A white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL-R is shown from the front driving on an open road.

Choosing the Right Commuter: 2022 VW Tiguan vs 2022 Kia Sportage

There are many commuter vehicles on the market, including everything from compact SUVs to midsize and full-size models. But a compact SUV is the ideal option when you’re looking for more fuel efficiency. These smaller models will still have plenty of space to haul your average family. Plus, vehicles in this segment have a much lower price tag than their larger counterparts. But with so many options on the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. To make the decision easier for you, we’ve decided to look at two popular compact SUV options in this comparison of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Kia Sportage.

Fuel Efficiency and Power

The truth is that towing capacity ratings don’t matter much when you’re in the market for a compact SUV. Sure, it’s nice to know that you can haul a lawn mower or ATV if you need to, but you’re likely not looking to tow anything more than that. Fuel efficiency is what matters the most in this segment.

The good news is that the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan comes with a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that can get up to 26 MPG combined with FWD or 25 MPG combined with AWD. It can even tow up to 1,500 lbs when needed. The 2022 Kia Sportage also gets up to 26 MPG combined with FWD, but only 23 MPG combined with AWD. While the Sportage does tow up to 2,000 lbs, which is 500 lbs more than the Tiguan, it comes with a price––less fuel efficiency.

Whether you go with the Sportage’s standard engine or its upgraded engine option, you’re still looking at a lower fuel economy rating than the Tiguan. The Tiguan also comes with much more torque and a higher horsepower rating than the base Sportage, making it a peppier and more fun model to drive.

Interior Comfort and Space

Space does not become irrelevant simply because you’re choosing a compact SUV. In fact, it’s even more important that you choose the compact model with the most spacious and comfortable interior. After all, you’ll spend more time in your new vehicle than you will ever spend looking at it.

While the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2022 Kia Sportage offer similar interior features, the Tiguan offers something that the Sportage and other competitors do not––optional third-row seating. Those who don’t need AWD can choose to equip the FWD Tiguan with a third row of seats and fit up to seven passengers instead of five. The new Sportage only comes with a two-row five-seater option.

You get more cargo space in the 2022 Tiguan as well, with 73.4 cu.ft. of cargo volume in the two-row model. Even the three-row Tiguan comes with more cargo space than the Sportage, offering 65.7 cu.ft. against the Sportage’s 60.1 cu.ft. Overall, the Tiguan is right under 10 inches longer than the Sportage, and both vehicles are almost identical in height. When you choose the Tiguan, you’re still keeping that ideal compact SUV size while gaining much more passenger and cargo space.

A blue 2022 Kia Sportage is shown from the front driving over a bridge.

Safety Features Compared

Safety is important for all commuters. This is one category where both vehicles are equally well-equipped. Both include features such as blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, and more. These features help you monitor your blind spots, stay centered in the correct lane, and stop quicker in emergencies. However, the Volkswagen Tiguan offers some interesting and unique features in addition to these more basic technologies, such as Travel Assist, which combines Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist technologies. This helps drivers stay in the appropriate lane while removing the need to constantly set and reset the cruise control.

The Tiguan also includes a “Safety Cage,” which is reassuring given the vehicle’s compact size. This Safety Cage, combined with front and rear crumple zones, helps to reduce damage and better protect passengers during an accident. Finally, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is another Tiguan safety feature that helps in the case of an accident. This system kicks in when there’s an accident to help keep the vehicle from sliding into other objects and causing more damage. This feature is not available on the 2022 Kia Sportage.

Let’s Get Into Some Tech Talk

Basic technologies are now expected no matter what price range your new vehicle falls into. Features such as audio streaming, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a touchscreen infotainment center are expected. These are all features that the 2022 Kia Sportage offers. The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan has these tech features as well, but it brings a lot more into the mix––including available full-screen navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more. You can even take advantage of the available Fender Premium Audio System to feel like you’re listening to your favorite artists in person.

Both vehicles include optional connectivity features that allow drivers to remotely start their SUV, remotely access climate control settings, find where they parked, and much more. But although both models include these connected services, the options in the Tiguan are more affordable than those in the Sportage. VW Remote Access is free for five years with your new purchase, but Kia Connect requires a paid subscription to access its more advanced remote connectivity features.

How About Exterior Design?

All compact SUVs may look the same to you, but put these two models side by side and look a bit closer. While their overall body structure is similar, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is more luxurious than the Sportage. For example, it is less rounded and looks sharper, thanks to its exterior molding. The Tiguan also has a full-faced grille that connects with its front headlights, whereas the Sportage has a small, centered grille that is separate from its headlights. The Sportage looks okay but follows a more traditional, rounded, boring exterior design. The molded structure of the Tiguan gives it a sophisticated look that outshines its competition.

A white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is shown from the rear driving on an open road during a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Kia Sportage comparison.

Which Vehicle is Right For Me?

In many cases, people choose their vehicle based on brand and previous experiences with that brand rather than practicality and reason. You may prefer the Kia Sportage over the Tiguan if you’re a Kia fan or want to save a couple thousand dollars; however, if you’re looking for the best bargain, the answer is clear. The Volkswagen Tiguan is the best choice.

Now that you see how the battle between the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2022 Kia Sportage is not as close as you may think at first glance, it’s time to sit back and rethink some things before finalizing your purchase. It’s clear that while these vehicles are similar in style, class, and design, one provides more benefits than the other. When you’re looking for a compact SUV, we highly recommend going with the Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s more fuel-efficient, it has more space, and it’s the tech and safety-savvy option between the two models.

This superiority carries over when you compare the Tiguan to other compact SUV models, such as the Chevy Equinox or the Nissan Rogue. The basics are there with competing models, but the perfect balance of every commuter-friendly feature in a high-quality design is not. When you want to get the most out of your purchase, stick with the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan.