VW Tiguan vs Nissan X-Trail – SUV showdown – TopAuto
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Thursday / 19 May 2022
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VW Tiguan vs Nissan X-Trail – SUV showdown

The new VW Tiguan is now available to order in South Africa, with deliveries expected to start in July.

The mid-range VW Tiguan Life specification offers a great blend between cost and features – and, as a result, competes against the Nissan X-Trail 1.6dCi 4×4 Tekna.

Below, we compare these mid-size SUVs head-to-head to see which offers better value.


The look of the Nissan X-Trail is rather familiar by now, as it’s remained consistent since 2017.

It has attractive LED headlights, a fashionable design helped by chrome styling bits and 19-inch wheels, and rugged elements such as an underguard, plastic wheel arch covers, and 209mm of ground clearance.

The new Tiguan boasts a decidedly more modern look with its redesigned front end and sharper LED headlights – sitting on 18-inch “Frankfurt” alloys in this trim.

It also features black panel claddings on certain areas, but sits around 18mm lower to the road than the Nissan.

The Tiguan also measures in at 4,509mm long, 1,839mm wide, and 1,635mm tall – making it slightly wider, but shorter, than the X-Trail.

Despite its smaller dimensions, the VW carries 65 litres of additional cargo over the Nissan – at a maximum of 615 litres.

This is thanks to its rear bench being able to move forwards and backwards on a railing.


When it comes to features, the SUVs are evenly matched.

Both offer semi-digital instrument clusters, rain-sensing wipers, follow-me-home headlights, cruise control, multifunction steering wheels, powered tailgates, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

The VW then gets manually-adjustable chairs and “Shooting Star” upholstery, three-zone climate control, rear air con vents, and an 8-inch central display.

The Tekna, as the range-topping trim from Nissan, comes with electrically-adjustable leather seats, automatic headlights, keyless entry and start, heated and cooled cup holders, and a 7-inch infotainment display.

The X-Trail gets a bit more in terms of safety systems, too, thanks to the Intelligent Mobility driver’s assist package.

This provides front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with emergency braking, and high beam assist.

This is in addition to ABS with brake assist and front, side, and curtain airbags.

The Tiguan offers hill-hold assist, ABS with a multi-collision braking system, driver fatigue detection, and front and rear parking sensors.

Despite the difference in fitted features, both the Nissan and VW were awarded 5-star crash ratings by the Euro NCAP.


The Tiguan Life is powered by a 1.4-litre, turbo-petrol engine that generates 110kW and 250Nm, paired with a six-speed DSG automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels.

It reaches 100km/h in 9.2 seconds, while fuel consumption is rated at 7.7l/100km.

It was also given several off-road assist features, including a new electronic transverse differential lock, an engine drag torque controller, a trailer stabilisation system, countersteer support, and an anti-spin regulator that keeps wheel traction high.

On the the Nissan you will get a 1.6-litre, turbo-diesel motor that delivers 96kW and 320Nm – mated to a six-speed manual gearbox in this specification.

It uses fuel at a combined rate of 5.3l/100km, and completes the 100km/h sprint in 11 seconds.

This X-Trail comes with a four-wheel-drive powertrain that’s adjusted through a three-mode chassis control system, along with vehicle dynamics control and hill start assist.

This lets you tow a maximum braked capacity of 1,500kg, whereas the VW supports up to 1,800kg.


The new VW Tiguan Life has a South African price of R587,200.

Included in the price is a 3-year/120,000km warranty and a 5-year/90,000km VW Service Plan.

The Nissan X-Trail 1.6dCi 4×4 Tekna sells for R585,900 – and comes with a 6-year/150,000km warranty and a 3-year/90,000km service plan.

VW Tiguan – Photos

Nissan X-Trail – Photos

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