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Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan used car comparison

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: used car comparison

Which is better, the Skoda Karoq or the Volkswagen Tiguan? Our guide tells you everything you need to know.

Phill Tromans Cazoo

By Phill Tromans

Published: 13 February 2023

If you’re looking for a mid-size family SUV, the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan may well be on your shortlist. Rightly so, because they’re excellent family cars that have much in common. There are a few substantial differences, too, so which one is the best? Here, we’ll look at how these cars compare and which one might better suit your needs.

We’re looking here at the Karoq sold new since 2017 and the Tiguan sold new between 2016 and 2023. 

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: size

It’s perhaps no surprise that the Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen Tiguan are very similar in size. Both carmakers are part of the Volkswagen Group and, under the surface, these two cars share many of the same mechanical components.

That said, the Tiguan is slightly longer than the Karoq, measuring just shy of 451cm compared to 439cm for the Karoq. The Tiguan is also wider by about a centimetre, and taller by 7cm.

Skoda Karoq

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Volkswagen Tiguan

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: interior and tech

Both the Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen Tiguan feel well put-together with good-quality materials, although the Tiguan is a touch more premium, both in terms of feel and design.

Both cars have a stylish and easy to use touchscreen infotainment system in the middle of the dashboard. Many of the switches and dials are the same in both cars and these are well placed and have a reassuringly solid feel.

Skoda Karoq

Volkswagen Tiguan

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: practicality

Both cars feel spacious inside and in terms of overall capacity there’s very little difference. Whether you go for the Skoda Karoq or the Volkswagen Tiguan, you’ll have space for five adults without too many issues.

Headroom in the back is good in both cars, and taller adults should have enough legroom to sit comfortably. There’s slightly more space to stretch out in the Tiguan but you can slide the rear seats forward in both cars to maximise boot space if you need it. This feature is found on higher-spec Karoqs, but is included as standard in the Tiguan.

The Skoda has lots of interior storage with a lidded compartment on top of the dashboard, big door pockets, foldable tables on the front-seat backrests and a storage bin between the front seats. Other clever features include an ice scraper stored in the fuel filler flap and an umbrella kept under the passenger seat – little extras that you don’t get with the Tiguan.

That said, many versions of the Volkswagen have another useful feature – a front passenger seat that folds down to let you carry longer items in the boot. Speaking of which…

Skoda Karoq

Volkswagen Tiguan

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: boot space

The amount of boot space you get in the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan is virtually identical – 521 litres of capacity in the Skoda and 520 in the Tiguan. That dips to 476 litres if you get an eHybrid version of the Tiguan, however, to make room for the electric motor’s battery pack.

As mentioned earlier, some models of Karoq and all models of Tiguan let you slide the back seats forward and backwards to prioritise luggage or legroom. The Tiguan’s rear seats fold down in a 40/20/40 split for extra versatility. Some versions of the Karoq have the same, but lower-spec models fold only in a 60/40 split.

Skoda Karoq

Volkswagen Tiguan

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: which is best to drive?

Unlike some rival SUVs, which have an edge of sportiness to their driving, the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan prioritise comfort.

The high driving position and quiet interior of the Karoq make it a relaxing car to drive, whether you’re nipping to the shops for a pint of milk or on a long journey to see the in-laws. The ride isn’t quite as smooth on models with larger alloy wheels, but it’s still a comfortable family car. A mix of petrol and diesel engines are available, all blending enough punch for city or motorway driving with impressive fuel economy.

The Tiguan driving experience is similar, which is unsurprising given that it shares many parts with the Karoq. If you opt for a model with R-Line trim you get sharper steering and stiffer suspension, which makes the ride firmer while increasing the Tiguan’s agility, but it’s more of a hint of sportiness than anything more.

The exception is the Tiguan R, a dedicated performance model that’s much more powerful than the rest of the range, with different suspension plus a few additions that make it more fun to drive. It feels more like a hot hatch than an SUV.

Skoda Karoq

Volkswagen Tiguan

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: which costs less to own?

Purchase prices for the Skoda Karoq tend to be lower than for the Volkswagen Tiguan, reflecting the Tiguan’s more premium status. Running costs, however, are likely to be similar because they share several of the available engines.

The performance Tiguan R favours power over fuel economy but that aside, the petrol Tiguan models will give you up to 46.3mpg, depending on model, according to official figures. Diesel models promise up to 55.4mpg. In comparison, petrol Karoqs will give you up to 48.6mpg and diesels up to 59.4mpg. This generally suggests that you’ll spend slightly less running a Karoq.

However, unlike the Skoda, the Tiguan is available as a plug-in hybrid called the eHybrid, with a battery range of up to 30 miles per charge. Keep that battery topped up and do short journeys and you’ll get fantastic fuel economy. Deplete the battery and drive mostly with the engine, however, and the tank will empty fairly quickly. The Tiguan eHybrid will cost more to buy than the petrol or diesel models (Tiguan R aside), so you’ll need to figure out if the fuel savings will be worth the extra purchase cost.

Skoda Karoq

Volkswagen Tiguan

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: safety and reliability

Both Skoda and Volkswagen have solid reputations for reliability, with independent ranking results usually placing them mid-pack among other manufacturers. Each comes with a three-year warranty from new, covering unlimited mileage for the first two years and up to 60,000 miles for the third. That’s fairly standard for the car market in general, but lags behind the seven-year warranty you’d get from Kia or the five years you’d get from Hyundai.

Both cars have been tested by the independent safety organisation Euro NCAP and both scored the maximum five stars, the Skoda in 2017 and the Volkswagen in 2016. Each comes packed with the latest safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: dimensions

Skoda Karoq

Length: 4,390mm

Width: 2,025mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,603mm

Boot space: 521 litres

Volkswagen Tiguan

Length: 4509mm

Width: 2099mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1675mm

Boot space: 520 litres

Skoda Karoq vs Volkswagen Tiguan: verdict

Winner: Skoda Karoq

This is a really close call, not least because both the Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen Tiguan are closely related and share many features and benefits. The Tiguan is arguably the better-looking of the two and definitely has the more premium feel. It also gives you more choice, with a performance model and a plug-in hybrid option that you don’t get with the Karoq. 

However, we think the Skoda offers better value for money, and we love its extra practicality. Unless you’re set on a fun driving experience or the potential fuel savings of the PHEV, we’d ultimately recommend the Karoq. But we certainly wouldn’t dissuade you from buying the Tiguan – it’s also a great small SUV.

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