by Jared Rosenholtz
In stark contrast to the rest of the world, the Tiguan is Volkswagen's best-selling model in the United States. More than 910,000 units of the Tiguan were sold in 2019 alone and over the course of its lifetime, more than six million have reached customer's hands. So in order to keep its best-seller on top, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan has been given a substantial facelift.
Though it is not an all-new model, the facelift brings the Tiguan more up to par with other compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. These changes are more than skin deep with some noticeable improvements inside the cabin. There is little doubt that the Tiguan will remain VW's best-seller in the US market but is it now a standout in its segment against arguably the stiffest competition around?
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
The updates to the Tiguan begin on the exterior where new standard LED headlights present a wider appearance. Both bumpers have been given a makeover and appear more handsome as a result. All of the badging including the 'VW' emblem, 'Tiguan' lettering, and '4MOTION' logo have also been redesigned to complement the updated styling. We'd call the facelift more evolutionary than revolutionary, with many of the design traits of the Golf 8 now featuring here. However, it should be noted that the images provided here show the European short-wheelbase Tiguan. The US market will only receive the long-wheelbase model built in Mexico.
The 2022 Tiguan receives its most significant updates on the interior where it now features a standard eight-inch touchscreen display or an available 10.25-inch unit (pictured below). This new screen is powered by VW's modular infotainment system (MIB3), which includes a personalization, voice control, multi-phone pairing, and wireless App-Connect. The central screen is also paired with a Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which is now standard on every Tiguan.
Other changes to the cabin include new trim options, an optional 15-color ambient lighting system, and a standard 480-watt Fender Premium Audio System. The Tiguan's interior looks clean and uncluttered, as always, and should be up to par with the best of the compact crossover segment.
VW has not announced any specific interior measurements for the new Tiguan but since this is just a facelift, we can assume that the current model's spacious 73.5 cubic foot cargo area with the second row folded will remain intact. The Tiguan will also be one of the only crossovers in the compact segment to offer third-row seating. It may not be a very larger third row but VW says Tiguan customers find the option to be handy in a pinch. This could be a deciding factor for some buyers who need the seats but can't stretch their budgets to an appropriately specced midsize SUV.
Under the hood, VW will only offer the 2022 Tiguan with a single engine option. A carryover 2.0-liter turbo-four sends 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque to front- or 4MOTION all-wheel-drive through an eight-speed automatic. Europe will receive a frugal plug-in hybrid model and a hot Tiguan R variant with 315 hp but due to cost concerns, neither will come stateside. 184 hp is adequate for the compact crossover segment but not spectacular by any stretch, especially when the Mazda CX-5 offers 250 hp from a turbo 2.5-liter engine.
Due to circumstances related to the coronavirus, the facelifted Tiguan won't be arriving in the US until late 2021 as a 2022 model year vehicle. This means it will be a while before we have any official word on pricing. By the time it arrives, the Tiguan will have to face off against the recently redesigned Nissan Rogue and mainstays in the segment such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The Tiguan will be among the only models in this segment to offer a third row, which paired with a premium Germanic feel, could be enough to entice buyers.