2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Comparison in Salt Lake City, UT

The Subaru Forester is a perfect example of everything that a small SUV should be. It's roomy enough for the family, capable enough for weekend adventures, and comfortable enough for driving around the city. Of course, it's not without its competitors. One of the oddest SUVs in this segment is the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, a vehicle that doesn't seem to know quite what it wants to be. We'll go into greater detail below on just how these two SUVs compare.

Subaru Forester interior with second row folded

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 VW Tiguan: Design

The 2020 Subaru Forester is a classic two-row small SUV. The Volkswagen Tiguan, on the other hand, is available in two-row and three-row variations. In trying to give you more options, the Tiguan actually delivers the worst of both worlds. Choosing the three-row variety means that you'll have a cramped two-person third row. There's also less headroom, legroom, and shoulder room in the front two rows than you'd get in the Subaru Forester. In the three-row configuration, the Volkswagen Tiguan can get up to 65.7 cubic feet of cargo space. That's over ten cubic feet less than the 2020 Subaru Forester, which has 76.1 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

The VW Tiguan is also available in a two-row configuration that comes only with all-wheel drive models. But even then, it has considerably less room for passengers than the Subaru Forester. The two-row VW Tiguan has 101.1 cubic feet of passenger space, while the 2020 Subaru Forester has a roomy 111.9 cubic feet!

Subaru air conditioning vent

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 VW Tiguan: Interior Comfort & Technology Features

The weather in Utah can be extreme and unpredictable, and Subaru believes that your vehicle should be ready for all of it. Automatic climate control is a standard feature in the Subaru Forester, making it easier for you to get the cabin's temperature just right. You can get automatic climate control in the Volkswagen Tiguan, too--but it will cost you more, since it's not available in the base model. Both SUVs come standard with 6.5-inch touchscreens, but the Subaru Forester offers upgrades like an HD Radio receiver that you won't find in the Volkswagen Tiguan.

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Subaru Forester driving down dirt road

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 VW Tiguan: Performance

The engines in these two SUVs may have similar horsepower, but the distinctive BOXER® engine in the Subaru Forester gives it a more engaging drive thanks to a low center of gravity. While both may be comfortable driving around town, the Subaru Forester is perfect for the family who enjoys camping trips, hiking outings, or other weekend adventures. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, a feature that's an expensive upgrade in the VW Tiguan. What's more, the 2020 Subaru Forester has standard drive mode selections, active torque vectoring, and trailer stability assist for a far superior drive no matter what your journey looks like. If you do find these features on a new Volkswagen Tiguan, you'll find that they cost substantially more as available options. To experience all that Utah has to offer, not just the city streets, the Subaru Forester is the better choice.

Subaru Forester driving on a highway

2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 VW Tiguan: Safety

When it comes to your family's safety, Volkswagen does a good job--but Subaru goes above and beyond. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rewards reflect this well. The 2020 VW Tiguan performed admirably, earning the 2020 Top Safety Pick award. But the 2020 Subaru Forester did even better, gaining the more prestigious 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award! The standard all-wheel drive also helps you stay in control of the Subaru Forester more easily, even on snowy streets. And, while both vehicles come with driver assistance features, the 2020 Subaru Forester includes standard adaptive cruise control. This works like regular cruise control while automatically maintaining a safe distance from the cars in front of you. To get adaptive cruise control in the Volkswagen Tiguan, you have to pay extra.

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2020 Subaru Forester vs 2020 VW Tiguan: Value

Not only does the 2020 Subaru Forester offer more than the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, but it also costs less. At the entry level, the starting MSRP of the 2020 Subaru Forester is $450 less than that of the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, but that's for a front-wheel drive Tiguan. Add all-wheel drive and you'll be looking at a much more expensive vehicle.

2020 Subaru Forester2020 VW Tiguan
$24,495Starting MSRP*$24,945
33 MPG Highway / 26 MPG CityFuel Economy29 MPG Highway / 22 MPG City
StandardAll-Wheel DriveAvailable Upgrade
76.1 Cubic FeetMaximum Cargo Volume73.5 Cubic Feet
43.3" Front / 39.4" RearLegroom40.2" Front / 36.6" Rear
StandardAutomatic Climate ControlAvailable Upgrade
StandardHD Radio ReceiverAvailable Upgrade
Available UpgradeOne-Touch Folding Rear SeatbackNot Available
Available UpgradeDriver Attention MonitorNot Available
StandardAdaptive Cruise ControlAvailable Upgrade

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.