The Tiguan is the car most people want. “Crossovers” now make up more than 70% of Volkswagen sales, and the compact crossover is the most popular body style with over 300,000 units moved here in the US. With the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4MOTION, Volkswagen has focused on providing the features buyers want, at a competitive price in the marketplace.
Volkswagen has given its compact SUV a handsome styling refresh for 2022 to help it look at home alongside the restyled Atlas and new Atlas Cross Sport mid-size SUVs. This means new LED headlamps, revised grille and bumpers, and new wheel designs which give the 2022 Tiguan a more modern appearance. The Tiguan’s cabin receives updates as well, in the form of a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls. Heated seats and a digital gauge display are now standard across the lineup. All models except the base S also receive a new touch-sensitive climate control panel, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a semi-autonomous driving mode that Volkswagen calls Travel Assist.
Powering the 2022 Tiguan is a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque that is paired with an eight speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard but Volkswagen‘s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is optional (on our loan vehicle). It drives and handles very much as a car and like most of its competitors in this space it isn’t fast, but it is more than adequate for getting around town or racking up miles on the highways. Honestly the Tiguan has no trouble accelerating at any speed and feels plenty punchy from 2,000 rpm to about 4,500. Even though this engine’s peak figures haven’t changed for 2022, it’s been tuned to deliver more midrange oomph and be more efficient. The EPA estimates that the front-wheel drive model will be the most frugal, with ratings of 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. However All-wheel drive drops those numbers by 1 mpg each and going with our loan vehicle the SEL R-Line results in an additional 1 mpg penalty (21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg highway).
The Tiguan’s interior is simple, quiet and functional, everything as you might imagine is well built and solid. Some competitors offer more legroom in the second row, but the Tiguan is one of the only vehicles in the class that can be had with seating for seven as while it is a global model in the US only the long-wheelbase is available. However with just 12 cubic feet of cargo space behind the available third row, the Tiguan simply can’t be a hauling vehicle when the third row is in use. With the third row folded or like our loaner without the third row, the Tiguan’s cargo measurements are a healthy 37 cubic feet with the seats up and 73.5 cubic feet with the second row folded. In short the Tiguan is roomy and comfortable and the price is very competitive with competitors in this segment.
Volkswagen’s infotainment system is sleek, modern and intuitive with haptic touch-sensitive controls integrated into a large glass screen that is either 8.0″ or 10.3″ in size. The system comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so I opted to use that however it does come with a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard which might be useful but it was not something I utilized in my week with the car. The Volkswagen Digital Cockpit offering with its 12.3-in. a configurable digital instrumentation display is excellent and easy to use, providing all the driver information needed. Another handy tech related feature is the abundance of USB-C ports to charge all manner of devices. The Fender 480-watt nine-speaker that was standard in our test vehicle did sound great. Forward-collision alert with automatic braking and a blind-spot warning system are standard, but you can move up the range for more driver-assistance features such as lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
If you’re shopping for one of these SUVs, four trim levels are on the menu for 2022. The more streamlined range now includes S, SE, SE R-Line Black and our loan vehicle the SEL R-Line. For example our SEL R-Line loaner starts at about $36,595 with the $1,995 in delivery fees, the S is about $10,000 cheaper, which puts the Tiguan right in line with competitors.
One advantage is the Tiguan has seemingly zero chassis flex and emits no squeaks or rattles, which makes it feel more like a luxury vehicle than something built at this price point. The Volkswagen Tiguan has been a great success for Volkswagen in the highly competitive world of compact SUVs. Even though it is a compact SUV, the Tiguan is big. Not only is it Volkswagen’s best-selling model in the US, it’s also the German automaker’s most popular name plate globally. We only wish that here in the US they offered the option on the 315 horsepower Tiguan R.