Mazda CX-5 vs VW Tiguan vs BMW X1 – Triple test review

As everybody knows, bigger isn’t necessary always better. The VW Tiguan has a problem here as it has to stack up against the likes of BMW X1 which is a top notch competitor and Mazda CX-5 which is much cheaper than it but also makes a formidable rival, instead of the Nissan Qashqai or similar to it. In this review, you will get a feel for which one of these three outstanding vehicles is dominant and in what category.

Engine and performance

To make this test and review credible same engine HP was chosen for all three – the 148 HP diesel engine, although the Mazda had a 200 cc lead over the other two which translated into slightly more torque. But as we mentioned before bigger isn’t always better, and that is why Mazda’s advantage doesn’t translate to on-road urge that well. Out of the three vehicles on test it seemed that the new Tiguan struggled the most when clean overtakes at normal road speeds were considered.

Handling and ride comfort

If we pass the engine and power, Tiguan has a good side also, and it is the handling. It has more than excellent steering that helps maneuver the vehicle easily, even if there is a bit of body roll, with smooth ride quality over the road bumps. Mazda also has a slight body roll, and it is better now that it used to be in the previous model year, but it still has the best 4X4 feeling than the other two competitors, when body control is considered. BMW, on the other hand, acts the most like a road car with a lot of grip and minimum body roll in tight corners. Steering is OK, but its feels a bit lively in your hands which is not a thing you would prefer on a tough terrain. When it comes to the in-cab noise, all three of these have a problem with either wind or road noise, or in Mazda’s case both. That noise can be overwhelming as well can be tough to control the clutch and gearbox in the BMW, that somehow ease up when speed is increased. The Tiguan is at the top here with well-balanced and precise controls.

Mazda CX-5 vs VW Tiguan vs BMW X1 Interior

Since these are SUV’s we are testing, it is fairly normal to expect a higher driving position, but that somehow isn’t the case with BMW in which you sit a lot lower than you might think. This is the thing that makes the BMW a less of an SUV than others, and whether you like it or not it’s up to you. All three cabins are reasonably good, though Mazda apparently has, by the look of it, the cheapest one. The new Tiguan again wins here with its top quality look and design. In terms of size, the Mazda seems to be and is the biggest but it has a problem with restricted headroom. The BMW is the smallest but it, as well as VW, benefit from sliding second-row seating. All three have split-folding rear seats, but the Mazda actually has the biggest trunk, as it should.

The costs

When we take costs in consideration, how much you pay for is what you get rule applies. With that said the Mazda is the cheapest over the other two, but its depreciation costs are huge while the VW Tiguan is the most expensive but has the lowest depreciation rate. When CO2 emissions are considered, Tiguan is the most likely candidate to be the most thirsty vehicle here with the highest CO2 emissions while the BMW is the best in this segment.

The Verdict

Mazda CX-5 is a steady seller, and it is already a bellowed SUV, well equipped, the most practical and, of course, the cheapest vehicle here. But for it to be the cheapest one here means you have to compromise and have some less expensive bits inside and out which makes it incomparable against the other two.

The BMW has always managed to come out as a winner in tests like these, and it isn’t too hard to see why. It offers the best handling in the segment, a lovely cabin with the great infotainment system, and it has a pretty good value as well.

What is unfortunate here is that the BMW is beaten by the new and updated Volkswagen Tiguan by a small margin. How come? Well, since the original Tiguan was a huge hit the company simply addressed the issues that buyers had with it and came up with a new model that offers excellent, flexible and practical cabin, it’s comfortable inside, classy and stuffed with safety tech. You pay a lot for it, but thanks to its low depreciation you feel the price drop of it far less. It’s practically the old Tiguan – only better.