2023 VW Tiguan vs. Audi Q5

March 25th, 2023 by

If you’re in the market for a new crossover SUV, you’ve probably heard of the Audi Q5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan — two of the most popular models in the segment. Both vehicles have their pros and cons, and choosing between them might be a bit overwhelming. At Capistrano Volkswagen, we understand the serious financial commitment of buying a new SUV and want to help make your decision easier. Let’s review the key features of both vehicles, including their trim levels, performance, exteriors, interiors, technology, and safety features.

Trim Levels

Both the Audi Q5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan have well-rounded lineups of available trims. The Audi Q5 has two body styles, standard and sport back, and is available in three trim levels: the Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. A plug-in hybrid version is also available in the same trims. The Premium trim brings an upgraded engine along with several convenience features, while the Premium Plus tacks on exterior upgrades and more available packages. Rounding out the list is the range-topping Prestige trim, which offers a surround-sound system and extra features such as a unique headlight design and parking assist.

Volkswagen Tiguan buyers can select one of four trim levels: the S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line. The affordable S trim is loaded with value, including such standard features as blind-spot monitoring and heated front seats. The SE brings things up a notch, with technology features that include remote power open/close tailgate and adaptive cruise control.

Continuing up the ladder, the SE R-Line Black adds practical, stylish touches, such as a panoramic sunroof and exclusive, stealth-focused designs, including 19-inch black alloy wheels. The top-of-the-line SEL R-Line boasts a Fender premium sound system and luxury leather-upholstered heated and ventilated front seats.

Engine and Performance

Both vehicles are equipped with 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines, with the Audi Q5 generating 201 horsepower compared to the Volkswagen Tiguan’s 184. The Q5 is only available in all-wheel drive, but the Tiguan gives you more options. It comes with standard front-wheel drive with available 4MOTION all-wheel drive, which distributes pressure between the front and rear wheels to optimize traction.

In addition to an eight-speed automatic transmission, Volkswagen Tiguan drivers also have access to four available all-wheel-drive modes: snow, on-road, off-road, and off-road custom. The Audi Q5 has a similar driving mode system, known as Audi Drive Select. 

The Tiguan is rated at a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, while the base Q5 can tow a maximum of 2,000 pounds. More expensive trims can tow up to 4,400 pounds when properly equipped.

Fuel Efficiency

With the price of gas seemingly always on the rise, fuel efficiency is an important factor for most car buyers. You can cross this one off your list when comparing these vehicles, as they have nearly identical fuel efficiency ratings. The Q5 gives you 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, and the Tiguan offers 23 mpg and 30 mpg, respectively.


The Q5 and the Tiguan have fairly similar exterior appearances with nearly identical dimensions. The main difference between the two is the front grille design. One minor perk for the Tiguan is the available illuminated light bar inside the grille. You can’t go wrong here since both vehicles have thoughtful, attractive exterior silhouettes.


Both the Tiguan and the Q5 deliver when it comes to interior design, offering comfortable, modern spaces with plenty of legroom. All 2023 Tiguan models with front-wheel drive include a third row of seating, bringing the grand total to seven seats and making it an ideal option for families. Meanwhile, the Q5 can only hold five passengers.

When it comes to cargo space, the Tiguan also has an edge. The Q5 provides about 25 to 26 cubic feet of rear cargo space, which increases to approximately 51 to 54 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The Tiguan’s versatile design gives you a few options: the standard layout has 12 cubic feet of cargo space, but folding down the third-row seating will increase that figure to 33 cubic feet. You can further maximize cargo space by folding down the second row, bringing the total figure to a staggering 65.3 cubic feet.

Entertainment and Technology

Both vehicles are headlined by sleek touch-screen infotainment systems and come with a host of connectivity and navigation features. The Q5 also has features such as warming cup holders, the Audi Connect assistant, and a premium Bang and Olufsen sound system. Tiguan drivers can take advantage of Volkswagen’s innovative virtual cockpit display, as well as an available Fender premium audio system.

Safety Features

Both vehicles will give you peace of mind behind the wheel, coming with several standard features to help keep you safe. The Q5’s standard safety features include forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Tiguan offers those same standard features, but it also gives you access to other available extras, such as lane-keeping assist and a 360-degree camera. It’s worth noting that the 2023 Tiguan earned a 2022 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


The biggest difference between the Q5 and the Tiguan is their respective price points. The cost of a 2023 Q5 is steep, ranging from $44,200 to a whopping $57,400 MSRP. Meanwhile, you can get behind the wheel of a 2023 Tiguan for as little as $26,950, with the high-end SEL R-Line trim coming in at only $37,680 MSRP. Considering how many of its features are comparable to those of the Q5, Volkswagen has packed an incredible amount of value into the 2023 Tiguan.

The Verdict

While the Audi Q5 is a fine entry in the luxury SUV market, we think you’ll find the Volkswagen Tiguan to be a much better bang for your buck, offering a similar vehicle for a fraction of the price. If you’re interested in getting behind the wheel of the new Tiguan, head over to our San Juan Capistrano, California, dealership.

Our friendly team is ready to help make your experience as smooth as possible. If you have any questions about our current inventory or want to learn more about the Tiguan, don’t hesitate to contact us. We hope to hear from you soon.

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