2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Upgrades to IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus

volkswagen-tiguan-sel-r-line-2022-01-blue-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-suv 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Christian Lantry

Refreshed for 2022, the Volkswagen Tiguan got a new face and tech improvements. The seemingly modest updates also included new LED headlights, helping the compact SUV secure a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition to conducting a series of crash tests, the organization evaluates the quality of a vehicle’s headlights across all trims. Despite solid crash-test scores, lower trims of the 2021 Tiguan employed halogen headlights that received a poor rating, causing it to miss out on IIHS’ top award previously.

Related: 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Refresh Updates Looks, Tech

A vehicle’s headlights help determine whether it qualifies for a Top Safety Pick or the highest Top Safety Pick Plus designation because headlight quality plays a significant role in a vehicle’s overall safety. According to an IIHS study, headlights with good ratings reduced crashes by 19% when compared with poor-rated headlights, while acceptable or marginal headlights reduced crash rates by 15% and 10%, respectively.

New Headlights Make the Grade

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-02-angle-exterior-front-white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

In order to earn either award, a vehicle must score good ratings in six IIHS crashworthiness tests: driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It must also offer a front crash prevention system with advanced or superior ratings in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation. Both the 2021 and 2022 Tiguan checked all the boxes.

Top Safety Pick Plus vehicles must also offer good or acceptable headlights across all trims, while the lesser Top Safety Pick award only requires one available good or acceptable headlight system. For 2022, the Tiguan’s new reflector LED headlights found in lower trims and projector LEDs in the range-topping SEL R-Line all earned acceptable ratings.

Standard Safety Tech

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-20-cockpit-shot-dashboard-front-row-interior 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

The Tiguan comes with standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning in the base model. The SE adds Travel Assist as part of the IQ.Drive safety suite, a semi-autonomous driving system with adaptive cruise control down to a stop and hands-on lane centering. The system earned a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and an advanced rating in vehicle-to-pedestrian testing.

VW Top Safety Pick Roster

The 2022 Tiguan is the third VW to meet IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Plus criteria, joining the all-electric ID.4 SUV and the Golf R hatchback. However, the Tiguan’s smaller sibling, the 2022 Taos, didn’t fare as well in the agency’s evaluation, failing some crash tests and lacking a standard front crash prevention system.

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Former News Editor Jane Ulitskaya joined the team in 2021, and her areas of focus included researching and reporting on vehicle pricing, inventory and auto finance trends. Email Jane Ulitskaya

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