2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line
Class: Compact Crossover SUV
Miles driven: 361
Fuel used: 14.3 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||C+|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||184-hp 2.0-liter|
|Engine Type||turbo 4-cyl|
Real-world fuel economy: 25.2 mpg
Driving mix: 25% city, 75% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 21/28/24 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $36,595 (not including $1195 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: none
Price as tested: $37,790
The great: Excellent second-row-seat legroom and cargo space, nicely balanced road manners
The good: Classy cabin/interior materials, clean control-panel layout
The not so good: Lackadaisical low-speed acceleration, especially from a stop; new touch-sensitive controls can be finicky and occasionally distracting
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Maybe you’ll detect a pattern here. Volkswagen puffed up the Tiguan SUV for the 2018 debut of its second-generation model, making it one of the larger entries in the compact SUV class. Two years later VW tweaked its best seller by revising the model offerings and upping the technology complement. Another couple of model years have passed since then, so it seems another freshening is in order.
This time some of the alterations are more obvious to the naked eye. A revised grille and bumper and new LED headlights bring the Tiguan a little more in line with the looks of the larger Atlas models, fostering a greater degree of family resemblance across the marque’s range of SUVs. Once inside, drivers will grip a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls, and every Tiguan model gets a “Digital Cockpit” virtual instrument panel.
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Some of the ’22 changes will require a little discovery, and not all of them are universally available. Heated front seats are included in all models. Except for the base S trim, wireless App-Connect, a new touch-sensitive climate-control panel, and “Travel Assist”—a light-autonomy system that pairs adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist but requires contact with the steering wheel—are now standard.
We drove a top-of-the-line SEL R-Line, which represents a consolidation of 2021’s SEL and SEL Premium R-Line series. The starting tab of $37,790 (with delivery) is lower than what was asked for the erstwhile Premium R-Line. Still, the ’22 SEL R-Line comes with 4MOTION all-wheel drive (a $1500 extra when added to S, SE, or SE R-Line Black models), leather upholstery, 20-inch alloy wheels, navigation, and a larger 10.25-inch version of the Digital Cockpit instrument cluster.
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The last time we sampled a Tiguan, as a 2020 model, we griped about annoying little complications like trying to imagine just where Volkswagen saw fit to hide the trip odometer within the control menus. This time we figured out the trip-odometer thing a little faster, but VW wants you to get some use out of those fancy new steering-wheel controls, so you’ll have to do a few button presses to access and reset the trip meter. The new climate controls rely on lots of touch-sensitive buttons; we can’t say we didn’t miss the direct ease of use of the 3-dial unit that was in the ’20 tester. Plus, one Consumer Guide editor was pestered to turn the lights on during a commute on a bright morning albeit one in which long autumnal shadows fell across the roadway. This demand appeared in the Digital Cockpit and blocked the desired information display, could not be manually overridden, and persisted until the driver surrendered and turned the lights on—again, in broad daylight.
Tiguans with 4MOTION are 5-passenger vehicles with two rows of seats. Front-drive models can be ordered with a third-row seat—a rarity in the compact class—but it comes with some loss of ultimate cargo room. The load floor in 2-row models sits at bumper height and provides 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second seat. To accommodate the third-seat structure in 7-passenger jobs, the floor is slightly raised; when the seat is retracted, 33 cubic feet of stuff can be loaded in. In the model tested, second-row seats fold even with the cargo floor but at a gently rising angle, and there is a slight gap where the two surfaces meet. Levers in the cargo-bay sidewalls permit convenient remote release of the 60/40-split second-row seats.
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The fundamentals of the Tiguan have not changed. The powerteam is a familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. At 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque performance is tempered in around-town driving, though throttle response is a touch friskier in “Sport” mode, and the Tiguan cruises easily and quietly in sustained higher-speed running. EPA fuel-economy estimates have inched up a little since our previous test to 21 mpg in city driving, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 combined. CG’s time with the truck involved a considerable amount of highway driving but slightly exceeded the combined estimate at 25.2 mpg. Ride trends a little firm but never harsh. The Tiguan handles and brakes well to boot.
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The neat but not ostentatious cabin has good passenger room in both rows, good sightlines, and easy entry and exit through all four doors. Numerous and varied personal-item storage facilities are distributed throughout. Safety-monitoring driving aids include emergency automatic braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert. A Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility raise the connectivity quotient.
Volkswagen has seen that the Tiguan starts from a good place. Every couple of years they make it a little better.
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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line Gallery
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