2020 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2020 Toyota RAV4 Small SUV Comparison in Cerritos, CA

The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling vehicles in America. While it's certainly a quality SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan gives it a run for its money. With more space and versatility, a more robust AWD system, and other advantages, the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is simply a better choice all around. But you don't have to take our word for it; we'll show you below. On this head-to-head comparison page, we'll pit these two SUVs against each other so that you can see how your dollar goes further with Volkswagen.

A person loads items into the back of a VW Tiguan

VW Tiguan vs Toyota RAV4: Space & Versatility

When it comes to interior space, the Volkswagen Tiguan may be the most versatile small SUV on the market. It comes standard with three rows of seating and 123.9 cubic feet of passenger volume. When you have extra passengers, the third row is helpful. If you're not carrying more than five people, fold down the third row and you'll get 33 cubic feet of cargo space. The all-wheel drive Tiguan comes standard with two rows, though the third row is an available upgrade. Even with two rows, you'll get 101.1 cubic feet of passenger volume and 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

The Toyota RAV4, by comparison, feels cramped. With just 98.9 cubic feet of passenger volume and no third row, it provides less room for you to carry what you need. And, with less front-row headroom and legroom, the Toyota RAV4 doesn't have the same level of comfort for longer journeys.

Interior of a 2020 VW Tiguan with map enlarged on Volkswagen Digital Cockpit

VW Tiguan vs Toyota RAV4: Interior Features

The multi-information display in the 2020 Toyota RAV4 is situated between the standard speed, fuel, and engine heat gauges, and it can display things like directions and alerts. This is impressive, but it can't match what the Volkswagen Tiguan offers. The available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit completely replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a large, high-definition screen. It can store up to four profiles, so each driver can set their own preferences (or one driver can switch between four settings). Want to better see where you're going? Volkswagen Digital Cockpit has a full-screen navigation view. The majority of the cluster displays a map, with items like the speedometer made smaller so it's easier to see where you're going.

These two SUVs offer similar available comfort features, including dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats. However, these features are more expensive in the Toyota RAV4 than they are in the Volkswagen Tiguan. What's more, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 doesn't offer leather-trimmed seating! Instead, it offers available imitation leather. Upgrade your Volkswagen Tiguan and you'll get seats trimmed in genuine leather.

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2020 VW Tiguan driving quickly down a city street at night

VW Tiguan vs Toyota RAV4: Performance

The Volkswagen Tiguan and the Toyota RAV4 are both powered by impressive engines. While the Toyota has more horsepower, the engine in the VW Tiguan delivers considerably more torque. With more torque, you'll get faster acceleration from a stop, as well as improved power at lower speeds. Both of these engines allow for a towing capacity of up to 1,500 pounds. While the 2020 Toyota RAV4 does have a higher maximum towing capacity, you'll have to upgrade to another engine that only comes in a few expensive upper trim levels to benefit from that.

Both vehicles also offer available all-wheel drive. But a look at the drive modes is all it takes to show the difference between the AWD systems. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 has three drive modes: SPORT for sharper acceleration, ECO for greater fuel efficiency, and NORMAL for a mixture of the two. The AWD VW Tiguan has four distinctive modes. On-Road Mode is the standard setting, and it lets you choose from further settings similar to what you'll find in the Toyota. Off-Road Mode makes use of the AWD traction for improved performance on off-road areas, and Snow Mode takes precautions to reduce wheelspin. Finally, there's Off-Road Custom Mode, which lets you set your own parameters for optimal off-road performance.

Two children sitting in the second row of a 2020 VW Tiguan

VW Tiguan vs Toyota RAV4: Safety

When it comes to your safety, we're pleased to say that both of these SUVs are great choices. They both earned the prestigious 2019 Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, which is a difficult honor to receive. However, while they both have pre-collision protections, the 2020 VW Tiguan also offers two post-collision systems that help keep you safer in the event of an accident. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System can slow and stop the vehicle after a collision, potentially reducing secondary impacts. And the Intelligent Crash Response System can turn on the hazard lights, unlock the doors, and turn off the fuel pump, making a quick escape from the vehicle safer and easier.

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VW Tiguan vs Toyota RAV4: Value

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan starts off around $900 less than the 2020 Toyota RAV4, and yet it offers so much. You've read about many of the impressive features here, but there's still no replacement for experience. Head to the dealership for a test drive. Once you've sat on the comfortable driver's seat and taken the wheel, you'll see just why we love the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan so much.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2020 Toyota RAV4
$24,945 Starting MSRP* $25,850
184 Horsepower 203
221 lb.-ft. Torque 184 lb.-ft.
29 Highway MPG / 22 City MPG Gas Mileage 35 Highway MPG / 28 City MPG
1,500 lbs. Maximum Towing Capacity 3,500 lbs.
Available 20-Inch Wheels Not Available
Standard on FWD / Available on AWD Third Row of Seating Not Available
101.1 cu. ft. (5-Passenger) / 123.9 cu. ft. (7-Passenger) Passenger Volume 98.9 cu. ft.
37.6 cu. ft. (5-Passenger) / 12 cu. ft. (7-Passenger) Standard Cargo Capacity (All Seats in Place) 37.6 cu. ft.
73.5 cu. ft. (5-Passenger) / 65.7 cu. ft. (7-Passenger) Maximum Cargo Capacity 69.8 cu. ft.

*Prices exclude destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.