A white 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S is shown from the side parked in the field.

Which Refresh is Better? 2022 VW Tiguan vs 2022 Chevy Equinox?

It takes guts to change something that is successful. It also takes vision. So, when Volkswagen announced that it was giving a refresh to its most successful SUV model, the compact Tiguan, it showed both guts and vision. While detractors might say they were crazy, the folks at Volkswagen knew that success does not allow you to stand still. The popular Chevy Equinox has also undergone some re-styling for 2022, but not as radical as the approach taken by Volkswagen with the Tiguan. This is why we need to compare the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Chevy Equinox, to see which manufacturer did a better job of updating their compact SUV for the new model year.

Engines and Performance

One of the biggest reasons to buy a particular SUV is going to be its powertrain. Both Volkswagen and Chevrolet have chosen to give their models a standard engine and transmission across all trim levels. This means that there are no options, which in many ways can be good as automakers often make you pay extra for performance or require you to go up a trim level to get a decent engine.

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan comes equipped with a 2.0-liter EA888 TSI four-cylinder gas engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine uses a turbocharger to produce 184 horsepower and generate 221 pound-feet of torque. In contrast, Chevrolet has opted for a smaller engine and fewer gears on the 2022 Equinox, using a 1.5-liter I-4 with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine also features a turbocharger, but falls short of the engine in the Tiguan, producing 170 horsepower and generating 203 pound-feet of torque.

The Tiguan’s 8-speed automatic transmission gives you more control than the 6-speed automatic transmission on the Chevy Equinox. Also, the extra gears will improve engine performance, which the Chevy badly needs. The 2022 Equinox will take you from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a rather sluggish 8.9 seconds, with a top speed of 124 miles per hour. The 2022 Tiguan should easily eclipse these numbers with its more powerful engine. The higher torque on the Volkswagen will give you better takeoff acceleration than the Equinox, and the greater horsepower will keep you going at top speeds.

Both the Tiguan and the Equinox are offered with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models of both compact SUVs offer better fuel economy, while all-wheel drive gives you better traction, especially in inclement weather conditions. The 2022 Tiguan features Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

The Chevy Equinox delivers slightly better fuel economy than the Volkswagen Tiguan, which is not unexpected from a less powerful vehicle. Front-wheel drive Equinox models get 28 miles per gallon combined as compared to 26 miles per gallon combined on front-wheel drive models of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan.

A blue 2022 Chevy Equinox is shown from the side parked in a lot during a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2022 Chevy Equinox comparison.

Standard Safety Features

Automakers have been making advanced active safety systems a standard feature on many of their models. This is the case with both the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2022 Chevy Equinox. Volkswagen has its IQ.DRIVE driver assistance suite that it has made standard on all models of the 2022 Tiguan except for the base Tiguan S. IQ.DRIVE consists of seven different systems grouped by how they function together on the vehicle.

The first grouping is Front Assist. This includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring. The first of these, Forward Collision Warning, will alert you if the system detects an imminent front-end crash. The second, Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, will actually involve the IQ.DRIVE system taking evasive action by engaging the Tiguan’s emergency brakes, even if the imminent front-end collision is with a pedestrian.

The second grouping relates to Active Side Assist and involves a blind spot monitoring system. This will alert you if there are any vehicles driving in your blind spot when you signal to change lanes. The Lane Assist system works in a similar fashion by alerting you if your Tiguan begins to drift into another lane. However, it will go further by engaging the Lane Keeping System to use subtle steering adjustments to keep you from drifting. Rear Traffic Alert works with the Tiguan’s rear backup camera to let you know if another vehicle or pedestrian is about to pass behind your vehicle when you’ve got your Tiguan in reverse.

The three remaining systems in the IQ.DRIVE suite are quite novel and surprising for a model in the Tiguan’s class. Adaptive Cruise Control Stop and Go automatically adjusts your Tiguan’s speed while engaging the cruise control so you can maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you. Emergency Assist is an emergency assistance feature that engages in the event of a medical emergency in your Tiguan so that you can get help while out on the road. Finally, Travel Assist is a semi-automated self-driving system. This utilizes both the Adaptive Cruise Control and the Lane Keeping System to control the accelerator, brakes, and steering independently of the driver.

The 2022 Equinox has the Chevy Safety Assist suite of active driver assistance features. While this suite has many of the same features as the IQ.DRIVE suite on the 2022 Tiguan, they are not as numerous. The 2022 Chevy Equinox has Automatic Emergency Braking, a Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. However, adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alert are only available as add-ons, and there are no emergency assist or self-driving features on the 2022 Equinox.

Cargo Space and Interior Styling

Both the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2022 Chevy Equinox have undergone some changes for the new model year. As a result, they offer a number of new styling and features when it comes to the vehicle’s interior. However, the 2022 Tiguan also offers a more comfortable interior. For example, heated front seats are standard on all models of the 2022 Tiguan. In contrast, you will need to go up to the RS trim on the 2022 Equinox to get heated front seats. The RS is the second-highest trim level on the Equinox, surpassed only by the Premier model.

Both of these vehicles provide ample room for your stuff, but the 2022 Tiguan clearly has an edge. The Tiguan can fit up to 37.6 cubic feet of your belongings in its trunk, which can be expanded to a very roomy 73.5 cubic feet with the rear row of seats folded down. This is certainly more than offered by the 2022 Equinox. The 2022 Chevy Equinox has 29.9 cubic feet of space in its trunk, which is more than seven cubic feet less than the Tiguan. This difference becomes more pronounced when the rear seat is folded down, with the Equinox providing 63.9 cubic feet of space.

The grey interior of a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

Infotainment Systems

Both of these SUVs feature their automaker’s respective infotainment system. The 2022 Tiguan offers Volkswagen’s MIB3 infotainment system on an 8-inch color touchscreen. This includes the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity features, as well as wireless charging and wireless App-Connect for compatible smart devices. A Fender Premium Audio system is available as an optional upgrade.

The 2022 Equinox sports the Chevy Infotainment System with a 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen, although the Premier trim has an 8-inch touchscreen with a premium audio system. There is also an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard on the 2022 Equinox. While the two systems are fairly comparable, the Volkswagen Tiguan does have a larger touchscreen on most models.

No Guts, no Glory

Volkswagen has shown a clear vision with the 2022 Tiguan, as well as the guts to follow through on making a great vehicle even better. With a refreshed look and improved performance, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is ready to take on all challengers, including the 2022 Chevy Equinox. Check out the 2022 Tiguan if you want some of the best in safety, comfort, and performance out of a compact SUV.