To be honest, I felt that Volkswagen knew what they were doing by bringing the long-wheelbase model to our market.
Once I set eyes upon the updated 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, a few things came to mind…
First off, the commentary I read and heard from you. When this current generation model was introduced for the 2018, you had a lot of opinions on it. Most of them from not even driving it.
Was it something about it not being as Golf-like as the last generation? Did we bring the wrong wheelbase to North America? Was it really that bland looking?
To be honest, I felt that Volkswagen knew what they were doing by bringing the long-wheelbase model to our market. In order to compete with the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, you have to have a model that can compete with it.
As for the 184-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, you thought it was the wrong engine for the vehicle. Well, dear Volkswagen enthusiasts, if you are trying to sell a vehicle for the masses, this engine more than met their requirements. The 221 pound-feet of torque remains as class-best for a standard engine.
While the Tiguan has lead in sales for the brand since its arrival here, you continue to knock it for not being as Volkswagen as you wanted it to be.
What is it going to take you to understand that it could be the next compact family SUV for you?
For 2022, Volkswagen updated the Tiguan. It gave it the new digital logo treatment. From the key fob to the grille badge to the start screen, the clean new logo reminds you that it has been given a new lease on life.
The new front clip offers a deeper grille treatment gives it more personality and distinction. Volkswagen kept the headlamps where they really should be, instead of finding fancier ways to play with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s lighting regulations.
New badging font and location? Check! Adding new wheel designs? Check! Keeping the Tiguan’s profile intact? Check!
There was nothing wrong with the exterior of the Tiguan. Volkswagen did improve upon to make it more competitive against its newer rivals.
Which brings me to my tester – the SEL R-Line. The top-of-the-line trim mixes sport with luxury, which is always a good thing in my book. Visually, I would declare that it was “mission accomplished.” Maybe Volkswagen enthusiasts would celebrate this SUV in its top trim even better?
While the exterior got an improved treatment, the interior gave me mixed emotions.
On the plus side, placement of the new logo felt integrated and elevated. The SEL R-Line offered a stunning leather upholstery on its seats. The Digital Cockpit certainly gave this Tiguan upwardly mobile ambitions. There is a new shifter where Volkswagen placed the shift pattern on the knob.
However, the front seats were a bit too bolstered for my taste. Perhaps, too firm. If you’re an enthusiast, they’re probably right for you. Luckily, the great cabin and cargo space were retained, which makes great for up to five people and a huge haul of luggage or Holiday shopping.
Lately, Volkswagen has been adding haptic touch to their climate and infotainment controls. In the case of the Tiguan, it would be the former. It works well, unless if you have precise finger control.
Luckily, they did not touch the infotainment system. The Fender name appears on the speaker grille. You do get a premium sound experience through your smartphone integration.
There is a lot underneath the surface that has not changed. Mostly because there had been marked improvements over the years ranging from transmission remapping to suspension recalibration.
Overall, the driving experience in the updated Tiguan was absolutely fine. The engine delivers good performance through its eight-speed automatic transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. The ride quality was fine, although the SEL R-Line’s 20-inch wheels firmed up the ride a bit. It handled quite nicely.
The steering system was fine, providing some feedback from the road and it has a good turning radius for tight situations. Braking was sharp in stops with superb pedal response and feedback. It also offered great stops in normal and panic situations. And, it did return a fuel economy average of 24.0 MPG overall.
To get this updated 2022 sports-luxury top-of-the-line Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line model, you would have to shell out about $37,790. Tiguan pricing starts at $25,995, available in four trim levels.
I know I might not convince some folks that the Volkswagen Tiguan should remain on your SUV shopping list. I know that the competition against it has stepped up with even more style, performance options, and cabin space. Even with the challenges the automotive industry continues to face, having a wider choice in this class of SUV is always a good thing.
The answer is simple: If you like how Volkswagen has executed the updated on the 2022 Tiguan, perhaps you should still consider it. You will discover that for what it does, it does very well. That’s all we want from our vehicles, right?
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by Volkswagen of America
All photos by George Torline