A tech infusion upgrades the 2022 Tiguan, while maintaining the compact crossover’s spacious cabin. 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.
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.
While other SUVs are getting weirder, the Tiguan remains steadfast with its simple design. 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.
Though it could be called boring, the Tiguan is handsome 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.
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.
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.
The refreshed Tiguan has not yet been fully 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.
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.
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.
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’s slightly smaller than both the Hyundai Tucson (38.7 cubic feet) and the Honda CR-V (39.2 cubic feet).
The 2022 Tiguan’s upgraded standard features give it solid value. 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.
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.
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.
When Volkswagen first introduced the Tiguan, it was different from the get-go. It was the first small crossover to have a standard turbo 4-cylinder, offered slightly more room, and was actually fun to drive. Since then, Volkswagen has continued to hone its recipe making the second-generation Tiguan better in every way. With the 2022 Tiguan, Volkswagen has continued to improve the recipe with better safety equipment and leading technology that all contribute to great value.