2022 Volkswagen Tiguan First Look Review: Bigger, Better

First Look / 4 Comments

Crisp new sheetmetal is just the start.

The Volkswagen Tiguan compact crossover has received a significant mid-life refresh for the 2022 model year. As VW's best-seller in the US and globally, it was vital to ensure this update was done right. By and large, that's been accomplished. The exterior styling has been freshened and the interior boasts a number of new convenience and driver-assist technologies.

One of the Tiguan's more attractive features is its optional third row of seats. There wasn't a significant amount of space for two adults but young kids were just fine. Because this is not a complete redesign (the Tiguan continues to ride on VW's MQB platform), interior dimensions remain largely the same.

VW knew not to mess too much with a winning formula, and returning Tiguan customers will notice several similarities, such as what's under the hood. And like the pre-facelifted model, this new Tiguan is bound to be a sure fire hit.

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Sharp New Exterior

The first thing you'll notice about the 2022 Tiguan is its redesigned front end. It has a sharper appearance with newly standard LED headlights and daytime running lights. Some inspiration from the all-electric ID.4 can be found from the available LED lightbar. The air intakes have grown in size and sport a more aggressive look than previously. The top two trims, such as the R-Line, have unique bumpers and side sills, while new lettering on the tailgate matches the font on the Arteon and all-new Taos.

From the side profile, the familiar character line that extends from the front fender through the standard LED taillights remains untouched. A total of eight exterior colors are available, including the new Oryx White and Kings Red Metallic. There are also new aluminum-alloy wheel designs ranging from 17-inch to 20-inch in size.

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Tech-Rich Cabin

The most significant changes appear inside. The 2022 Tiguan receives the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrument cluster that includes a standard 8-inch display or an optional 10-inch unit. Buyers can opt for VW's Car-Net which provides in-car WiFi on a subscription plan. All but the base trim gets the MIB3 infotainment system as standard fare as well as wireless charging and wireless App-Connect for compatible smartphones and tablets.

Another nice option Tiguans from the second trim and up get is the Climatronic Touch interface, essentially knob-less climate controls that also work the power tailgate. There are, however, traditional knobs for volume and tuning control.

R-Line trims receive more premium features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Additional optional items include leather or leatherette seats, power driver and passenger seats, a Fender premium audio system, a panoramic sunroof, and 15-color ambient lighting.

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Power And Safety

Four trim levels will be offered and they all share the same engine carried over from last year: the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that's good for 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque that kicks in beginning at 1,600 rpm. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission option. It routes power to either the front wheels or VW's optional 4Motion AWD system.

There are four trim levels: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line. Beginning with the SE, buyers will get standard the IQ Drive driver-assist safety suite, which includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitor, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and emergency assist. The base model, which can be equipped with IQ Drive as an option, is still nicely equipped safety-wise with front and side assist, and rear traffic alert.

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Pricing And Competition

Official pricing has not been announced but VW says the 2022 Tiguan will go on sale in the US this fall. Based on the outgoing model and the current competition, a fair assumption is a starting price tag of around $25,000. Fully-equipped models will easily reach the low $40k mark.

The compact crossover segment is extremely competitive and the new Tiguan comes ready to play. It'll face off against the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and the Ford Escape, to name just a few.

Volkswagen has seemingly done a solid job of updating its best-seller without doing a complete and costly redesign. The MQB platform itself is still competitive and thanks to an excellent overall package from the get-go, the refreshed 2022 Tiguan is in good shape for continued success.

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