If you’re searching for an upscale compact crossover, two top choices worth considering are the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan and the Mazda CX-5. Both of these vehicles offer seating for up to five people, a decent amount of cargo space at the rear, and a solid powertrain. But which one comes out on top in a direct comparison? Our SUV experts here at Capistrano Volkswagen in San Juan Capistrano, California, explored both vehicles to help you decide which one to purchase.
Volkswagen Tiguan vs. CX-5 Engine and Performance
There’s not much difference between the two standard engines under the hoods of these crossovers. The Tiguan is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that puts out 184 horsepower, while the CX-5 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 187 horsepower. An optional upgrade in the CX-5 is a turbocharged engine that can generate 256 horsepower when filled with premium fuel.
The Volkswagen gets an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Mazda has a six-speed transmission. Volkswagen offers the Tiguan in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations. The CX-5 is only available with AWD.
Fuel economy numbers are also similar. The Tiguan achieves a maximum of 31 mpg on the highway compared to 30 mpg for the CX-5. Both crossovers manage up to 24 mpg on city roads. The CX-5 edges out the Tiguan in towing capacity, with an upper limit of 2,000 pounds compared to the Volkswagen’s 1,500-pound towing capacity.
Tiguan vs. Mazda CX-5 Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Tiguan has more flexibility than the CX-5 when it comes to the cabin layout. The Tiguan can either have a two-row or three-row cabin, whereas the Mazda is only offered in a two-row setup. The three-row Tiguan can seat up to seven people, with the first two rows suitable for adults and the third row providing space for kids. In their two-row configurations, the Tiguan and CX-5 have room for five people. Cloth upholstery is standard in both SUVs, but leather seats and other luxury features are available in higher trims.
The amount of cargo space in the Tiguan varies considerably depending on whether you have a third row of seats or not. In the two-row Tiguan, you’ll have 33 cubic feet at the rear, which should be enough for a few bags or suitcases for a short vacation. The three-row Tiguan has 12 cubic feet of space, which can accommodate a modest load of groceries. In the CX-5, you’ll find over 30 cubic feet of storage behind the second row and 59.3 cubic feet when the rear row is folded flat.
Volkswagen vs. Mazda Infotainment and Safety Features
The Tiguan offers a touch screen to control its infotainment features, while the CX-5 uses a display with a rotating knob and buttons. The Tiguan’s 6.5-inch touch screen is paired with a six-speaker stereo in the base setup. The Mazda CX-5 has a 10.2-inch display and a four-speaker stereo. Both vehicles feature Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Optional upgrades in the CX-5 include a navigation system, a 10-speaker stereo, and wireless device charging. The Tiguan offers an 8-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker stereo, and wireless device charging.
Both crossovers are equipped with a long list of standard driver assistance features to help keep you and your passengers safe. These include forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert also come standard in both vehicles, while the Mazda benefits from adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
You can add optional features to make parking a whole lot easier. The CX-5 and Tiguan can be fitted with parking sensors and a surround-view parking camera to give you the clearest aerial view of your SUV. You can also get traffic sign recognition and a driver attention monitor to let you know when it’s time to take a break. The Tiguan has optional lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
2023 Tiguan vs. CX-5 Trims and Pricing
The CX-5 is available in eight trims, while the 2023 Tiguan is sold in four. The Tiguan trims are S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line. As for the CX-5, you can get it in S, Select, Preferred, Carbon Edition, Premium, Premium Plus, Turbo, and Turbo Signature. The MSRPs for the base trims are comparable, with the Tiguan S starting at $26,590 and the CX-5 S at $26,700. However, there’s a larger variation in price across Mazda’s lineup due to the greater number of trims.
The base Tiguan S gets heated front seats, alloy wheels, and an 8-inch digital gauge cluster so you can stay on top of your Volkswagen’s performance. You can upgrade to AWD for an additional $1,500. Stepping up to the SE trim gets you synthetic leather upholstery, a larger touch screen, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and automatic climate control. The R-Line Black includes a sunroof, parking sensors, and unique R-Line exterior accents. The range-topping SEL R-Line comes with genuine leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a heated steering wheel.
Moving up from the base CX-5 to the Select trim adds synthetic leather seats, power adjustments for the driver’s seat, and proximity keyless entry. The Preferred trim gets you genuine leather seats, while the Carbon Edition combines its interior luxury with black exterior accents. The CX-5 Premium features a digital speedometer and paddle shifters, and the Premium Plus adds ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The top two trims are the only ones equipped with the more potent turbocharged engine.
As you can see from our comparison, there are strong arguments in favor of both crossovers. The Tiguan is a remarkably flexible vehicle, being one of the few compact SUVs to offer a third row of seating. It also provides a touch screen for your infotainment system, which the CX-5 doesn’t have. On the other hand, the CX-5 has a more potent optional engine and can tow a heavier load at the rear.
Are you interested in test-driving a Tiguan or CX-5 in Orange County? Don’t hesitate to contact our team at Capistrano Volkswagen today. We can also assist you in applying for a competitive financing deal or a lease option to drive one of our new crossovers for years to come.