2022 Volkswagen Atlas vs Tiguan
The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas are two of VW’s most popular SUVs. Choosing between these well-rounded models will be a tough task for some car shoppers. While the compact Tiguan will fulfill the needs of most families, the midsize Atlas is ideal for folks who need the utmost interior space.
Both the Tiguan and the Atlas earn good marks in terms of everyday comfort. While the Atlas hasn’t received in big updates for the 2022 model year, the Tiguan benefits from a stylish refresh and an additional number of standard features. Here’s a closer look at how the Atlas stacks up against the Tiguan.
Size and Styling
When comparing the 2022 VW Atlas and the 2022 VW Tiguan, car shoppers will notice a clear difference in size. The Atlas is considerably longer and wider than the Tiguan. Because the Atlas is such a large vehicle, it may be more daunting to park in cramped spaces.
Like the Atlas, the Tiguan can satisfy up to seven passengers when equipped with its optional third-row seat. Although the Tiguan is a smaller model, it’s built to comfortably accommodate the overwhelming majority of families. There’s around 36.6 inches of legroom in the rear on the Tiguan. Meanwhile, front passengers will have just over 40 inches of legroom.
Unfortunately, the Tiguan’s available third row is only suitable for small children. It lacks enough legroom to satisfy even shorter adults. This may be a concern for families.
When it comes to overall spaciousness, the Atlas overshadows the more compact Tiguan. Its third-row seat provides nearly an extra six inches of legroom, which means average-sized adults will have enough space to spread out.
The edge in cargo space also goes to the VW Atlas. Folding down the SUV’s third row increases its storage area to roughly 55.5 cubic feet. By comparison, the Tiguan provides 33 cubic feet of cargo space with its third row folded flat.
Evaluators praise the Atlas for its great outward visibility. Drivers will have good sight lines on the highway. Fortunately, the VW Tiguan shares these same attributes. Because of the SUV's narrow windshield pillars and flat hood, it’s easy to obtain a complete view of the street. Volkswagen also did a good job of minimizing the Tiguan’s number of rear blind spots.
From a styling standpoint, the Atlas looks a bit bulkier than the Tiguan. Modern LED headlights come standard. Trims outfitted with VW’s popular R-Line package feature sportier bumpers and unique wheels. A blacked-out trim is available as well.
The recently refreshed Tiguan has a sleeker profile. This SUV’s updated front fascia is more eye-catching than ever. Drivers seeking more flair will want the available R-Line package. Volkswagen integrated a light bar into the grille of the range-topping SEL R-Line trim.
Upon checking out the Tiguan’s list of available equipment, potential buyers won’t see an optional engine. Every Tiguan trim receives the same turbo four-cylinder engine, which generates a decent 184 horsepower. Because of the Tiguan’s 221 lb-ft of torque, it feels responsive enough to please most commuters. One of this SUV’s best assets is its smooth-operating, eight-speed automatic transmission.
When behind the wheel of the Tiguan, drivers should not expect to experience especially strong acceleration. Road tests show the Tiguan is capable of recording a 0-60 mph time of 8.9 seconds. This is a bit slow for the class.
There are two powertrains offered on the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas. A turbo four-cylinder engine with 235 hp comes standard. It also uses an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Performance with this SUV’s turbo four-cylinder engine is decent. Anticipate a 0-60 mph time of around 8.1 seconds.
Drivers who need to tow on a regular basis will favor the optional V6 engine. It musters out 276 hp. This beefier engine also develops slightly more torque. Although upgrading to the V6 engine will not enhance acceleration, drivers may have an easier time ascending steep hills and mountainous roads.
With its lighter design, the VW Tiguan is able to offer the best fuel economy. Current EPA estimates give the SUV a rating of 23 mpg town/30 mpg freeway on regular unleaded gas. Opting for all-wheel drive lowers efficiency to 21 mpg town/28 mpg freeway.
When equipped with its standard turbo four-cylinder engine, the Atlas has a government-estimated fuel economy rating of 21 mpg town/25 mpg freeway. Moving up to the brawnier V6 engine results in a rating of 18 mpg town/24 mpg freeway. On the bright side, selecting the optional AWD package does not really hurt fuel efficiency.
Drivers who need a reliable towing machine will find the Atlas to be far more suitable for the job. This is especially true for trims equipped with a V6 engine, which can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The enhanced towing capabilities of the Atlas will come in handy when preparing to take fishing trips and camping adventures. VW rates the Tiguan to tow up to a 1,500-pound load.
When equipped VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, both of these SUVs will be able to power through the snow. They can also handle a rural excursion that doesn’t feature any extremely rough terrain. A built-in Off-Road mode prepares drivers to hit the trails.
Despite its extra mass and larger stature, the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas is an easy SUV to drive. Automotive reviewers also applaud the Atlas for its excellent stability. Expect the lighter and nimbler Tiguan to inspire even more confidence. Its steering system provides an impressive amount of road feedback.
It’s important to consider the Tiguan’s smaller turning circle. This compact crossover has a turning radius of around 18.85 feet. By comparison, the Atlas has a turning radius of 20.26 feet. Folks who spend a lot of time in crowded cities will find maneuvering the Tiguan to be an easier chore.
Regardless of which one of these SUVs a person chooses, they can look forward to enjoying a plush ride. In terms of being able to smooth out bumps in the road, the Tiguan rivals some pricier luxury models. Expect the Atlas to also effectively absorb harsh pavement without compromising handling. Neither SUV produces a great deal of road noise, thus allowing families to experience a quiet trip.
A smooth braking system enables the Atlas to give drivers a strong sense of security. The Tiguan also remained composed during emergency braking tests.
Comfort, Options and Performance
The 2022 VW Tiguan will please most families in the comfort department. However, its front seats are just okay. According to some automotive critics, they could be more supportive. Luckily, most testers praise the Tiguan for its satisfying second-row seats.
Some of the same issues plague the Atlas. Its front seats feel a bit flat, especially the bottom cushions. While this issue isn’t likely to be a dealbreaker for most buyers, it’s something car shoppers should pay attention to during their test drive. Passengers will especially enjoy the SUV’s reclining back rows.
Even the base Tiguan comes standard with some great cold-weather amenities, such as front-seat heating and heated windshield washer-jet nozzles. A heated steering wheel is offered. Most Tiguan trims receive dual-zone automatic temperature control. Featuring leather upholstery and ventilated front seats, the top-of-the-line Tiguan SEL R-Line offers the most luxury.
These same niceties are available on the Atlas. However, VW actually goes a step further by offering its largest SUV with heated second-row seats. Both of these models can be equipped with a panoramic sunroof.
When it comes to in-vehicle technology, the Atlas and the Tiguan are quite similar. They receive a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, which features smartphone connectivity and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. A digital gauge cluster is also standard throughout the range.
Buyers who skip the base models will enjoy an upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless App-Connect smartphone integration. Enhanced voice control technology is another perk. For music fans seeking enhanced audio quality, VW offers a Fender premium sound system.
In regard to overall interior quality, there’s not a drastic difference between these two Volkswagen models. However, prices for the larger Atlas are naturally a bit higher. VW gives the Atlas a starting MSRP of $34,335. A starting price of $26,500 makes the Tiguan a better option for car shoppers on a limited budget.
An NHTSA five-star overall safety rating proves the Atlas provides good crash protection. While the federal government has yet to evaluate the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan’s level of impact protection, it did receive good crash scores across the board from the IIHS.
Even at their base trim levels, the Atlas and the Tiguan provide a good number of safety technologies. When the forward collision warning system senses the potential for a crash, it will help prevent disaster by automatically engaging the brakes. Designed to scour for nearby vehicles, the standard blind-spot monitor is just as beneficial.
Higher trim level give drivers access to additional accident-avoidance features. Drivers who do a lot of highway commuting will be interested in the available adaptive cruise control system. Meanwhile, the upgraded blind-spot system can actually steer the vehicle back into its lane when a vehicle is approaching. Another valuable asset is VW’s 360-degree camera system. Other confidence boosters include adaptive LED headlights and lane-keep assist.
Drivers who want to make their day less hectic may desire the available automated parking system. It can steer these SUVs into parking spots with minimal assistance.
Which Model to Choose?
Drivers who don’t need a third row should strongly consider the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s thousands of dollars less expensive than the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas. Keep in mind that these SUVs have a similar list of standard features. While the Tiguan doesn’t rank among the class leaders in fuel economy, it’s still better on gas than the larger Atlas.
Although the Tiguan drives extremely well, some folks will ultimately desire more muscle than its engine can crank out. The Atlas feels a bit more powerful during real-world driving conditions. Its available V6 engine will prove to be a great asset for folks who need to tow a load.
Car shoppers must decide which vehicle is visually the most appealing. The Tiguan’s recent styling refresh has transformed it into one of the segment’s best-looking models. Its sleeker exterior design will catch the attention of some people.
The Volkswagen Tiguan has enough space for the average American family. However, its legroom-lacking third row makes it less suitable for hauling around seven passengers. Folks who need the most passenger room and enhanced cargo-carrying capabilities will lean more towards the Atlas.
Both of these SUVs are highly recommended for road trips. They offer a pleasing ride that allows passengers to relax for hours at a time. While front-seat comfort isn't class-leading, most families will have no serious protests.