Volkswagen is changing the Tiguan compact SUV, a freshened version of which goes on sale in Europe on July 1 but won’t make it to U.S. showrooms until October 2021.
Highlights include a simplified trim level structure, subtle styling modifications, new interior controls and displays, and a next-generation infotainment system promising greater responsiveness and high-resolution graphics.
The best-selling VW model in America in 2019, the Tiguan offers seating for up to seven people in three rows of seats. This is a compact SUV, though, so the optional third-row bench is suitable mainly for children and only for short trips.
When the ’22 Tiguan arrives in the U.S., it will come in S, SE, SE R-Line Black and SEL R-Line trim levels. Powertrains are unchanged, with a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl. engine making 184 hp at 4,400 rpm and 221 lb.-ft. (300 Nm) of torque starting at 1,600 rpm. An 8-speed automatic transmission delivers the power to the CUV’s front wheels unless equipped with the automaker’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
For 2022, VW moves the Tiguan’s infotainment system to its new Modular Infotainment Matrix 3 (MIB 3) platform, which is more powerful for faster response to user inputs and supports a wider range of features and services. There also is new wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, as well as expanded content personalization options. With S trim, the infotainment touchscreen measures 6.5 ins. (16.5 cm) diagonally, while SE trim and higher includes an 8-in. (20-cm) display. VW retains stereo knobs and menu shortcut buttons designed for easy use.
Located below the infotainment system is an available touch-sensing climate control system that eliminates knobs and buttons for a clean, high-tech look (above, left). VW says it realizes people prefer physical controls, but a spokesperson claims this new interface and its fingertip slide controls for temperature and fan speed are equally easy to use.
A new steering wheel fronts a standard 8-in. or available 10-in. (25.4-cm) digital instrumentation display. The steering wheel has touch-sensing controls, and in R-Line specification includes a thicker rim and perforated leather. Ambient cabin lighting is available in 15 colors, and every ’22 Tiguan except the S trim includes a panoramic sunroof. A 480-watt Fender premium sound system is available.
Standard driving-assistance technologies include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blindspot detection systems. Optional for Tiguan S and standard starting with SE trim, the CUV offers adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance systems, Travel Assist with Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist.
The German automaker says Travel Assist with Traffic Jam Assist is a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving technology that works at lower vehicle speeds, such as during a rush-hour commute. It brings the Tiguan to a complete stop, resumes travel, maintains proper following distance and centers the vehicle in the lane.
Buyers choosing the SEL R-Line get a predictive version of the Tiguan’s adaptive cruise control, which proactively takes into account speed limits and reduced speeds for upcoming curves in the road. When asked what Emergency Assist is and does, a VW spokesperson indicates the automaker will have more to say about this new technology in the future.
Design changes include a restyled front bumper, a redesigned grille, new LED headlights and taillights, and fresh aluminum wheel selections ranging from 17 ins. to 20 ins. in diameter. As before, R-Line versions have a sportier look. An improved hands-free tailgate is available, and the refreshed Tiguan boasts new interior colors, materials and trim.
VW considers the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 as key competitors and promises the ’22 Tiguan will be competitively priced. The automaker says the eHybrid version available in other markets will not go to the U.S. market but does not deny the possibility that a performance-oriented Tiguan R might make it to stateside showrooms.