The Volkswagen Tiguan is VW’s best-selling vehicle - not just in the U.S. - but the world. So why is it the brand’s #1 vehicle? A week behind the wheel of the updated 2022 Tiguan 2.0T SE nets some answers. The midsize SUV is a roomy, easy-going SUV that’s even more appealing this year thanks to some notable style updates and newly standard features that include VW’s digital cockpit. My SE AWD model is very nicely equipped with standard features,though just a step-up from the base S model.
For 2022, the Tiguan adopts a bolder look with new, sharper lines that give it a more stylish and sporty character. Its revamped grille with VW’s redesigned logo, front fascia and slim headlights take on design cues from the Atlas family. LED headlights are now standard across the lineup. In the back, new Tiguan lettering below the VW logo looks upscale. King’s Red Metallic is a new extra cost ($395) color for 2022 and it looks great offset by terrific-looking newly designed 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
While there are a bunch of updates to the 2022 Tiguan, the powertrain isn’t one of them. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine delivers 184-horsepower, along with 221 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an 8-speed transmission. VW has one of the more noticeable start-stop systems, which can be disabled. Remote start is standard from the SE trim. Fuel economy is 25 mpg combined.
My Tiguan SE’s Titan Black V-Tex leatherette interior is well-designed with silver trim, white stitching and some glossy areas on the door panels and lower dash. Leatherette seating surfaces and a leatherette-wrapped steering wheel are on the firmer side. Both front seats are heated but only the driver’s seat offers power adjustments.
VW’s brightly colored new standard 8-inch digital cockpit steals the show inside the cabin. (It upgrades to 10.25-inches in the top trim.) Another cool feature in the SE is the available new touch-sensitive dual-zone climate control system in the center stack that makes adjusting the temp a breeze. It can also be activated with natural-language voice control.
The Tiguan is roomy in the back, but the rear seats could be a bit more cushiony. The mid-size SUV is also versatile when it comes to seating. My AWD model has two rows with a 40/20/40 split rear bench seat. Forward-wheel drive models offer three rows of seating.
A remote power liftgate operates at a nice speed, but you’ll have to step up to the top trim to go hands-free. The cargo area is roomy, offers a 12-volt outlet and hides a spare tire under the floor. Side storage cubbies come in handy for grocery bags.
Standard SE features include cruise control, remote start, keyless access with push-button start, and rain sensing wipers. Some unexpected convenience features include heated washer nozzles and heated door mirrors.
The Tiguan features VW’s third-gen MIB multimedia system. An 8-inch color touchscreen is responsive with nice graphics, but navigation is only available on the top trim. While a 6-speaker sound system sounds underwhelming on paper, the Fender system surprises with its great sound quality and fits the space well. Wireless charging is standard on the SE and connectivity features include four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM with 360L and VW’s CarNet that connect owners to their vehicles.
Ride and Drive
The Tiguan is easy to drive with a comfortable ride quality. It’s not a “sporty” ride, but Sport mode does amp up the driving engagement factor a notch. Initial acceleration could use a boost with an updated powertrain that offers more horsepower, but it’s perfectly capable of confident highway merging so no worries there. While I noted a bit of engine noise, overall the cabin seems quiet.
The SE comes equipped with VW’s IQ.DRIVE driver assistance system, which is available on the base model and standard for the rest of the lineup. I didn’t find its lane centering feature in highway driving as easy to initially activate as other systems. The system also includes Front Assist (Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring), Active Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop & Go, Lane Assist (Lane Keeping System), and Emergency Assist (semi-automated vehicle assistance in a medical emergency). Other safety features include VW’s Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
There are a lot of great updates to the VW Tiguan - most notably its new front end styling and new standard tech like the digital cockpit. All that said, I’d enjoy a horsepower boost and powertrain updates that would improve fuel economy.
- What I Liked Most: Exterior looks, VW’s digital cockpit
- What I would change: Boost horsepower.
- MSRP: Base price $30,995; as equipped $32,585.
- Fuel Economy: 22 city/29 highway/25 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1,837 miles.
- Weight: 3,856 pounds w/AWD.
- Spare Tire: Compact spare.
- Length-Width-Height: Length 186.1"/Width Excluding mirrors 72.4"/Height 66.5"
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.9 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Official Color: King’s Red Metallic
- Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs when equipped with a dealer- or port-installed trailer hitch.
- 2022 VW Tiguan in a few words: A mid-size SUV with some excellent updates for the 2022 model year sure to keep it a best-seller for the brand.
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Carefree Maintenance Program provides scheduled maintenance services for 2 years or 20,000.
- Final Assembly Location: Pueblo, Mexico.
- Manufacturer's website: VW