The Great SUV Debate – X1 versus Tiguan versus Kuga

This topic contains 82 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Glos Guy 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #38485 Reply

    Glos Guy

    As some on this forum will know, I have been doing the research and groundwork for my wife’s Motability car renewal later this quarter. She wants another automatic SUV (she has to have hand controls) and would prefer 4WD with a 2.0 litre engine. Based upon brand and styling preferences, likes and dislikes etc we had narrowed the shortlist down to 3 cars from the new Q1 list, namely;

    BMW X1 2.0 Petrol 4WD X-Line Auto
    VW Tiguan 2.0 190PS Diesel 4Motion SEL DSG Auto
    Ford Kuga 2.0 180PS Diesel 4WD ST Line X Auto

    Yesterday we viewed all 3 cars back to back in order to make direct comparisons. The easiest one to dismiss was the Kuga. Whilst the styling of the ST Line versions massively enhance the visual appearance of the car over the very staid and dated looking Titanium X or Vignale versions, the car falls significantly short of the other two in terms of quality and technology. It is, after all, quite an old vehicle now compared to the X1 and Tiguan, which are both all-new models launched within the last 2 years. So we were quickly down to a choice of two.

    Whichever car we end up with, we would be adding a number of expensive options and it so happens that the X1 and Tiguan would both come to £5k once all options are added to the AP (and allowing for a £500 cashback offer on the Tiguan that we found through this forum). To the X1 we would add Electric Seats with drivers memory (manual leather seats are standard), Technology Pack (Comfort Access, Rear View Camera and Harman Kardon HiFi), Panoramic Sunroof, Driving Assistant, Park Assist with Front Parking Sensors & Sun Protection Glass. To the Tiguan we would add Leather Trim with Electric Drivers Seat and Memory, Keyless Opening & Closing with Fully Automated Tailgate, Park Assist with Rear View Camera, Voice Control & Tyre Pressure Monitoring. As I say, with all options added, that makes them both the same price.

    My wife currently has a previous model Tiguan 140PS Match 4Motion DSG Auto (to which we added Xenon Headlights, Cruise Control, Heated Seats and Tyre Pressure Monitoring) but fancied a change. I am also a big BMW fan, having had lots of them myself from 3 series to 7 series, and I currently own a 520d Luxury Auto, which is the best car I have ever had in 35 years of driving. So we had high hopes with the X1 but were sadly disappointed. It was certainly a big step up from the Kuga in terms of fit, finish and technology, but fell noticeably short of the prestige look and feel that I have in my 5 Series. However, the biggest issues were the lack of room inside (It would be a little too cramped for our needs) and the extremely poor seats. In terms of space and comfort, the Tiguan felt like a class up from the X1. Perhaps it should be called Tardis rather than Tiguan as it is deceptively big on the inside. Conversely, the X1 is smaller on the inside that the exterior would lead you to believe, but I don’t know an equivalent analogy for that (answers on a postcard).

    So, in summary, here are the improvements and extra kit that we would benefit from with the Tiguan over the X1;

    – Significantly larger cabin (with drivers seat set for me, sitting behind there was less than 1” between my knees and the front seat back in the X1, versus a good 6” in the Tiguan)
    – Larger Boot (folded wheelchair would only fit in the X1 boot with the rear seats moved forward one click, further reducing rear legroom. In the Tiguan, the wheelchair fits with the seats in the rearmost position).
    – Larger and far more comfortable seats. The standard X1 seats were too short, lacking under thigh support and simply did not feel comfortable. The optional Sport Seats are too firm. The Tiguan seats were noticeably larger, offering more under thigh support and were chalk and cheese in terms of overall seat comfort.
    – Memory function on drivers seat (with optional leather electric seats, which we will add) has 3 memory positions (versus 2 on the X1). This is very useful for us as we can have his and hers settings as well as an entry/exit setting to ease access and move clear of the hand control equipment .
    – LED Headlights have Dynamic Function (shades out oncoming traffic and vehicles you are following, sending full beam either side). My BMW 5 Series with Adaptive Xenons has this, but the X1 Adaptive LED Headlights don’t do this for some reason (even the optional High Beam Assist is just On or Off)
    – Electric Lumbar Adjustment On Drivers Seat
    – Auto Hold (standard on other BMW models but not on the X1, even as an option, for some reason). We would really miss this.
    – Adaptive Cruise Control
    – 4Motion Active Control with switchable On Road / Off Road / Off Road Individual / Snow modes
    – Active Info Display (12.3” High Resolution TFT Dashboard Display with customisable menus and information) – this is really cool and looks fabulous, as well as having tons of useful features. By contrast, the X1 has a conventional dash with hideous orange illumination at night.
    – Driver Alert System (tiredness monitoring)
    – Mobility Self Sealing Tyres
    – Foldable Front Passenger Seat Back (useful for long loads)
    – Folding Tables with Cup Holders on front seat backs
    – Active Bonnet with Pedestrian Protection
    – Driver & Front Passenger Knee Airbags
    – Auto Dimming frameless Rear View Mirror
    – Power Folding Door Mirrors with Puddle Lights
    – Ambient Lighting including around the standard Panoramic Sunroof
    – 3 Zone Climate Control (Driver, Front Passenger and Rear passengers)
    – Simultaneous Pairing of 2 Mobile Phones (so you can have work and personal mobiles connected at the same time)
    – Apple Car Play / Car Net Guide & Inform / Media Control (infotainment system controllable via Smartphone or tablet)
    – Better standard fit audio system. I have learned to my cost that the reason that BMW have several upgrade options is because the standard fit stereos are poor. We were going to add the Dynaudio system to the Tiguan but were staggered at how good the standard setup was, so won’t bother. I’m sure that the stats would indicate otherwise, but the standard Tiguan system sounded far better than even the extra cost Harman Kardon system in the BMW.

    Finally, the Tiguan has a Diesel engine with 400nm torque, versus the 280nm in the petrol X1 so, in addition to better fuel consumption, will be far more responsive in day to day driving.

    We had been disappointed a year ago to see the 25d X1 disappear from the scheme as that engine is a peach, and equally disappointed this year to find that the only X1 now on the scheme in X-Line trim is a petrol, but even if the full range of diesel engines suddenly became available, including the 25d, we would still go for the Tiguan over the X1 for the numerous reasons given above.

    We haven’t had test drives yet, and have no doubt that the X1 would probably have a slightly better ride, as the Tiguan SEL unfortunately comes with larger 19” Alloys (we would prefer the perfectly adequate 18” ones on the X1). BMW’s are also fantastic drivers cars, whereas the Tiguan will be a bit less involving, but there’s only so much driving in anger that you can do with hand controls!

    I have found this forum to be very useful and I hope that these extensive notes from my detailed investigations will be of interest to some others.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 82 total)
  • Author
  • #38486 Reply


    It has to be the tiguan, it’s a better drive and looks better

    #38487 Reply


    We had a look at the X1 when my wife was last due to renew her lease. Ours is always a difficult problem to solve as i am 6’2″ and my wife is 4’10”. Whilst she is the leasee and has multiple health problems, and mobility aids to accommodate, i also suffer with an annoying lower back problem and arthritic knees. We never got as far as a test drive with the X1. We felt it was way too small, and we both found the seats very uncomfortable. As you say, not on a par with other BMW’s, probably driven by budget ultimately. So it was a non starter for us, but will be very suitable for others for sure.

    Interesting that you dismissed the kuga early on. For a sizeable car, as a tall driver i found that i felt i was sitting in a compact pod given the dash/contre console configuration. Way too constricted.

    The Tiguan looks a very intetesting car for sure, and would no doubt be a great choice

    #38488 Reply

    Cockney Geezer

    Excellent post Glos Guy, lots of great information.  I have a similar shortlist but swapping the Kuga for Kodiaq.  I too have ruled out the X1 due to the seats not giving enough under thigh support.

    I drove the Tiguan yesterday and was really impressed and given the AP differential between this and the Kodiaq, not to mention the current £500 deal, I’ve pretty much made up my mind – Tiguan SEL 190PS AWD auto.

    As for options, I’m looking at electric tailgate, heated rear seats, park assist and rear camera, and side scan.

    Liked this colour:


    #38489 Reply


    Hi Glos Guy….

    Yesterday I made my decision and ordered the Tiguan Sel 2.0tdi 190ps Dsg In Titanium Beige, I would never have considered that colour had I not seen it in person but it is stunning……

    Reading through your post one thing I have to mention and hopefully put your mind at ease about, 19″ wheels and ride comfort… I know all our disabilities are different but for me ride comfort is the most important part and I cannot make any compromise, I need not have worried because the ride was amazing, yes I could sense the bumps and potholes but the impact did not transfer into the cabin/seat like I expected it to…

    I really hope you and your wife enjoy the test drive and hopefully it’ll be the right car for you both…

    #38492 Reply


    We also looked at the BMW X1 and found the seats really unsupportive and the interior was very claustrophobic then we went straight to the VW dealership to do a like for like comparison it was as if you could fit the X1 into the Tiguan and what with offer Marshalls are giving in regards to the £500 of the price reall blew away the competition including the larger Kodiaq which was a 1.4 petrol as well as the smaller Karoq 1.5 petrol which were also more expensive.

    So we ordered a Tiguan 2.0 TDI 190 BHP 4Motion SEL in indium grey with kessy & electric tailgate. 🙂

    #38493 Reply


    We nearly choose Caribbean Blue Cockney Geezer as it’s a lovely colour that changes its appearance under different lights .

    #38494 Reply

    Steve Carr

    #38498 Reply


    Why don’t you test out the 5008 SUV GT line

    #38501 Reply

    Glos Guy

    I should have said that, from an external appearance point of view, I actually prefer the X1, but that’s probably because the new model looks like a proper BMW SUV (a sort of mini X5), whereas the old one looked like a hatchback (as the Q3 does IMO). Possibly because the interior wasn’t as nice as my 5 Series, I preferred the interior of the Tiguan, especially with the two-tone pale grey and black leather trim that we are going for. And the Tiguans digital dash is a killer blow!

    #38502 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Thanks to this website, I had seen the Q1 Ford list before any other manufacturers and went to have a look at the Kuga ST Line X between Christmas and New Year. Frankly, if the X1 in X-Line trim or the Tiguan in SEL trim hadn’t subsequently appeared, we could have ended up with one. It certainly isn’t a bad car and in that trim looks very smart. But when the full Q1 availability was announced, it became 3rd choice on paper, a situation that was quickly confirmed in the flesh. There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a dated car now, in spite of the minor facelift, where’s the other two cars are from a newer generation of technology altogether.

    #38503 Reply

    Fred Colon

    Both the X1 and Tiguan are on my shortlist for my next car.


    It is worth noting if you specify leather seats it removes the standard “comfort” seats, you mentioned it was something you wanted to specify previously and it’s  something I’d  like. And like Alan C I prioritise comfort especially ride comfort over anything else.


    I’ve been a passenger in a new 5008 auto 1.2 petrol and even 3 up it felt pretty sprightly and very comfortable, with acres of space in the boot with seats 6+7 down. They are also highly specd even in allure, with every safety option as standard. Leather is expense to specify again but the driver gets a massage function. The front is a nice pace to be indeed, great cockpit and nice materials. Being able to swap the satnav map to the drivers instruments  is  very neat. In the back there is acres of space and  some neat window blinds as standard. I won’t go all out and say it rivals an Audi or BMW yet for quality materials and “feel” but is on a par with current VW.


    A 5008 gt line with leather  is a few hundred more  than a 190 Tiguan SEL with leather for a similar high level of kit. The 5008 trades a bigger and more powerful diesel for more space. (Or  I think the other autos a nice 165hp petrol)

    The only negative for me is a lack of 4×4. Not critical I know but I was grateful for it in last month’s snow when I needed it, a £500 option of smart traction control and extra grippy/winter tyres  isn’t the same as VAG’s latest 5th gen Haldex 4 wheel drive on the Tiguan, Kodiaq etc

    #38504 Reply

    Glos Guy

    That does look a nice colour, as does the darker blue which we saw yesterday. My wife doesn’t like blue cars (don’t ask me why) but the decider is the grey plastic trim that runs around the bottom of the car. We are going for Indium Grey Metallic as, as well as looking classy, it tends to visually lose that trim as it almost matches it. It also provides a nice contrast with the leather that we have settled on.

    #38505 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Thanks Alan. Good to hear. We saw a Titanium Beige R-Line yesterday. The name would put most people off but I agree with you that it looks really nice in the flesh. I suspect that few people will order one as ‘beige’ has such negative meaning these days, but if they called it Titanium Gold (which would be more accurate) they would sell more! You will have a very exclusive looking car. Out of interest, what is the current lead time for factory orders on that model?

    #38506 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Really don’t like the look of it I’m afraid, nor the 3008, although the interiors are very cutting edge. I think I’m correct in thinking that both the 3008 and 5008 have relatively small engines and only come in 2 wheel drive, but I haven’t researched in depth because my wife won’t touch a French car of any sort (don’t ask)!

    #38507 Reply

    Fred Colon

    There are some nice colours on it now. I was mightily peeved when I ordered my old one and had my original purple colour choice knocked back as they stopped it the week before I ordered but hadn’t removed it from the configurator. I’m not bitter, or holding on to it at all…..


    I’ve crawled over the local dealers one but not test driven it yet.

    My only thing for that would be wanting to test a std suspension set up back to back with one with dcc (or normal ride vs dcc’s comfort setting I guess). The same for the Kodiaq, and where I miss a decent sized Volvo being available  on the scheme currently for their superb seats. What can I say, I’m a man of priorities,  how good is the suspension and seat comfort,  What’s the seats nought to warm time?! 😀


    #38512 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Hi Fred. You are quite right that I was concerned about the leather and losing the massage function. I was also worried about the fact that the seat base bolsters may be too firm on the leather seats. So I did a bit of research and found a dealer yesterday that had both cloth trimmed and leather trimmed SEL’s in stock that we could compare side by side. I was very reassured that the leather seats are just as comfortable. They are exactly the same shape, size and firmness, including the seat base bolsters. You are quite correct that if you opt for leather you lose the massage function (which I quite liked but my wife, who is the Motability user, and the marginally extendable under thigh support (although the extension is only about one inch and results in what looks like a tear in the seat base either side). Conversely, the look of the car with the two tone grey and black leather completely transforms the vehicle. The difference is incredible. In addition to the full electric adjustment (which includes the door mirrors), you have 3 memory settings which can each be configured to different keys. That would be a godsend to us as we have massively different driving positions.

    As previously mentioned, French cars are a ‘no’ for us and, like you, we really value 4×4 as my wife would simply be unable to exit the car safely should she become stuck in bad weather, so that reassurance and peace of mind is invaluable from a confidence perspective.

    I was interested in the Kodiak (especially given the rave reviews) but my wife felt it was too big for her and the AP’s aren’t competitive. You also can’t get a 4WD 2.0TDi SEL Auto on the scheme and the exterior and interior looks are just a little short of the Tiguan and X1, in our opinion. Also, although Skoda has come on leaps and bounds from its laughing stock status that many of us recall from years ago (“What do you call a Skoda with a sun roof? Skip!”), it still doesn’t quite have the badge kudos of some of the other choices. Shame really as I think they make some excellent cars these days.

    #38513 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Ruddy iPad has a habit of cutting out sections of text that I don’t notice until after I’ve posted. Re the massage function, I wanted to say that my wife, who is the Motability Driver, couldn’t really feel the massage function due to her disability and said that she would never use it. I liked it, but drive the car far less. I guess when I do I will just have to keep playing with the Electric Lumbar Adjustment to get the same effect! Regardless of cloth or leather, the seats are superb and were a major decider over the other two cars on our shortlist, as driver comfort has to be a priority for everyone.

    #38514 Reply

    Fred Colon

    That is useful to know really the leather upgrade, I was loathe to lose the comfort aspect and have to perch on something harder and  “sportier” as a trade for easier in and egress (I’d have had leather last time if I’d had the money  for it or the hindsight to justify  it).


    The two tone  leather is lovely to behold 🙂  the electric memory  function makes it harder to justify the Kodiaq, but I liked and been interested in it from the start so it’s hard for others to get a look in even with the AP premium.


    I’d suggest the Karoq as it’s Tiguan sized but we’ll spec’d, and in SE L trim available with the 150hp tdi and 4×4. The AP again is steep like the Kodiaq.



    My initial thoughts for my next car was a straight Tiguan replacement,  when I started looking 6 months ago I was pretty underwhelmed that the only auto available was the entry level “s”  and it was underwhelming. I wouldn’t say it is a 2 horse race between the Tiguan and Kodiaq but from my own firsthand test drives and dealer visits and others same experiences relayed on here the field has been whittled down from a similar list as yours. Though I did consider a Peugeot 5008 and the Renault Koleos- cvt gearbox and you can’t add leather, the leather given the std spec I could forgive the gearbox is a resounding “non”

    X1: not enough interior space and not as comfortable as I’d like.

    GLA: too small

    CX-3: too small and no 4wd (cx5 in 4wd would be a real contender)

    Mitsubishi ASX: again. A bit pokey and switchgear the same as my old 1996 Corrolla the Outlander managed the same dated interior and added a hard choppy ride.

    Audio Q2: slightly small, everything is an optional extra even on higher spec’s


    I prefer the looks inside and out of the Kodiaq over the Tiguan, but the tiguan, in the same like for like spec is about the same but you get the more powerful diesel in the Tiguan (Kodiaq 180 Tsi SEL vs Tiguan 190 Tdi SEL) this is a bit less critical for me.


    #38515 Reply


    Hi Glos Guy,

    As you know our choices have been exactly the same with exactly the same comparison points you’ve put here.

    I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Tiguan, (I’ve gone for the petrol SEL in black with area view and park assist) my heart was screaming at me BMW!!! and the decision wasn’t helped by poor local VW motabilty dealers, but this was restored with Kit Man Wong at Marshalls as well as the cashback.

    I’m glad you tested the sound system I forgot that!! Shame about the order wait though as I can’t wait to play with that dash and infotainment system. 😉

    #38520 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Great choice. Well done! I am tempted to use Marshalls as well as it’s only an hour or so from me. Did you say elsewhere that it was a 16 week wait for yours? As I have learned over the years, lead times can vary enormously by dealer depending on how many slots they have been allocated each period. Some dealers can secure factory order slots much quicker than others.

    Quick tip whilst you are waiting. If you go to the VW website and click under ‘Owners’ you can select manuals. Input a random Mk2 Tiguans registration number (from Auto-trader) and up pops online versions of the all the owners manuals for the car!

    #38522 Reply


    Hi Glos Guy…. I was quoted 12 weeks build time for mine, which I changed the colour of today hehe, went for the Caribbean Blue which was my first choice and also added the Side scan….

    Regarding the leather seats vs cloth, I have test driven cars with both and can honestly say they were equally as comfortable but as you have mentioned for your wife I would recommend the leather, I know thats what you are getting but I say that because the electric seat control allows you alter every aspect of the seating position, comfort level, etc etc, it really is a great thing which unfortunately you lose with the cloth but for me I couldn’t justify the extra £1500 for the leather.

    #38535 Reply

    Glos Guy

    Thanks Alan. That’s reassuring to know. We sat in the cloth and leather trimmed SEL’s at the same dealer and spent quite a while in each and agree that the leather seats felt just as comfortable. I was concerned that they would be like the ones in the R-Lines with leather, but they were identical to the cloth SEL Seats with the sole exception of the (marginally) extendable thigh support and massage function, both of which wouldn’t be practical with leather and neither of which my wife was bothered about (although I would have liked the massage function)! Every panel and dimension is identical, as is the seat density. As you say, the electrical seat adjustment gives you the added benefit of tiny adjustment tweaks that can make a difference, but it’s the memory function that will be the real benefit for us. Even with these benefits, I was struggling to get my head around the £1,505 option cost, especially when my wife had indicated that she likes black leather, as I feel that it makes for a very drab interior, given VW’s preference for ‘50 shades of black’ with their dashboards and interior materials, but the ‘Storm Grey’ Vienna Leather, contrasted with black leather on the bolsters, head rests and centre rear seat, as well as two tone interior plastics, was a game changer. We both said ‘wow’ when we saw it as it makes it look a really prestigious and stylish vehicle and a lovely contrast if you select a darker exterior. In telling family members about her next car, the thing she has been most animated about is the Storm Grey & Black interior so, given all the life changing issues and challenges that she has to deal with on a permanent basis, I shall pay for it with pleasure.

    #38546 Reply


    The only thing i’m not to happy about with the cloth seats is the thigh support as it is a hard plastic & though it does allow you to alter the seat length, which is what made the difference to me and allowed me to go for Tiguan, it is a little firm on the back of the leg but I am sure I will get used to it and as that is the only slight negative I can find I don’t have much to complain about…. My better half sat in the rear while I was doing my second test drive, wanted to know what it would be like from a passenger point of view, words like excellent, amazing, fantastic arial view “Through the panoramic sunroof lol” were said but the surprise was …… Oh it has pull down lap tray that also works as a tablet holder!!! Flipping heck your in an expensive vehicle with all mod cons and your happiest about a pull down plastic tray!!!! Simple things hey….lol

    #38548 Reply


    I was quoted 13 weeks by Kit Man.

    Thanks for the tip.

    #38549 Reply


    Thanks for info regarding the Manuals…

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 82 total)
Reply To: The Great SUV Debate – X1 versus Tiguan versus Kuga

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