Eric's Autos: 2021 VW Tiguan
The third row requires buying SE trim and all-wheel drive.
The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is less powerful than it used to be.
It has a very modest (1,500 pounds) maximum tow rating.
Under the Hood
All trims come standard with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine -- paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The engine makes 184 horsepower -- slightly less than the Sorento's slightly larger 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which makes 191 horsepower without a turbo.
But because it is turbocharged, the Tiggy's smaller engine makes a great deal more torque than the Kia's engine: 221 foot-pounds at 1,600 rpm versus 181 foot-pounds at 4,000 rpm.
So it's not surprising that the VW is quicker by about one second to 60 mph, getting there in just over eight seconds versus just over nine for the Sorento.
Despite its turbo, the Tiggy's standard engine is a regular fuel engine, and its mileage per gallon -- 23 city and 29 highway for the front-wheel drive version and 21 city and 27 highway for the all-wheel drive version -- is about the same as you'd get in the considerably pricier Sorento: 24 city and 29 highway for the front-wheel drive version and 23 city and 25 highway for the all-wheel drive version.
The chief functional deficit that comes standard with both of these small crossovers is the lack of ability to pull much, even relative to cars.