Review - Kia Sportage vs Volkswagen Tiguan

By Alexi Falson on 18 Oct 2022
image for Review - Kia Sportage vs Volkswagen Tiguan Australians looking for the best midsize SUV are absolutely spoiled for choice.

The possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to the family-friendly midsize SUV segment, which can make it difficult to separate the good from the great as you’re shopping around.

Two great options come in the form of the Kia Sportage and the Volkswagen Tiguan, which we’ll be putting under the microscope in this review.

To get the best possible comparison, we’ll be comparing the Kia Sportage SX+ AWD variant against the Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Life which wear identical price tags. To find out more about the entire Sportage and Tiguan range, we’d encourage you to check out our in-depth reviews of each platform for more information.

How Much Do They Cost?

The Kia Sportage range kicks off from $32,445 for the entry-level Sportage S FWD, and stretches out to $52,370 for the range-topping Sportage GT-Line AWD.

The Volkswagen Tiguan range starts at $42,690 for the base 110TSI Life variant, and rises to $68,990 for the flagship Tiguan R.

Our comparison review will take a closer look at the Kia Sportage SX+ and the Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Life variants, which both come priced at an identical $46,690.

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

Kia Sportage - SX+ (AWD) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Make KIA
Series NQ5 MY22
Variant SX+ (AWD)
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive AWD
Engine TGDi
Engine capacity 1598
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5500 / 1500
Cylinders T4
Torque 265
KW 132
Fuel tank size 54.0
Fuel usage specs 7.2 / 0
CO2 164
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Kia Sportage car page.

Volkswagen Tiguan (132TSI LIFE) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Series 5NA MY22
Variant 132TSI LIFE
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive AWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1984
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3900 / 1500
Cylinders T4
Torque 320
KW 132
Fuel tank size 58.0
Fuel usage specs 8.8 / 0
CO2 200
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Volkswagen Tiguan car page.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save by hiring one of OnlineAuto’s car buying experts to assist you in finding the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Kia Sportage SX+ Have?

The Kia Sportage SX+ comes riding on a set of 19-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights, keyless entry & start, a leatherette interior with heated front seats, a powered boot lift, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors and a 12.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto which is paired with an eight-speaker sound system from Harman Kardon.

Kia Sportage Colours

The Kia Sportage range is available in Clear White, Fusion Black, Gravity Grey, Vesta Blue, Steel Grey, Dawning Red, Snow White Pearl and Jungle Wood Green.

What Features Does the Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Life Have?

For the exact same price, the Tiguan Life comes riding on 18-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera with parking sensors, cloth upholstery, powered boot lift, three-zone climate control, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Volkswagen Tiguan Colours

The Volkswagen Tiguan comes in a choice of seven colours, including Pure White, Kings Red, Dolphin Grey, Night Shade Blue, Deep Black, Reflex Silver and Lapiz Blue for the range-topping Tiguan R.

Which is More Comfortable to Drive?

In years past, the gap between the Tiguan and the Sportage would have been obvious to most drivers, with the VW enjoying a clear lead. Now, though, Kia has been catching up quickly to its more sophisticated peers.

We’ll start with the Kia Sportage, which in the SX+ variant, comes powered by your choice of a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 132kW of power and 265Nm of torque, or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel producing 137kW of power and 416Nm of torque.

Power is sent to all four wheels via a dual-clutch automatic in the turbo petrol, while the diesel receives an eight-speed automatic.

The Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI comes powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder kicking up 132kW of power and 320Nm of torque to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The end result is an extremely close power match between the Sportage and Tiguan, although the Tiguan offers more torque compared to the petrol Sportage. Opt for the Sportage with the diesel engine, though, and you’ll have more power and torque available than the Tiguan.

On the road, the Kia Sportage feels extremely planted and user-friendly in pretty much anything you throw at it, thanks to Kia taking the time to tune its vehicles specifically for Australian roads.

The end result is a versatile midsize SUV that is extremely comfortable while cruising through town, easy to navigate in tight situations and effortless to drive on a long holiday road trips thanks to a smooth transmission and a heap of active safety tech.

Switching over to the Volkswagen Tiguan is noticeably different to the Sportage, which feels sharper, more agile and a more premium product as a whole.

The engine and transmission combination works seamlessly with the DSG automatic, and the steering feels slightly lighter at low speeds which makes the Tiguan a slightly more user-friendly package to park, while offering some nice feedback as you pick up speed.

Overall, the ride quality is slightly firmer in the Tiguan platform which adds to its dynamic handling and makes the package feel a bit more premium on the whole, but it is slightly less accommodating to rough surfaces and bumpy roads when you leave town.

The Tiguan just has an edge in terms of overall driving refinement, although if you’re living in the countryside you might find the slightly softer suspension in the Sportage the best option.

Which is More Practical and Spacious?

Both the Sportage and Tiguan are strong performers when it comes to family-friendly space and practicality, however only one benefits from a recent overhaul that has seen a massively revised and super-practical cabin.

Stepping inside the Tiguan is a treat, with its sleek yet subtle interior detailing showcasing the company’s expertise with interiors. The Tiguan gains a high-tech digital instrument cluster and uncrowded centre console that makes it a great place to sit.

The Tiguan offers the driver and front passenger a heap of headroom, as well as some storage behind the gear lever, inside the folding armrest and door bins, with a pair of cupholders in the central tunnel.

The second row offers an impressive amount of legroom for even tall rear passengers, with no issues in terms of headroom either, and the added bonus of seats that slide back and forth.

There’s also ISOFIX anchors, climate control and a folding armrest with cupholders and storage in the rear. Finally, the Tiguan’s boot space stands at 520L, which expands to 615L with the seats moved forward, and to a total of 1,655L with the rear seats folded.

Stepping inside the Kia Sportage and it’s clear to see that the recent update has translated to a spacious cabin filled with family-friendly practical elements that just give it the edge over the more sophisticated Tiguan.

There’s a huge storage area behind the gear lever, a pair of cupholders and a large folding armrest with storage inside, as well as a pair of door bins on either side of the cabin.

It feels slightly more curated specifically for families while remaining modern and stylish, with a heap more space on offer in the rear than the previous Sportage generation.

The second row is treated to slightly more legroom than you’ll find in the Tiguan platform, a heap of headroom and a set of air vents, USB ports, map pockets and a phone or tablet holder on the back of the front seats that will surely keep your kids happy on long journeys.

The seats fold 60:40 and feature a set of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts, while the Sportage’s boot space is rated at 534L, which expands to 1,829L with the rear seats folded, making it a true family-friendly and super-practical offering.

What is the Safest Option?

Both the Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan platforms have been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, making each a great option for keeping your family safe.

The VW Tiguan comes packaged with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keep assistance, adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue monitoring and eight airbags in the cabin.

The Sportage matches this safety equipment list, which is made even more impressive by the fact that Kia includes all of this active safety tech in the entry-level Sportage, making it the better value-for-money safety pick, while these specific variants are identical.

Is the VW Tiguan or Kia Sportage More Fuel Efficient?

Volkswagen’s 132TSI engine returns fuel economy figures of 8.8L per 100km on a combined cycle.

The Kia Sportage with the 1.6-litre turbo petrol is rated at 7.2L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the turbo-diesel Sportage is rated at 6.3L per 100km, making both engines the more fuel-efficient option of the two.

Our Verdict: The Kia Sportage SX+ vs Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Life

Buyers looking at their options within the family SUV segment will be extremely pleased with both the Tiguan and Sportage platforms.

They each come feature-packed and receive spacious, practical interior designs that make them great options for lugging kids and their belongings around in a sleek, dynamic package that feels great on the road.

There can only be one winner, though, which goes to the Kia Sportage thanks to its sharp pricing, generous features list, a slightly more powerful yet fuel-efficient engine and a carefully-curated interior that is perfect for families.

It’s worth noting, though, that as you step higher into the Tiguan range, it begins to overtake the Sportage in terms of power, equipment and overall refinement, but there is a noticeable price difference to factor in.

If you’re looking for your options within the midsize SUV segment, don’t forget that you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925.

Volkswagen Tiguan & Kia Sportage Competition

Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan

Hyundai Tuscon
Toyota RAV4
Mazda CX-5
Ford Escape
Subaru Forester
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan X-Trail


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

car icon
close sticky hub button


Maximum of 3 vehicles