2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Brian Wong Brian Wong West Coast Editor
September 9, 2021

Buying tip

The SE trim offers the best mix of features and value.

features & specs

2.0T S 4MOTION
2.0T S FWD
2.0T SE 4MOTION
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
MPG
23 city / 30 hwy
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
MSRP
$27,495
MSRP
$25,995
MSRP
$30,995

A tech infusion upgrades the 2022 Tiguan, while maintaining the compact crossover’s spacious cabin.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan? What does it compare to?

The refreshed 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan fights in the most hotly contested automotive segment right now: compact SUVs. That puts it up against popular vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Hyundai Tucson. 

Is the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan a good SUV?

Review continues below

The Tiguan’s spaciousness and strong feature set carry it to a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10, pending its performance in crash testing to get a final safety rating. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan?

The Tiguan’s refresh for 2022 adds new styling inside and out, as well as technology upgrades for all trim levels. Volkswagen says the Tiguan’s dimensions and wheelbase are virtually identical and that’s a good thing—its spacious second row makes it great for families. An available third-row tucked into the cargo area is now offered on Tiguan models with front-wheel drive only. 

The only powertrain option carries over from last year, which is a 184-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 joined to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive remains standard on all trim levels, with all-wheel drive optional. This powertrain doesn’t give the Tiguan a lot of excitement in terms of acceleration, but it’s got enough power for everyday driving and merging. The Tiguan’s comfortable ride remains composed over even choppy roads.

Though the Tiguan’s overall look remains similar, some of the details have changed. Each trim level has new wheels (ranging from 17 to 20 inches in size) and the nose has been redone with a new bumper and grille, or so Volkswagen tells us. The nip-and-tuck leaves the Tiguan’s upright profile and minimalistic styling intact, and the styling remains understated compared to more angular competitors. The changes for the new year will be hard to pick out, except for the optional single LED light line that spans the grille and gives the Tiguan a prominent visual signature, especially at night. 

Trim levels have been condensed down to four from five: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line. Most notable are the updates to the cabin, which adds screens and touch capacitive controls on most trim levels. An 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster is now standard, with a 10.0-inch digital cluster with additional customization options on the SEL R-Line. Base S models still feature last year’s 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Heated front seats are a new standard feature for 2022. 

Many of the updates on the Tiguan are pulled down from the Arteon, Volkswagen’s flagship sedan, such as the cluster and the touch controls for climate functions now found on the SE and above. The controls provide some haptic feedback and work well enough, but old-fashioned dials work better. SE models also come with a power tailgate, synthetic leather seating surfaces, an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a wireless smartphone charging pad. 

Options include a Fender premium audio system, 20-inch alloy wheels, cooled front seats, leather upholstery, a surround-view camera system, and park assist.

Standard safety features on the S model include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and rear traffic alerts. Thankfully, the 2022 Tiguan S can include the same safety features as most of the other trim levels by adding on a safety package that includes adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a more sophisticated blind-spot monitor system that will countersteer if you try to move into an occupied lane.

How much does the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan cost?

The refresh comes with a modest increase in the Tiguan’s base price. Base S models add $750 to the price tag, starting at $27,190. The most popular SE models see a larger increase, with the SE starting at $30,690 (a $2,100 increase) and the SE R-Line Black at $33,490 (a $1,700 jump). The top SEL Premium R-Line costs $37,790, even though it offers more in the way of technology. 

Adding AWD costs an extra $1,500 except on the SEL Premium R-Line where it is standard.

Where is the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan made?

The Tiguan is produced in Puebla, Mexico.

6

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Styling

While other SUVs are getting weirder, the Tiguan remains steadfast with its simple design.

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan a good-looking car?

There’s something to be said for zigging while the competition zags. In the case of the Tiguan, that means it looks pretty much the same after this refresh. Its simple styling and flat sides stand out against the rest of the field that seem to be jamming more and more angles and curves into their designs. The Tiguan earns a point for that, bringing it up to a 6.

Though it could be called boring, the Tiguan appeals in its own way. One prominent crease runs down the side of the body and the big and wide doors make it easier to get in and out. The bumper and grille have been updated and LED headlights are now standard, with a new available LED center light strip that makes the Tiguan look more distinctive at night. New alloy wheel designs range from 17- to 20 inches. And in the rear, the “Tiguan” badge has moved to the center and gets a font change that matches the rest of the VW SUV lineup. 

Inside, SE and above models use haptic climate controls that are harder to use, but clean up the lower part of the center console so it looks better. An 8.0-inch digital cockpit display is standard with a more customizable (and higher resolution) 10.0-inch display found in the SEL R-Line. To spruce things up, the synthetic leather in the SE trim is offered in a tan color and the real leather in the SEL R-Line is offered in black, grey, and brown.

Review continues below
6

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Performance

The Tiguan may not offer many thrills, but ride quality is a highlight.

The Tiguan’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 offers adequate yet dull power, but its composed and comfortable ride makes it a superb cruiser that earns a point here to a 6.   

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan 4WD?

Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is offered on every Tiguan model for an extra $1,500. The top SEL Premium R-Line trim comes with standard AWD.

How fast is the Volkswagen Tiguan?

The Tiguan’s turbo-4 makes 184-hp and is joined to an 8-speed automatic transmission. With AWD the Tiguan feels a bit more lively through second gear, though off-the-line speed is definitely not among the crossover’s strengths with either FWD or AWD. It takes a fair amount of time to get going, but once moving, the transmission and throttle seem to be more responsive with timely downshifts all on its own. None of the Tiguan’s trims offer paddle shifters.

More convincing than the Tiguan’s acceleration is its ride quality. The softly sprung suspension results in some body roll in the corners, but that characteristic also makes it comfortable and composed in everyday driving. The steering is still too light, but thankfully Volkswagen has added the ability to change drive modes (between Normal, Sport, and Custom) to FWD Tiguans as well for 2022. The custom setting can be used to turn up the steering weight, while keeping the engine in a normal and more efficient mapping.

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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Comfort & Quality

The Tiguan’s large back seat and ample cargo storage make it suitable for family duty.

The Tiguan has always been on the larger side of the compact segment, so big in fact that VW thought it could slide another compact crossover underneath it in the Taos. This size gives it big advantages in back seat space and cargo room, earning a point for both to a 7 out of 10.

Backseat legroom is 36.6 inches for FWD models to make space for the optional third-row, or 38.7 inches for AWD models. Ignore the smaller figure for the FWD Tiguans; the backseat has a ton of both leg room and head room for adults. The third row, now for FWD models only, is by contrast very small and only appropriate for children on short trips.

Cargo volume is 33.0 cubic feet behind the second row and expands to 65.3 cubic feet with the seats folded with FWD, and those figures expand to 37.6 cubic feet and 73.4 cubic feet with AWD equipped. Though similar to the Toyota RAV4’s 37.5 cubic feet of cargo room, it  lags behind both the Hyundai Tucson (38.7 cubic feet) and the Honda CR-V (39.2 cubic feet).

S models feature standard cloth seats, but the SE models add synthetic leather upholstery and the SEL R-Line gets real leather. Sadly, the Tiguan doesn’t offer the new synthetic leather found in the Taos which is meant to feel more like Alcantara, this stuff is a touch slicker and less breathable.

Review continues below

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Safety

Crash tests are pending for the Tiguan.

The refreshed Tiguan has not yet been crash tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA, though the 2021 version of the Tiguan did earn a “Top Safety Pick” award from the IIHS. 

Base models come standard with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors, with an available IQ.Drive package that adds adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and active steering with the blind-pot monitors. Those features are all standard on the SE and above.

Also offered are automatic high beams, an automatic parking system, surround view camera system, and road sign recognition.

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7

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Features

The 2022 Tiguan’s upgraded standard features give it solid value.

With its excellent set of standard features and appealing value, the Tiguan earns a 7 here. The infotainment system on all but the base model would earn an extra point. 

The base S starts at $27,190 and comes with a new 8.0-inch digital cockpit display, LED headlights and taillights, heated side mirrors, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, heated front seats, and the safety features mentioned above. All of that for a price that’s only $750 more than last year’s model.

Which Volkswagen Tiguan should I buy?

Most folks should opt for the $30,690 SE, which is the most popular trim level according to VW. The SE gets the larger 8.0-inch multimedia screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a wireless charging pad, power tailgate, power driver seat, and the IQ.Drive safety package.

The SE-R Line Black costs $2,800 more and features sporty exterior accents, ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, and an R-Line steering wheel with more touch controls placed on either side. These controls take some getting used to, especially for setting the volume. 

How much is a fully loaded Volkswagen Tiguan?

The range-topping SEL R-Line comes fully loaded at $37,790 and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, and ventilated front seats. It’s also the only trim to feature the larger 10-inch digital cockpit display that is much higher resolution and offers more customization than the grainy smaller display.

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5

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Fuel Economy

The larger Tiguan falls far short of its compact crossover comrade, the Taos.

Is the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan good on gas?

The Tiguan’s estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined for FWD models is enough to earn a middling 5 out of 10 rating. AWD models lag behind that, at 22/29/25 mpg and the R-Line AWD brings up the rear at 21/28/24 mpg.

These figures put the Tiguan on roughly equal footing with much of the competition (unless we factor in hybrid rivals), save from a vehicle that’s supposed to be on the same team. Volkswagen calls its new Taos a compact crossover as well and it tops out at 31 combined mpg for FWD variants.

Review continues below

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$25,995
MSRP based on 2.0T S FWD
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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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