Volkswagen has a suite of crossovers and SUVs for almost every driver. If you have been or are in the market for a Volkswagen CUV or SUV, you’ve probably weighed your options between a Tiguan vs Atlas. However, it can be quite difficult to do in-depth research on both, so that is what we are here for. This article will go over the similarities and many differences between the Tiguan and Atlas. We will be going over the different generations, price, size, performance, reliability, safety, and more.
Tiguan vs Atlas – The Basics
The Volkswagen Tiguan was first introduced in 2007 and is still being produced today. The Tiguan is labeled as a compact CUV and is Volkswagen’s best-selling SUV. The first generation was built on the PQ46 platform, while the second generation is built on the MQB platform. The trims available, as of 2022 model year, are S, SE, SE R-Line, and SEL R-Line. The Tiguan has gone through two separate much-needed facelifts in 2012 and 2020.
The Volkswagen Atlas was first introduced in 2017 and is referred to as the Volkswagen Termont outside of the US. It is labeled as a mid-size CUV, therefore it is larger than the Tiguan and is often referred to as the “bigger brother” to the Tiguan. The trims available, as of the 2022 model year, are SE, SE w/ Tech, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. In early 2020, the Atlas Cross Sport was introduced two be a smaller variation of the Atlas with only two rows of seating.
VW Tiguan Generations
- 5N Tiguan (2007-2015)
- AD/BW Tiguan (2016-Present)
VW Atlas Generations
- CA1 Atlas (2017-Present)
Unlike a majority of Volkswagen’s, these two models haven’t been around for too long, as you can see in the generations below. As opposed to GTIs, Jettas, or others. Both models have similar engines and transmissions but are different in size, which we will go into below. However, they are priced differently as well and we think this is one of the most important aspects when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. So, let’s jump into it.
Tiguan vs Atlas Price
Since the Tiguan has been around for a decade longer, we will be comparing the AD/BW Tiguan generation to the CA1 Atlas generation since they are similar years. First, we will look at pricing for brand new models, 2022 as of this writing, and then go into the used pricing right after. A 2022 base Volkswagen Tiguan S is starting at $26,295, while an SEL R-Line 2022 Tiguan is starting at $36,970. A 2022 base Volkswagen Atlas SE is starting at $33,900, while an SEL Premium R-Line Atlas is starting at $51,070.
When it comes to used Tiguans and Atlas’, the pricing is pretty much consistent, the Atlas’ tend to be more expensive than the Tiguans. For an AD/BW Tiguan, prices range from $17,998 – $40,998* with an average price overall of $28,000, depending on model year and mileage. For a CA1 Atlas, prices range from $27,998 – $54,998 with an average price of $37,000, depending on model year and mileage. As you can see, the Atlas is more expensive than the Tiguan. So is the price difference worth it? It depends, but we’ll go over more specs that will assist you in purchasing the ride that suits your vehicle needs.
*At the time of writing this article, we believe we are in a market where used vehicles are inflated, so consider that when seeing the used prices above.
General Tiguan & Atlas Topics
Tiguan vs Atlas Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 VW Tiguan and the 2022 VW Atlas.
Volkswagen Tiguan vs Atlas
This is where the differences begin to stand out and how the Atlas got its name as the “bigger brother” of the Tiguan. As you can see, all of the measurements above are bigger on the Atlas. A few numbers that stick out to us are cargo space and towing capacity. If you find yourself towing a trailer or something behind your vehicle frequently, the Atlas 4motion may be the best fit. Both models have a third-row seat and can seat 7. The question is comfortability. Obviously, with the sheer size of the Atlas, passengers will be more comfortable in this model. However, if you don’t typically have a car full of passengers, then it doesn’t really matter. Size and price are probably one of the most distinguished differences between the two, but we will continue to go into specs that could assist you further.
Volkswagen Tiguan vs Atlas Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be comparing the 2022 Tiguan and 2022 Atlas when it comes to performance.
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
A base 2022 Tiguan, or Tiguan S, offers a 2.0L TSI engine that puts down 184hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. This also happens to be the same engine that is featured in the R-line Tiguan. The Tiguan S features an 8-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and has FWD, with the option of upgrading to 4motion for $1,500. However, the R-line also comes with the 8-speed automatic transmission but has 4motion AWD standard. The reason we are including this is that if you are in a location where hazardous driving conditions can occur (snow/ice), you may want to lean on AWD vs FWD.
Oddly enough the gas mileages differ between trims even though the engine is the same. So the Tiguan S gets 23mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 27 with a 15.3gal fuel tank. While the Tiguan SEL R-line gets 21mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 25mpg with a 15.9mpg tank.
A base 2022 Atlas, or Atlas SE, also offers a 2.0L TSI engine that puts down 235hp and 258lb-ft of torque. However, the Atlas R-line features a naturally aspirated 3.6L EA390 VR6 engine that puts down 276hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. The Atlas SE features an 8-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, but is also FWD only, with the option of upgrading to 4motion for $2,000. The Atlas SEL R-line features an 8-speed automatic transmission, but with the 4motion AWD system standard.
Since there are two available engines, we will provide fuel economy numbers for both the 2.0L TSI and 3.6L VR6 engines. The Atlas SE gets 21mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 23 with an 18.6gal fuel tank. The Atlas SEL 4motion with a 3.6L engine gets 17mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway for a combined 20mpg with an 18.6gal tank.
Tiguan & Atlas Reliability and Common Problems
The Tiguan’s overall reliability is not great. RepairPal rates it 3 out of 5 on its reliability rating. Usually, this would be average. However, it is below the average 4 out of 5 for CUVs and happens to be dead last (26 out of 26) when it comes to all CUVs reliability ratings. According to RepairPal, the average annual cost to maintain a Tiguan is $730. This happens to be above the $521 average seen on all other CUVs. If you are in the market for a used Tiguan, we would advise looking for 2014-2017 model years or 2020-2021 model years. However, with that said, people still love their Tiguan’s given there have been 6,000,000 units sold worldwide since its introduction.
Common problems that are seen in Tiguans are as followed: Ignition coil failure, clock spring failure, premature timing chain tensioner failure, water pump failure, defective n80 valve, plastic intake manifold issues, and the infamous VW subframe clunk. Although this may seem like a long list, if the Tiguan is properly maintained, we’ve seen them last up to 190,000 miles. Our advice, make sure to get the best warranty package they offer if you plan on going with a 2022 model..
There isn’t too much data to go off for the Atlas’ reliability since it was produced in 2017, so we will go off of what we can. According to Consumer Reports, the VW Atlas ranks 21st out of 26 all mid-size SUVs. So just like the Tiguan, the Atlas’ reliability is not great. When it comes to choosing the best model years, we would advise looking at the 2021 model year.
Common problems that are seen in Atlas’ are as followed: faulty fuel injectors, strange engine noise on shutdown, unexpected coolant loss, premature fuel pump failure, and a faulty clock spring. There is a small sample size of Atlas’ out there, so it is difficult to give a mileage estimate since they have only been around for about 5 years. However, there are many “electrical gremlins” that haunt these vehicles and make them very susceptible to maintenance. Again, our advice, make sure to get the best warranty package they offer regardless of model year..
Tiguan vs Atlas – Which is Better?
When it comes to deciding which model is better, it is rather subjective. It all depends on what the consumer’s vehicle needs are. If cargo space, towing capacity over 2,000 lbs, and comfort for back seat passengers is a must, then the Atlas suits this lifestyle. However, if you aren’t towing anything, rarely have backseat passengers, and want better gas mileage, then the Tiguan suits this lifestyle. Unfortunately, both don’t have great reliability ratings but have many similarities when it comes to the technology features in the vehicles. There are many other different scenarios that can come into play, but you get the point. In short, the Atlas is the Tiguan’s “bigger brother”. If you need or even want more space, go with the Atlas.
Tiguan vs Atlas Conclusion
To wrap this article up, we hope we have provided information that will assist in your purchasing decision. Both models have different pros/cons and similarities and differences, which have been listed above. Both are priced well when it comes to new vs used. Let us know what your experience is between the two in the comments below to assist future readers. Do you prefer one over the other? If so, what stands out to you to choose either or.