2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SE

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SE

The Tiguan is the compact SUV from Volkswagen and is the best-selling VW in the U.S. It’s one of just a few in the class to offer a third row. It’s roomy, has well-mannered driving dynamics, and is equipped with the latest tech. However, the Tiguan has stiff competition from other small SUVs, and some rivals have classier cabins, livelier performance, and more cargo space.

Base Price: $29,495
As Tested: $31,085
Horsepower: 184
Mileage: 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

The Tiguan gets refreshed for 2022. The exterior gets an updated grille and bumpers and new LED headlamps. The cabin gets more features including standard heated front seats and digital gauge cluster, and several driver assistance technologies also become standard. The SEL trim is dropped from the lineup.

The 2022 Tiguan comes in four trims: S, SE, SE R-Line Black and SEL R-Line. Starting prices range from $26,490 to $37,320. A third row with room for seven is standard on models with front-wheel-drive while those with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive have two rows with room for five.

There’s one engine: a turbocharged inline 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Tiguan isn’t particularly quick but it has pleasant driving dynamics. There’s enough power for driving around town and cruising on the highway. But you may wish for more oomph when merging and passing at freeway speeds, especially if the Tiguan is carrying passengers and gear. Once you’re up to speed, the Tiguan is a nice cruiser. The ride is smooth with the suspension doing a good job of soaking up bumps. Steering is responsive and the eight-speed shifts smoothly and quickly. There’s some body lean when cornering. Visibility is good all the way around. While the Tiguan doesn’t have the athletic performance of the Mazda CX-5, it’s a nice family hauler and will capably and comfortably get you and the kids from point A to point B.

Fuel economy is slightly below average for a compact SUV. EPA ratings for my front-wheel-drive tester are 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with a combined rating of 26. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. The 4Motion models get 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with a combined rating of 25 mpg.

The cabin is roomy and upscale. It has the typical Volkswagen look, meaning the design is clean and functional. Most materials are soft-touch. Passengers in the first rows enjoy comfortable seats with good leg- and headroom. The third row is cramped and only suitable for kids, which is what you’d expect in a compact crossover.

Standard features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, cloth upholstery, front heated seats, eight-inch digital driver display, infotainment system with 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot, and Mirror Link.

Available features include remote start, surround-view camera system, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic or real leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, heated steering wheel, 10.25-inch digital driver display, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, navigation, nine-speaker Fender audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, additional USB ports, wireless device charging, automatic high-beam headlights, and a sunroof.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and pedestrian detection.

Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane centering, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, reverse automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, traffic sign recognition and driver attention monitor.

The infotainment system is user-friendly and responds quickly to commands. There’s a physical knob for volume. Climate controls are below the screen. They are touch-sensitive and can be challenging to use because they require precise placement of your finger which means you often have to look down while driving.

Cargo space is decent for a compact crossover. The three-row Tiguan has 12 cubic feet with all three rows of seating in place, 33 cubes with the third row folded, and 65.3 cubes with both rows folded. Models with two rows of seating have 37.6 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 73.4 cubes with the second row folded. A power liftgate or hands-free liftgate are available.

The good:

Upscale and roomy cabin

One of only a few compact crossovers available with three rows

Smooth ride

Good highway cruiser

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Not very sporty

Touch-sensitive controls can be challenging to use, especially while driving.

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $29,495. King’s Red Metallic paint is $395. Destination charge is $31,085 bringing the grand total to $31,085.

Bottom line:

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is a decent compact crossover and a good choice if you want a smaller vehicle AND an available third row of seating. The Tiguan has a roomy, upscale cabin and comes equipped with lots of standard tech. However, you’ll want to shop around before making your final pick as this class has a number of excellent rivals including the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, and Toyota RAV4.

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