A blue 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is shown driving over a bridge.

A Portmanteau in Every Sense: The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

Once affectionately known as the Touareg’s smaller brother, the Tiguan has established its own identity in the Volkswagen lineup and no longer sits in the shadows. A portmanteau of the German words tiger and leguan (meaning iguana), this vehicle is both strong and blends into your life seamlessly. The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is in a position to continue its reign with several exciting updates that will likely push sales higher and the Tiguan’s trendiness further. But to truly appreciate these updates and the future of the Tiguan, it’s important to see how far the SUV has come since its early debut in the 2000s when its revolutionary journey began.

Setting the Stage for Greatness

The new millennium saw the growing demand for capable and versatile SUVs, which inspired Volkswagen to diversify its lineup with models like the Touareg and the Tiguan. The Tiguan made its official debut at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 2007, where it was marketed as a premium SUV that could handle it all, from navigating the urban jungle to setting off for adventures on the trail. To further prove this point, Volkswagen aptly distinguishes the Tiguan’s equipment packages with clever names – Trendy & Fun, Sport & Style, Track & Field, the latter of which readies the SUV for off-road adventures.

Versatility remains a theme for Volkswagen throughout the next decade as the automaker blends the Tiguan’s sophistication and luxury with mainstream practicality that makes it more affordable in the compact crossover segment. Across its three-trim lineup, the Tiguan offers a progressive suite of features from cruise control and air conditioning to rain-sensing wipers, keyless start, leather seating, automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and a state-of-the-art navigation system. These options lead to a complete redesign, which marks the debut of the second-generation Tiguan in 2015.

Instead of a modest refresh, Volkswagen redesigns the Tiguan from the ground up and gives the SUV a distinct appearance that pushes it ahead of its biggest rivals. Inside, the Tiguan is elegant and sophisticated, with a streamlined dashboard that boasts cleaner lines and more intuitive features. Technology is also abundant in the SUV with a new 8.0-inch touchscreen display that’s home to the infotainment system and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Two people are shown in front of a blue 2021 Volkswagen is shown with an open lift-gate.

2021 Tiguan

By 2021, the Tiguan settles into its own as the best-selling vehicle in the Volkswagen lineup, and it’s easy to see why. The 2021 model is affordable, and it’s fun to drive thanks to a 2.0-liter turbo engine and 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers 184 horsepower. Quick to respond and easy to maneuver in and out of traffic, the Tiguan also comes with Volkswagen’s exclusive 4Motion drive modes with Active Control. Located on a convenient dial, you can choose between four all-wheel drive modes – Snow, On-Road, Off-Road, Off-Road Custom – to tailor how the Tiguan performs on various terrain and in different weather or driving conditions.

As you customize the Tiguan’s performance, you can do so with confidence thanks to Volkswagen’s exceptional safety suite. Named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Tiguan is constantly working to improve your view and minimize the potential for collisions. To do this, the system relies on a suite of tools that range from the rearview camera system and the tire pressure monitoring tool to advanced tools like Adaptive Cruise Control and Park Distance Control with Maneuver Braking. The SUV also comes with an Intelligent Crash Response System and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, the latter of which can minimize the potential for further impact by stopping the vehicle after a collision.

While these safety features give you peace of mind when you’re in the driver’s seat, the Tiguan’s connectivity tools keep you connected and ensure your focus stays on the road. Although the first-generation Tiguan was innovative for its time, the 2021 Tiguan takes innovation to a new level with its digital cockpit that includes a digital instrument cluster that you can customize whether you want to see your speed and fuel level, the navigational map, route guidance, or driver-assist alerts. Other connectivity tools include Volkswagen’s leading infotainment system that’s housed on a center touchscreen display and gives you immediate access to your favorite apps.

The interior of a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen with two passengers in the front seats.

What’s New for 2022?

Still holding its title as the best-selling Volkswagen worldwide, the Tiguan gets a significant refresh for 2022 that ushers it into a new era of innovation. The 2022 refresh starts with the addition of two exterior colors – Kings Red Metallic and Oryx White – to complete the eight-color palette. From there, the exterior boasts an all-new front end with a distinct front bumper and extensive grille that’s framed by standard LED headlights and daytime running lights. For even more light, you can add an illuminated light line that flanks the all-new VW logo and makes the Tiguan immediately recognizable even in low-light conditions.

Inside, the Tiguan is focused on your experience behind the wheel and ensuring that you have every tool you need within reach. For 2022, the Tiguan comes standard with an 8.0-inch digital cockpit instrument cluster with the option to upgrade to a 10.0-inch screen. You’ll also find every trim is equipped with Volkswagen Car-Net with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that turns the Tiguan into a mobile office whether you need to send a quick email, review important documents, or use your tablet to stream a series for your younger passengers. The Tiguan can do it all.

The Tiguan’s new technology suite also offers a wireless charging station, which eliminates the need for charging cords and keeps the cabin clutter-free. The center touchscreen display gives you access to the MIB3 infotainment system that’s also home to wireless App-Connect, which gives you access to your favorite apps by seamlessly syncing your smartphone with the SUV. Once your phone is synced, you can stream your favorite music, listen to a podcast, make a phone call, and more without taking your eyes off the road.

With the Tiguan’s connectivity tools helping you stay focused on the road, you can rely on Volkswagen’s IQ.DRIVE driver assistance suite to serve as an extra set of eyes around the SUV. The suite includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control Stop and Go, Travel Assist, and Emergency Assist. While the Forward Collision Warning monitors the front of the vehicle for potential collision, the Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert tools monitor the sides and rear of the SUV. Lane Assist helps you keep the Tiguan centered in its lane, while Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go adjusts the Tiguan’s cruising speed based on the flow of traffic ahead.

Are You Impressed?

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s journey on American roads since its debut in 2007 is truly remarkable. The compact crossover got its start in the shadow of the bigger Touareg but successfully carved out its place in the Volkswagen fleet. Through numerous upgrades and refreshes, the Tiguan continues to embody Volkswagen’s steadfast commitment to delivering reliable and technologically advanced vehicles. This is what laid the groundwork for the Tiguan’s popularity and paved the way for it to become the best-selling Volkswagen in the world. Not bad for a compact crossover, don’t you agree?