than the Sportage.

    Both the Tiguan and Sportage have a rear camera system. This will make backing out of a parking spot safer and easier. In addition, they each have a lane assistance system. This will alert you when your vehicle drifts out of its lane, using minute steering adjustments to get you back in. This will help reduce the chances of a collision with a vehicle driving next to you or an oncoming car. Finally, both the 2022 Tiguan and 2022 Sportage have active driver assistance systems to reduce the chances of a front-end collision. Volkswagen refers to this as Front Assist, while Kia calls it Forward Collision Avoidance Assist. When the system detects an imminent collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian in your path, it will signal you the opportunity to take evasive action while employing the automatic brakes to bring your vehicle to a safe stop or mitigating the damages of an unavoidable crash.

    Tiguan Safety Features Not Available on the Sportage

    While these are excellent standard safety features on both vehicles, Volkswagen goes further with the Tiguan. No matter which trim level you choose, you will also get three additional safety systems on the Tiguan that are not standard on the Sportage.

    1. The Blind Spot Monitor on the Tiguan will let you know if it is safe to change lanes on a highway by alerting you to any other vehicles riding in your vehicle’s blind spot.
    2. The Tiguan has an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. If you are involved in a collision, your Tiguan will employ the emergency brakes to prevent a secondary crash.
    3. The Tiguan has an Intelligent Crash Response System. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a collision in which the airbags are deployed on your Tiguan, the system will shut off the fuel pump to avoid a fire, switch on the hazard lights to alert other drivers, and unlock the doors to allow you to escape or to provide access for first responders.

    These three standard features set the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan apart from the 2022 Kia Sportage, making it one of the safest compact SUVs on the road today.

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