2022 Volkswagen Tiguan
2022 Volkswagen Tiguan
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a five- or seven-seat compact SUV that slots between the Taos and Atlas. It’s been refreshed for 2022, inside and out, but its styling remains spare and its cabin remains spacious, especially the second row. Its technology has also been upgraded, and a third row, tucked into the cargo area, is now available on the models with front-wheel drive.
The Tiguan’s sole powertrain carries over, a 184-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 and 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s enough power for daily duty. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive optional. What’s better is the ride, which is composed even on choppy surfaces.
The styling, still understated, features a new grille and bumper, but it’s hard to tell. What stands out is the new thin row of LED lighting that spans the grille, giving the Tiguan a unique identity at night. There are also new wheels, from 17 to 20 inches.
The cabin adds heated front seats, and bigger screens and capacitive controls on models above the base, which like the others gets a new 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, but keeps the old 6.5-inch touchscreen. The gauge cluster and touch controls come from the tony Arteon, VW’s flagship sedan.
The Tiguan’s gas mileage is so-so, at 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined with front-wheel drive, and 22/29/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. The R-Line AWD gets 1 mpg less.
The 2022 Tiguan hasn’t been crash tested yet by the IIHS or the NHTSA, although the 2021 Tiguan received a “Top Safety Pick” award from the IIHS.
Standard safety equipment on the S model includes automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. The SE and above get VW’s IQ.Drive, with adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and active steering–that package is available as an option on the S. Optional safety equipment includes automatic high beams, automatic parking, a surround-view camera system, and road sign recognition.
Made in Mexico, the Tiguan comes as S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line.
The S model starts at $27,190, which is an increase of $750, but there’s a lot more standard equipment. It comes with cloth seats, the 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster, LED headlights and taillights, heated side mirrors, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and heated front seats. AWD adds $1,500.
The SE starts at $30,690 (a $2,100 increase) and gets synthetic leather upholstery, the larger 8.0-inch multimedia screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a wireless charging pad, a power tailgate, a power driver seat, and the IQ.Drive safety package. Options include a Fender premium audio system, 20-inch alloy wheels, cooled front seats, leather upholstery, a surround-view camera system, and park assist.
The SE R-Line Black costs $33,490 and adds exterior accents, ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, and an R-Line steering wheel with more touch controls placed on either side.
The SEL R-Line, with standard AWD, costs $37,790 and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, and cooled front seats.
In the crowded and competitive compact SUV field, many cars are clamoring to be seen with edgy styling, angles and curves. Not the Tiguan. It remains simply and elegantly styled, with a sharp horizontal crease from front to back. Wide doors make entry and exit easy.
The new grille with LED headlamps is nice, and the strip of LED lighting on some models is striking at night. The new alloy wheels are stylish.
The upholstery is cloth in the S, synthetic leather in the SE, and real leather in the SEL R-Line, in brown, black or gray.
The haptic controls on the SE and above are tidy on the center console, but harder to use than old-fashioned knobs. An 8.0-inch digital display is standard, but the 10.0-inch display on the R-Line has more information and much higher resolution.
Rear leg room is a very strong 38.7 inches on all-wheel-drive models. On FWD versions it’s 36.6 inches, which makes room for the optional third row. That third row is very small, and only works for kids on short trips. We say go for all-wheel drive, for an affordable $1,500 and only 1 less mile per gallon.
There’s 33.0 cubic feet behind the rear seat, which grows a big bunch to 65.3 cubic feet with the seat folded. That’s FWD; with AWD it’s better, at 37.6 cubic feet and 73.4 cubic feet.
The Tiguan’s strong point is its ride, not power. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 184 horsepower, mated to an 8-speed automatic, and the acceleration is moderate, though there’s little turbo lag. With all-wheel drive it feels more lively off the line.
When it does get going, the throttle feels more responsive, thanks to the good transmission, which is programmed for timely downshifts for acceleration.
It’s the ride that’s praiseworthy. The suspension is on the soft side, resulting in some body roll in corners, but that softness is what makes it comfortable and composed the rest of the time.
The steering is light, but offers three drive modes in front-drive Tiguans: Normal, Sport, and Custom. Sport mode tightens the steering without noticeably affecting the power response.
The 2022 Tiguan upsizes VW’s SUV ambitions. It’s a tweener in size, with a third row that’s useful for car pools, and a turbocharged engine that’s good at passing. With all-wheel drive and five seats, the Tiguan spars with some of the best-selling crossover SUVS, and it doesn’t back down.
—By Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection