2022 Volkswagen Tiguan freshens up with new styling, technology, and touch controls

May 11, 2021

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan launched Tuesday gets a standard sort of refresh that updates the compact SUV’s technology and styling but leaves the bones of the vehicle alone. What you see and touch will look a little bit different, but the Tiguan’s mechanical parts and spaciousness remain the same.

Though Volkswagen will tell you that the Tiguan has “new” exterior styling, it’ll be hard to pick out from last year’s model. The bumpers and grille have been tweaked and there are new wheel designs up and down the lineup, but the overall shape remains the same. The easiest way to pick out a 2022 Tiguan will be from the front for models with the available LED light strip that runs horizontally through the grille, tucked in behind the prominent VW badge. 

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Sportier R-Line styling touches are now found on the top two trim levels, the SE R-Line Black and SEL R-Line. Rounding out the trim offerings are the base S and the SE, leaving the Tiguan with four trims compared to last year’s five. 

Under the hood, the Tiguan only has one engine option: a 184-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-4 that is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Competitors such as the 2021 Toyota RAV4, 2021 Ford Escape, and 2022 Hyundai Tucson offer gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels, with all-wheel drive optional. For 2022, the Tiguan will only offer its kid-sized third row on FWD models.

Though the third row is borderline unusable for anyone with legs, the second row remains a big strength for the Tiguan. It slides forward and back about six inches to open up more passenger room or cargo room, and with it slid back it can easily fit adult passengers in great comfort. 

The big interior updates come on the technology side: an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster is now standard, with a 10.0-inch customizable cluster found on the top trim level. A 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen is standard on the base S and features Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility. All other trims get the larger 8.0-inch touchscreen running VW’s newest multimedia system, and add on wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay as well as a wireless charging pad (putting those options together makes a lot of sense). 

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan has also gone touch-crazy in this refresh. Starting on the SE, the regular climate controls have been swapped for touch controls and on both of the R-Line models, there’s an R-Line steering wheel that includes more touch controls for both thumbs. While the controls offer haptic feedback to avoid some unwanted button presses, both setups feel extraneous. It makes the interior look a bit more futuristic, but those climate controls are still harder to use while the Tiguan is in motion. Changing the volume using a touch slider on the steering wheel is an exercise in frustration. 

Standard safety features include forward automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and rear traffic alerts. The S can be upgraded with a safety package that includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, active lane control, and a more advanced blind -spot system that will countersteer if you try to merge into an occupied lane. Those features are all standard on the SE and up. A surround-view camera system, park assist, and automatic high beams are optional.

We are still waiting on final fuel economy and pricing details ahead of the 2022 Tiguan’s arrival in the third quarter of this year. Volkswagen confirmed that the base versions of the Tiguan would see a price increase, though the price of the top trim level would fall compared to last year’s top trim. This is likely to make some room at the bottom end for the forthcoming 2022 Volkswagen Taos, which is smaller than the Tiguan. 

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