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BMW X1 vs Mazda CX-5 vs Volkswagen Tiguan

The all-new VW Tiguan is bigger, classier and better equipped than the original. But is it better than BMW's X1 and Mazda's CX-5?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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New Volkswagen Tiguan with BMW X1 and Mazda CX-5

Our verdict

Volkswagen didn't have much trouble convincing buyers into the old Tiguan . So, this all-new and vastly superior model should positively fly out of showrooms – even taking into account its more optimistic asking price.

It deserves to. Volkswagen has clearly focused on the areas that matter most to buyers in this class, namely space, practicality and excellent safety provisions, without forgetting about interior quality and comfort. Put simply, the new Tiguan is a thoroughly recommendable small SUV that’s only really let down by its high price and unremarkable CO2 emissions.

The BMW X1 loses its crown as our favourite SUV in this price bracket, then – but only just. It still sets the handling benchmark, and its classy interior and wonderfully intuitive infotainment system should make it a pleasure to live with on a daily basis. It’s even surprisingly good value, especially if you’re a company car driver, although you will almost certainly want to add a few options, the most obvious two being cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

That leaves the Mazda CX-5 in last place. The fact it’s cheaper than both of these German rivals, no matter whether you’re buying outright or taking out a finance agreement, is undoubtedly compelling, especially considering how much standard equipment Mazda throws in for free. However, the CX-5’s interior feels a bit low-rent in this company, both rivals ride better and there are no clever rear seating tricks in the CX-5.

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1st – Volkswagen Tiguan

For Spacious interior; clever rear seats; big boot;lots of standard equipment

Against Fairly pricey; gruff engine; unremarkable CO2 emissions

Verdict Good to drive, well-equipped and seriously practical

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen Tiguan review

Find a great Volkswagen Tiguan deal


2nd – BMW X1

For Tidy handling; classy interior; brilliant infotainment

Against Road noise; you’ll want to add a few options

Verdict The best version of a fine small SUV

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full BMW X1 review

Find a great BMW X1 deal


3rd – Mazda CX-5

For Cheapest monthly PCP repayments; strong engine

Against So-so interior; unsettled ride; gearchange

Verdict Still great value, but starting to feel its age

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Mazda CX-5 review

Find a great Mazda CX-5 deal


Specifications: BMW X1 sDrive18d SE

Engine size 2.0-litre, diesel

List price Β£27,440

Target Price Β£25,640

Power 148bhp

Torque 243lb ft

0-62mph 9.4sec

Top speed 127mph

Fuel economy 47.1mpg (True MPG)

CO2 109g/km


Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L Lux Nav

Engine size 2.2-litre, diesel

List price Β£26,595

Target Price Β£24,804

Power 148bhp

Torque 280lb ft

0-62mph 9.8sec

Top speed 126mph

Fuel economy 47.2mpg (True MPG)

CO2 119g/km


Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150 SE Nav

Engine size 2.0-litre, diesel

List price Β£28,035

Target Price Β£26,050

Power 148bhp

Torque 251lb ft

0-62mph 10.0sec

Top speed 127mph

Fuel economy 58.9mpg (Gov't average)

CO2 139g/km

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