Tweaked 2022 VW Tiguan gets brighter-eyed and more luxurious


VW may have been slow to realize North America’s voracious appetite for SUVs, but today the brand is busy massaging and refreshing various global offerings for U.S. consumption—and cooking up a few new vehicles along the way. The latest news for college-bound students, young families, and bike-toting suburbanites comes from an established VW model name and the marque’s best-selling vehicle: For the 2022 model year, the Tiguan is getting a thoughtful mid-cycle refresh that promises more features and equipment.

Now midway through its second generation, the Tiguan will cede entry-level VW SUV duty to the all-new Taos subcompact. While both SUVs start in the mid-$20K range (using the 2021 Tiguan for reference), VW wants to nudge the Tiguan slightly upscale. The changes for 2022 reflect that, starting with now-standard LED lights, front and back, and the addition of a light bar incorporated into the front grille. (The Taos has this horizontal LED strip, too.) The lower front fascia is also simpler and, we think, more elegant; but the most compelling upgrades lie inside the vehicle.

All 2022 Tiguans get a digital gauge cluster—even the base S model—though size does vary between 8 and 10 inches depending on specification. Heated seats now come standard, as do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. VW’s suite of driver-assist tech, known as IQ.Drive—a bundle of the more robust active-driving aids such as lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring—is now available on all trims, though it only comes standard on the top three. VW has also dropped a trim level for the 2022 lineup: The top-tier SEL trims have been consolidated into a single offering, which means you can now choose from S, SE, SE R-Line Black (which is exactly what it sounds like), and the SEL R-Line.

A chunky, perforated-leather-clad steering wheel joins the two R-Line trims, replete with haptic-touch controls on its glossy black side spokes, like on the Golf R. (VW assured us that these tap- and swipe-friendly controls aren’t hypersensitive, with a similar sort of feedback as an iPhone home button.) A touch-sensitive row of climate-adjusting controls also joins the center console on all trims above the base S, configurations which also get wireless charging and MIB3 infotainment included by default. Deeper-pocketed Tiguan buyers can spec 15-color ambient cabin lighting and a panoramic sunroof.

The powertrain remains unchanged, to little surprise: VW’s EA888 2.0-liter turbo four that makes 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which comes at a friendly 1600 rpm. Shifting duties are handled by an eight-speed automatic.

2022 VW Tiguan facelift rolling outside

Though VW offers the Tiguan globally, we exclusively get the longer-wheelbase version here, a configuration that allows for an optional third row. For the 2022 Tiguan, VW will no longer offer the three-row model with all-wheel drive, however. At first glance, this appears to remove a very practical configuration from the Tiguan family, but consider that a mid-range 2021 Tiguan in AWD, three-row spec costs $35K; the much-larger Atlas starts at $32,575.

VW’s sold over 100,000 Tiguans a year since 2018, and the model posted its best-ever year in pandemic-plagued 2020. This model is critical for VW, and the decision to polish its value-packed, tech-laden proposition seems wise. Expect pricing, unannounced as of this writing, to reflect the raft of newly-standard features; the 2021 Tiguan starts at $26,400 and, though that figure will likely stay well under $30K, the extra goodies on the upper levels won’t come cheaply. If you’re put off by the uptick and can do with a bit smaller dimensions, check out the upcoming Taos, which starts at $24,190.

VW projects that the refreshed 2022 Tiguan will hit dealer lots this fall, either late September or early October.

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