Americans Love The 2022 VW Tiguan's Lies

Illustration for article titled Americans Love The 2022 VW Tiguan's Lies
Photo: VW

One of the chief complaints about the first-generation Volkswagen Tiguan compact crossover (from American owners) was that it was a little too compact. The second generation fixed that in 2017 by stretching the model out enough to offer a third-row seat. The 2022 VW Tiguan refresh doesn’t change much, but it’s still spreading lies.

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When I drove the 2018 model of the Tiguan in its second-generation a few years ago, VW kept calling it a sporty compact crossover. VW then proceeded to present to me exactly how much bigger the Tiguan had grown over the previous generation to accommodate a third-row seat, which dealers and customers were said to want. I was confused then like I am now, because the Tiguan is very obviously not compact. If the first-gen was too compact, and you made the second-gen fit an entire other row of people by growing it in every dimension, then I don’t think it’s still compact.

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Photo: VW

But VW’s little fib about the Tiguan being a three-row “compact” crossover has paid off, as the Tiguan has become the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S. since the 2018 model year was introduced. They can’t sell enough of them, and that’s why the update for the 2022 model year is so minimal.

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The key changes to the exterior expands paint colors from six to eight options, adding Oryx White and Kings Red Metallic, along with a revised grille and headlights and all-new wheel options. Some trims are available with a light bar that stretches across the nose.

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Inside, heated seats and an 8-inch digital driver display are now standard, and VW’s IQ.Drive driver safety assistance pack is standard on the top three trims and available on the lowest for a fee. That includes forward collision warning, emergency braking, pedestrian monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert and lane keeping assist. High beam control, parking steering assist and dynamic road sign recognition are also available options.

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But it’s under the hood where VW’s little fibs continue. Just like the Tiguan is no longer compact, it also is not sporty, despite multiple R-Line trim options designed to make you believe otherwise and plenty of language in the press release and on the VW website.

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The Tiguan’s wheezy 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has undergone no change for the refresh, so it still makes just 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque from around 1600 rpm. That was the worst part about driving the 2018 model.

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So the Tiguan isn’t compact, and it certainly isn’t sporty. Unless your sport involves standing still. Regardless, clearly that doesn’t matter to most VW shoppers. The 2022 Tiguan looks good, fits everybody and likely won’t be priced much higher than the starting $25,200 MSRP for the current model, so it won’t be giving up its best-selling crown anytime soon.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

DISCUSSION

icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername

So it needs be 250hp, 300hp...400hp to be sporty? What’s your definition of a sporty CUV for $25k?