Sporty Crossovers: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2017 Audi Q5

For several years now, crossover SUVs have been the must-have style of car - and when it comes to high quality it’s the German models that most drivers set their hearts on. We compare the latest VW Tiguan and Audi Q5 to see how these two sporty crossovers measure up.

Exterior styling

To keep the comparison fair, we’ll leave the 7-seat Tiguan Allspace model out of the picture and stick to the standard 5-seat version of VW’s latest Tiguan, which is 17.7cm shorter and 5.4cm narrower than the new Q5, so it’s only smaller by a narrow margin - and the two crossovers are of similar height.

Audi purposefully designed the second generation of its mid-size SUV to reflect the sportiness of its saloons and coupés, and the bold 3D grille endows it with strong road presence, while its sculpted sides and curvaceous roofline give it an agile stance, finished off beautifully by Audi’s optional and mesmerising Matrix lights.

Now also in its second generation, the latest Volkswagen Tiguan is somewhat more linear to behold but it oozes sophistication. Its full-width grille may be more subtle but looks superb, especially in higher trim levels that see horizontal chrome accents added, while the rear light clusters echo the Golf but incorporate clever lower cut-outs. Unsurprisingly, both the Tiguan and Q5 look at their sporty best in range-topping R-Line and S-Line guises respectively.

Conclusion: The Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line looks the more sporty and aggressive of the lot

Cockpits compared

Built on the same platform and part of the same automotive group, it’s no surprise that some of the buttons and controls inside the new Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi Q5 appear similar. On closer inspection, while VW’s interiors have become decidedly more premium in recent years, the Audi has a more luxurious aura and ultimately feels more special.

The biggest visual difference is that the Tiguan’s 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, standard from SE trim and higher, is positioned at the top of the centre console. The latest Q5’s screen, meanwhile, is controlled by the car’s MMI controller rather than by touch, and is now perched on top of the dashboard with no ability to be retracted unlike in slightly older Audi models. It’s well worth upgrading to Audi’s stunning Virtual Cockpit technology, with its high-definition 12.3-inch instrumentation, or indeed Volkswagen’s Active Info Display, which is very similar.

Leather seats are standard across the new Q5 range, while in the latest Tiguan the default cloth upholstery can be upgraded. Each of these sporty crossovers provides abundant space for rear passengers and the Audi’s seats are somewhat more sculpted, enhancing comfort on long journeys. Both cars can be specified with 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats that can be slid forwards and backwards to maximise either boot space or legroom to suit. The Q5’s boot space has a capacity of 550 litres up to the load cover, expanding to 1,550 litres to the roof when the back seats are lowered. The Tiguan’s standard boot space is 520 litres, increasing to 615 litres by sliding the rear seats fully forwards and then to 1,655 litres when they’re flattened. Both of these premium mid-size SUVs are safe and available with plenty of advanced driver assistance systems as well as entertainment features and convenience functions.

Conclusion: The Audi Q5 has a plusher feel and is more visually exciting inside

Under the bonnet

Audi has initially kept the new Q5’s engine line-up simple.

  • Petrol customers can choose between the 2.0 TFSI that produces a potent 252PS while averaging up to 40.9mpg and emitting between 157g and 164g/km CO2 depending on whether SE, Sport or S line trim is specified.
  • Or they can choose the mighty SQ5 that pumps out 354PS and can hit 62mph in 5.4 seconds.
  • Diesel Q5 drivers can opt for the revered 2.0 TDI with a healthy 190PS, plus impressive fuel economy of up to 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 132g/km.
  • Or they can choose the 3.0 TDI with 286PS on tap.

All Q5s are equipped with Audi’s famous quattro four-wheel drive system for added confidence no matter what the weather or road conditions are like.

  • Petrol power for the VW Tiguan comprises the 125PS 1.4 TSI which represents a good choice for people who don’t cover many miles, averaging upto 47.1mpg and emitting 135g/km CO2. This entry level petrol model is available in front-wheel drive only and fitted with a manual gearbox.
  • Meanwhile, the more powerful 2.0 TSI is mated to a 7-speed automatic DSG transmission and equipped with 4MOTION for added grip. It produces a peak of 180PS and averages up to 38.2mpg.
  • Diesel Tiguan customers, meanwhile, can opt for the VW Group’s 2.0 TDI but in two and four-wheel drive variants, with power outputs ranging from 115PS and 150PS through to 190PS and 240PS in the form of the potent BiTDI that blends economy and power, and is capable of 143mph.

 

Conclusion: The front-wheel drive Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150PS combines excellent frugality with enough power for typical drivers.

In numbers…

 

Audi Q5

VW Tiguan (5-seat)

Min

Max

Min

Max

Power (HP)

190

354

115

240

Fuel (comb MPG)

34

56.5

38.2

60.1

Emissions (CO2, g/km)

132

189

123

167

Top Speed (mph)

135

155

115

143

0 – 60mph in…. (seconds)

4.9

10.5

6.5

10.9

Price

£38,760

£51,925

£23,250

£39,510

The latest Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan mid-size premium crossovers are sporty SUVs with extremely accomplished engines and meticulously constructed interiors, plus a huge array of technology covering everything from safety to entertainment. Sharing their roots, there are plenty of similarities here, but the Audi remains the more luxurious overall. Why not test-drive each model at Inchcape Audi and Inchcape Volkswagen to see which one suits you best?