2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Toyota RAV4

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  • 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

    A white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line is shown angled left.

    Starting at

    $26,490[a]

    2022 Toyota RAV4

    A silver 2022 Toyota RAV4 Limited is shown angled right.

    Starting at

    $26,975

    221Torque (lb-ft) 184
    73.4Cargo Space (cu.ft.)69.8
    5-7Seating5

    For the average consumer, it can be frustrating at times when it comes to shopping for an SUV. With their popularity continuing to grow by leaps and bounds on a yearly basis, there currently is a wide variety of models made by each manufacturer, each one claiming to have a better offering than the competition. Two brands that have achieved remarkable levels of success in the past several decades are Volkswagen and Toyota. It's a competition with the consumer in mind as we compare the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Toyota RAV4. While these two compact SUVs will be competing with one another, the real winner will be you, as the information that we will be presenting will help you make an informed decision about your next vehicle choice.

    At first glance, the Tiguan and RAV4 are similar models representing a crowded segment, but a closer look reveals some large differences. From its powerful turbocharged engine to its optional third row of seating that allows it to accommodate up to seven passengers, the Volkswagen Tiguan pulls ahead and offers drivers more. It also doesn't hurt that the starting MSRP for the 2022 RAV4 is a bit on the higher side of the spectrum. Starting at $26,975, the RAV4 sells for more than the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, which has a slightly lower starting MSRP of $26,490.[a] But these differences are only the beginning as we have these two high-value models face off to see which one of these vehicles deserves your money.

  • Performance

    A close up of the grille on a blue 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line is shown during a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Toyota RAV4 comparison.

    Powertrain Options

    When it comes to providing their customers with vehicles that are efficient and optimize performance in all of the right ways, both Volkswagen and Toyota have a long and storied history of manufacturing some of the most stylish and efficient vehicles that can be found on the road. Despite an outward appearance being important to a great many, it's what's underneath the hood that's most important. For the current model year, Toyota equips the RAV4 with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 203 hp. The engine also possesses the capability to generate an admirable 184 lb-ft of torque. Paired with this powertrain is an eight-speed automatic transmission. The RAV4 comes standard with FWD, but there is an option for AWD for taking bad weather in stride.

    As for the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, the German manufacturer has done what it has always succeeded in doing, which is make an alternative to the standard way of doing things. To power its compact SUV, Volkswagen has opted for a turbocharged inline-four engine that generates 184 hp and overpowers the RAV4 with the capability to generate 221 lb-ft of torque. Like its competitor, the Tiguan also comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and cutting-edge Volkswagen 4MOTION all-wheel drive technology can be added to provide sure-footed grip no matter where your travels may take you.

    German Precision

    While the Tiguan and RAV4 certainly share many similarities with one another when it comes to performance, Volkswagen has taken a few extra steps to bring top-tier German engineering and versatility to its SUV, allowing the Tiguan to have its own identity that transcends convention. Car and Driver Magazine made a note of the SUV’s superior handling capabilities and smooth ride, which have long been a trademark of the German auto manufacturers. The magazine was very complimentary when describing the steering and sportiness of the Tiguan, even going so far as to compare it to the iconic Volkswagen GTI hatchback, and we can't help but agree with that assessment. While compact SUVs aren’t usually known for their handling or performance, the attention to detail elevates the Tiguan to the top of the segment. For possessing the drive and ambition to apply its trade to what many consider the ideal family vehicle, it's no question that the Volkswagen Tiguan outshines the RAV4 when it comes to maximizing performance for the average consumer.

  • Style

    A couple is shown walking away from a blue 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan near a flower farm.

    A Sense of Style

    While a vehicle cannot exist on its attributes of style alone, it's generally considered a good idea to own something that's comfortable and at least somewhat appealing to the aesthetic we gravitate towards. While a good portion of what makes a vehicle ideal for daily use is practicality, that doesn't mean that you should be uncomfortable or go without the amenities that make any commute more enjoyable. Both Toyota and Volkswagen have never skimped on comfort or style, ensuring that their drivers will have easy access to both without much trouble.

    It's no secret that the automotive industry follows trends. When vehicles became more rounded and less box-shaped, many manufacturers went the same route to adapt to the changing times. This is certainly present in the exterior design that the RAV4 possesses. While Toyota isn't the only manufacturer to follow this trend in design, it does lead to a significant lack of originality. In short, the RAV4 looks like an SUV and has no discernible style that makes it stand out among the ever-growing number of other vehicles in its class.

    The Tiguan, on the other hand, prevents itself from falling into this streamlined design that's dominant throughout much of the industry. If the handling and driving experience of the Tiguan is reminiscent of the sporty hatchbacks such as the GTI, then this philosophy lends itself to the exterior design as well. If the RAV4 simply looks like an SUV, then the Tiguan looks like a Volkswagen. Its sleek design shows off the attention to detail that makes European vehicles stand out among the crowd. While the SUV has certainly evolved into the ideal family vehicle, Volkswagen has no intention of making its brand domesticated and mundane.

  • Interior

    The brown and tan interior of a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan shows the front seat and steering wheel.

    Toyota Functionality

    The time has come to open up the doors, get behind the wheel, and examine the interiors of both vehicles in hopes of making an objective choice. Sitting behind the wheel of the RAV4 may be practical for some drivers, but we found the setup to be cramped and not at all appealing to the eye. Like many other vehicles, the centerpiece of the interior is the infotainment screen. The standard 7-inch screen sits precariously above the dashboard and is a bit of an eyesore when compared to the rest of the interior that surrounds it. Toyota has long been known for its practicality, but to say that the interior of the RAV4 feels a bit cramped and without personality would be an understatement. The shifting level feels a bit too cheap, and the center console is not well integrated. While the RAV4 does allow for an impressive storage capacity of up to 69 cu.ft., the vehicle feels very much like a consumer good and not something to enjoy for years on end.

    Volkswagen Design

    It's the slightest differences that allow the Tiguan interior to not only stand out but outdo its competitor. Unlike the RAV4's poor aesthetic placement of the infotainment screen, the Tiguan embeds the screen within the dashboard, which makes it feel like it's part of the vehicle and not an after-market accessory that doubles as an eyesore. As it has done with its cars for several decades, Volkswagen grants the Tiguan an interior that allows for more legroom and places comfort and practicality on equal terms to provide their drivers with the best of both worlds.

    The advantages that Volkswagen offers don't end there. While offering a larger available storage capacity of up to 73 cu.ft., the Tiguan also features an optional third row, which means seating for seven and a road trip that involves all of the provisions and friends that are necessary for the long haul. Just when you think that there was little left to do as far as the development of the SUV was concerned, Volkswagen elevates the vehicle to a level of sophistication that's easily affordable for the average consumer.

Bud Clary Auburn Volkswagen 47.3356737, -122.2233049.