The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan adds Level 2 driving aids to base trims

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Volkswagen’s 2022 Tiguan SUV will see a whole lot of content, including Level 2 driving aids, move down the trim range into the base-spec model to give buyers better value, the company announced.

The COVID-19 pandemic means the timing of the much-less-dramatic updates to the 2021 model SUV have been thrown off, though we should see them later this year.

However, the ’22 is still on track to bow in Canada around October 2021, after the shorter-wheelbase Tiguan variant we don’t get in North America hits the order sheets in Europe and other markets this summer.

Among the updates to the 2022 Tiguan we do get will be new front and rear fascia — plus new bumpers, a new grille, and sharpened design cues all around — along with a refreshed version of VW’s MIB3 infotainment system with voice-activated controls.

If you’re more the hands-on type, you’ll access that system via an enlarged standard eight-inch digital touchscreen, bookended by two radio dial knobs; unless you opt for the 10-inch upgrade, with no dials. The new standard tech doesn’t stop there, with even the base Trendline getting some new Level 2 semi-autonomous driving aids, putting Tiguan “a step ahead [of rivals] in driver’s assistance,” says VW America product manager Jose Bravo.

Also standard on all trims: heated front seats, plus a folding third-row bench (unheated) if you opt for the FWD model (optional on AWD Tiguans). All this content will move the base price somewhere north of US$20,000, but VW hasn’t pinned down a figure yet.

It’s keeping that number from getting too high, though, by keeping a lot of things the same. The 2022 Tiguan will stick with Fender as its audio system supplier, and will offer the same powertrains and drivetrain options as the ’20, though they will be tuned for better drivability. In Canada, that’s a 2.0-litre 184-hp four-cylinder backed by an eight-speed automatic, available in front-wheel-drive or with 4MOTION.

While Europe will see a plug-in hybrid, North America won’t see that sort of electrification until the Tiguan’s successor. However, there are “plans down the road” to try to “find a way to get some of the magic of the [VW] R and GTI” performance brands into the automaker’s SUVs, says Bravo.

If the mid-size 2022 Tiguan sounds great but is just a tad too big and you were wishing we got the shorter-wheelbase version Europe does, well, a smaller entry-level SUV should be making it way to Canada for 2021, too, though VW hasn’t said much about it. The rumour mill suggests it’ll be some version of the Tarek compact utility the company’s teased us with before and sells abroad.

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