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  5. 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Test Drive Review

Since Volkswagen launched the second-generation Tiguan back 2017, the automaker has amassed a diverse lineup of SUVs that now includes the mid-size Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport as well as the subcompact Taos and the ID.4. Four years later, VW has come full circle with the mid-cycle update for the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, which brings a new look and added content to its compact SUV. It's not often I get to sample the base model of a new model like this, but my first seat time in this updated compact SUV was spent in a Tiguan S. 

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Exterior

In the last year, VW has introduced the Taos, ID.4 and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs and updated the three-row Atlas, and with all the new faces in VW's SUV lineup, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is the latest to get a new look. Most of the changes were focused on the front of the Tiguan giving it more personality. There's a wider grille, sportier bumper design and narrower headlights that taper off at the trailing edges similar to the Mk8 VW Golf. The rear end only gets minor tweaks, with the most obvious being the "Tiguan" lettering now centered in the liftgate just below the VW logo. All Tiguan trim levels are now equipped with standard LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights. 

New colors and wheel options round out the key changes, but the coolest part of the new face is the available full-width LED light bar in the grille, which sadly only comes on the range-topping SEL R-Line trim level. The Tiguan S used for this review was painted in Pyrite Silver Metallic that looked good against the two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Interior

VW's main focus inside the updated 2022 Tiguan was the "democratization" of in-vehicle technology, which is just a fancy way of saying there's a lot of advanced features that come standard in the new Tiguan. All Tiguan trim levels now come with features such as heated front seats, push-button start, a reconfigurable eight-inch Digital Cockpit gauge cluster, plus the Tiguan S has a 6.5-inch screen display. For a more premium experience, higher trim levels offer a larger eight-inch touchscreen display as well capacitive touch controls for the HVAC system and steering wheel. VW's App-Connect is standard, which allows for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan proves that opting for the affordable base model is no longer a sacrifice in quality or content. The Tiguan S were comfortable and supportive, and even with all of the standard content and available technology, the biggest selling point of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is still the third-row rear seat. This class-exclusive feature gives the compact SUV a seven-passenger seating configuration, and while it's standard on all front-drive models, it is no longer optional on all-wheel drive Tiguans. 

While the Tiguan's 50/50 split third row bench seat is extremely tight for adults, it comes in very handy when hauling around kids--especially younger kids with their booster seats. In this configuration, the 2022 Tiguan can accommodate a maximum 65.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which includes 12 cubic feet behind the third row.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Powertrain

While the changes made in and around the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan are obvious, the powertrain carried over unchanged. That means the sole powertrain option continues to be VW's 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected EA888 four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Power output is still rated at 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, but the EPA-rated fuel economy estimates have increased by 1 mpg on the highway on both AWD and FWD models. I tested the latter for this review, and it's rated at 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. 

The larger and longer second-generation Tiguan may have lost its Golf-like nimbleness, but this compact SUV is still fun to drive. Although it's lacking some of the power and efficiency offered by its main rivals, the Tiguan is far more engaging to drive than most compact SUVs thanks to a balanced chassis, responsive steering and peppy acceleration. In addition to the three-row seating capability, the Tiguan also has the ability to tow up to 1,500 pounds.  

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Safety

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yet, but this updated compact SUV offers all of the latest in advanced safety technology. VW's IQ.Drive suite of driver assist includes forward collision warning with autonomous braking and pedestrian monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping system, blind-spot monitor, and rear traffic alert. This package costs just $895 on the base model, and it's standard on all other trim levels.

Shop 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Inventory

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Overall

At the beginning of the last decade, VW's top sellers were the Golf and Jetta, and now the Tiguan holds that distinction for both U.S. and global sales. And considering the fact that more than half of all new-car sales in 2020 came from SUVs, it's no surprise Volkswagen continues to go all in on this segment. If you have a couple kids in tow, the three-row, seven-passenger 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is a perfect choice for families who don't really need the added size (or price) of a larger three-row CUV. The updated Tiguan starts at $25,995, which is just $795 more than the previous model year. Adding in the IQ.Drive safety features and destination charge, the Tiguan S FWD used for this review had an as-tested price of $26,890.

Shop 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Inventory

Jeffrey N. Ross | Sep 15, 2021

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S FWD Specs


4-door, 7-passenger, FWD


Turbo 2.0L I4
184 hp, 221 lb-ft
8-speed auto



NHTSA Safety Rating


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