Is the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan a Good Car? 4 Things We Like and 4 We Don’t

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-01-exterior-front-white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

The Volkswagen Tiguan has been a favorite of ours since its introduction  thanks to its driving dynamics, spacious interior and solid value. Those virtues and more have earned the Tiguan the top spot in our last two Compact SUV Challenges.

Related: 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Review: How To Lose Friends Through Touch Controls

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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE
$29,875 $900 price drop
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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE
$30,596 $900 price drop
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Positive reviews are one thing, but the Tiguan has remained far from a sales leader in the hotly contested compact SUV class. So in an effort to gain market share from segment leaders Honda and Toyota, and to help keep the lights on in Wolfsburg, Volkswagen has extensively refreshed the Tiguan for 2022.

The changes are subtle on the outside and limited to new bumpers, lights, wheels and other details. The interior, however, has been extensively refreshed with added technology and more touchscreen controls. VW has also reorganized some standard equipment, and the model’s trim levels have been trimmed to four. The result is an updated Tiguan that’s still more enjoyable to drive than your average compact SUV, and one that delivers solid bang for the buck. Still, we’re not happy with all the updates.

For a closer look at the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, click the link above to read Aaron Bragman’s comprehensive review. For a quick look at what ’s good and what isn’t, read on. Here are four things we like about the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, and four we don’t:

Things We Like

1. Ride and Handling

The Tiguan may not have the sporty reflexes of a Golf GTI, but it feels more engaging from behind the wheel than some compact SUVs. The steering is light but provides decent feedback. There is some body lean and understeer in corners, but that’s typical for the category. Where the Tiguan really shines is with an exceptionally comfortable ride for a small SUV that is well damped and controlled. The cabin stays relatively quiet underway, even with the 20-inch tires on our test car.

2. Welcoming Interior

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-17-cockpit-shot-dashboard-front-row-interior 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

The Tiguan’s interior is notably more spacious than some competitors, with plenty of headroom and legroom in the first and second rows. There’s also ample cargo capacity, and the Tiguan is on the very short list of compact SUVs available with a tiny third row. Its interior materials have a quality look and feel, and there are lots of soft-touch surfaces. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all trims, too.

3. Agreeable Powertrain

The sole powertrain is a 184-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or available all-wheel-drive. The combination provides sufficient power for a lively feel in moderate driving, with smooth and quick shifts that maximize the engine’s output by keeping it in its power band. The relatively modest power output is more apparent during full-throttle acceleration from a standstill to highway speeds.

4. Value

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-10-angle-exterior-rear-white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

A base Tiguan S with FWD starts at $27,190 (prices include destination) and jumps to around $30,000 after including the optional IQ.Drive suite of safety and convenience systems, alloy wheels, heated cloth seats, and LED lighting front and rear, plus a multimedia system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Stepping up to the SE trim starts at $30,690 and includes all of the above plus a larger 8-inch multimedia touchscreen, rain-sensing wipers, a power driver’s seat, power tailgate and remote start. Sticking to the lower trims helps avoid the digital touch controls of higher trims, which are not one of the better results of the redo.

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Things We Don’t Like

1. Digital Dash

The Tiguan gets a digital gauge cluster for 2022, but we’re not pleased with the results. Lower trims get an 8-inch display that looks fuzzy with poor resolution. It also lacks the benefit of being reconfigurable. A standard analog display would do just as well if not better. You have to step up to the top SEL R-Line to get a larger 10-inch screen that looks sharper and offers more customization along with included navigation and other features.

2. Control Issues

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-33-center-stack-display-front-row-infotainment-system-interior 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

The march to digitalization continues with new touch-sensitive climate and steering wheel controls available on higher trims, both of which make a strong case for base models. The climate controls are a lesser offense and work well enough, but they’re mounted low on the dash where you can’t operate them without taking your eyes off the road. The touch controls on the steering wheel are a bigger problem, being far too easy to accidentally brush against while driving. We also found the controls slow to respond when we did want to use them.

3. It Could Use More Power

As much as we like the Tiguan’s smooth and responsive powertrain overall, it could use at least the option of a more potent engine under the hood. While it’s fine around town, the sole 2.0-liter four-cylinder is challenged by full-throttle acceleration from a standstill, which can make abrupt entrances onto fast moving roads or highways a bit of a challenge.

4. Minimalist Third Row

volkswagen-tiguan-se-2022-41-interior-third-row 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | photo by Steven Pham

It can be handy to have a third row in a compact SUV for carting extra kids to events and games. But cramming an extra seat into any vehicle in the category presents a challenge, and the Tiguan is no exception. The third row is so cramped it’s barely usable even for kids traveling relatively short distances; don’t expect to use it for adults.

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