There are very few things in this word that I enjoy more than a road trip through the mountains, so I didn't hesitate when Volkswagen invited us to take their newest SUVs, the Tiguan and Atlas, on a road trip through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.
This isn't the first time we've driven either of these vehicles. We drove the Atlas at the beginning of 2017 and the redesigned Tiguan this summer, and both left us with mixed feelings. The Tiguan's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder left a bit to be desired in the power department, and while the Atlas will give you the most interior space you can find in a vehicle that costs less that $50,000, it lacked personality and emotion.
But how do they stack up against each other on what can be described as a traditional American family road trip? Watch the video above to find out.
Alright, welcome to the park, everybody.
Quick little rundown about the Tiguan SE, that's the trim level we're in right now. This is a 2018 model. The engine in this one is a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, eight-speed automatic transmission. This one's platinum gray, the interior is called Storm Gray. This specific model cost just over $30,000, it's 30,280. So that's not bad. It's not bad for everything that you're getting. We're talking heated seats, you got Apple CarPlay, stop-start, all that stuff for a hair over 30 grand.
This is the Yellowstone River. It is very clear why you'd want to protect an area like this.
Let's go check out the Tiguan.
I do like these light seats, and the sunroof makes it very airy inside. And I like the materials that they use. Let's move over to the back. Plenty of room back here, plenty of headroom. Plenty of legroom. Moving on to the trunk. So, we have a lot of stuff that we brought. We don't exactly pack light as a photography and video crew. We have six bags in here plus some jackets and some other stuff, all fits very easily. Not a bad vehicle to take on a road trip.
We drove the Volkswagen Tiguan yesterday, the two liter 4-cylinder turbo, front wheel drive only, so we weren't doing any off road stuff. Today, we're in the big boy, the Volkswagen Atlas.
Alright, so here's the front seat. We got power seats, heated seats, we got stop-start, we've been driving it a lot with winter mode on because it's been snowing here. In the back, pretty comfortable. We got the panoramic sunroof, which has really been nice here in Yellowstone, seeing all the tops of the mountains. Now here is what we've been using the most. Now, there is a third row, currently not up as you can see.
The biggest thing with the Atlas is its size. This thing is huge. The wheel base is eight inches longer than the Ford Explorer, so we're talking Explorer, Pilot, that range of vehicles. This one has a 3.6 liter V6. It's not as quick feeling as the Tiguan was. We have CarPlay on the radio. We have heated seats. We have a stereo system, a Fender stereo system in here. Everything else seems pretty comparable to what we had in the Tiguan.
So how does it compare to the Tiguan that we drove yesterday? Obviously it's a lot bigger. The greenhouse I like better. It does cost $20,000 more so that's a big deal, jumping from $30,000 to $50,000. If you're a couple and you want to travel, the Tiguan is more than enough space. I could see where if you have a family of three, four, five where you want to have kids in the back or maybe the third row and still have a little bit more room for your luggage, why you'd want to get the Atlas.