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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan: Strong-Seller Gets Fresh Updates—Eventually

Europe gets the new Tiguan SUV any day now, but the U.S. must wait another year.

Todd LassaWriterManufacturerPhotographer

Volkswagen Group has this thing down: Along with just-revealed mid-cycle refreshes of the popular 2021 Audi Q5 and ultra-luxurious 2021 Bentley Bentayga SUVs, the VW brand itself has more of the same ready in the form of 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan updates. VW's compact SUV gets new front-end sheet metal, new tailgate trim and taillamps, and major updates to the model's center-touchscreen infotainment system.

2022 Model Year For the U.S.

The new, updated 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale in Europe, where it is the market's most popular SUV, shortly after you read this, as a 2021 model. But the U.S. market doesn't get the refreshed Tiguan until October 2021.

Blame the Tiguan's relative popularity for the delay. The company builds the SUV in four assembly plants around the world, in four different time zones including Puebla, Mexico, from where it exports the long-wheelbase model to the U.S. While the Tiguan is Volkswagen's best-selling model globally, U.S. sales are barely a quarter of those seen be the segment-leading Toyota RAV4 in this country, and apparently Volkswagen isn't in position to retool those four plants at once.

Sometime next year, while we're waiting for 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan updates to arrive, the manufacturer also will launch a new, smaller, and less-expensive compact SUV. The U.S.-market Tiguan is built on the global stretched-wheelbase platform, which makes possible a third-row option on SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line trims when equipped with all-wheel drive. Volkswagen says the current take rate by customers for the third-row option is about 20 percent, but that number may increase to 40 percent when the new, smaller SUV premiers.

A new advanced driving feature, Travel Assist, will be optional on base Tiguan models and standard on mid-range models and up, combining adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Travel Assist can take care of steering, braking, and acceleration from 0-130 mph, though—here comes the legal disclaimer—"the driver remains in control at all times." The Travel Assist button is on the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan's new multi-function steering wheel.

Exterior Refresh

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan updates will be identified from the street by a new bumper, grille, standard LED headlamps and taillamps in front, and a new 4Motion badge font and Tiguan letters centered below the VW logo on the rear hatch lid. It will come with an optional easy-open-and-close tailgate, new R-Line styling packages, and new exterior colors.

The interior will come with standard heated cloth seats, 15-color ambient lighting, and new décor for all four trim levels. There's a new steering wheel across the board, a new Climatronic touch interface, and Wireless App-Connect.

Among the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S updates is a standard 6.5-inch center touchscreen, while Tiguan SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line come with an 8.0-inch screen. Digital instrument-panel screens are 8.0-inches standard and 10-inches optional (standard in SEL R-Line). Standard wheels are 17-inch diameter on S, 18-inch on SE, 19-inch on SE R-Line Black, and 20-inch on SEL R-Line.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Specifications
ON SALE October 2021
PRICE $26,000-$40,000 (est)
ENGINE 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/184 hp @ 4,400 rpm/221 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5- or 7-passenger, front-engine, FWD or AWD SUV
EPA MILEAGE 20/22; 27/29 mpg (city/hwy) (FWD; AWD) (est)
L x W x H 185.1 x 72.4 x 66.3 in
WHEELBASE 109.8 in
WEIGHT 3,750 lb (est)
0-60 MPH 8.6 sec (est)
TOP SPEED 130 mph (est)