Car Buying Strategies
Search Car Buying Strategies Makes & Models Select a Make and Model Makes & Models Select a Make and Model New Cars Prices Buying Advice
Home / Volkswagen / 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: S vs SE, R-Line Black vs SEL R-Line
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Style, versatility, and power come together wonderfully to create the Tiguan. With a sophisticated and thoughtful design, you get the modern looks, power, technology and spaciousness all under one roof.

Volkswagen's Tiguan stands out from other compact crossover/SUVs because it generously offers a third row of seats. Although this model is the same size as most SUVs, somehow Volkswagen has managed to fit it an extra row with two seats, making it a seven-seater.

As Volkswagen’s best-selling model in the world, the Tiguan flaunts head-turning clean lines, nimble and agile moves, easy-to-use tech and impressive safety features.

Besides standard heated front seats, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan also boasts leading edge driver-assist systems, and smartphone compatibility. The Tiguan adapts to the roads you travel, with an AWD upgrade to divide power between the front and back wheels to optimize traction, stability, and your adventures.

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is a reasonably priced SUV - neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. A comprehensive comparison of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan has been performed below so you can decide which trim is the ideal option for you.

Compare the S vs SE Trims. What is the difference?

All trims of the Volkswagen lineup, the S and SE included, are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under its hood with 8-speed automatic transmission.

The confidence inspiring performance of the 221-pound feet torque, 184-horsepower engine gives you the freedom to maneuver the highways and off-roads with ease and control.

Compared to other competitors, these are decent numbers; although some crave for more power, this is the only engine available for this model year.

Tiguan's three row arrangement only comes in versions with front-wheel drive, which is the standard setup with the first three trims. However, if you choose to add the all-wheel drive, there are only two rows of seats – but cargo capacity increases.

Volkswagen refers to its all-wheel drive system as the 4MOTION, which helps distribute power between the front and back wheels for better traction, grip and stability on the road.

For regular rides to the grocery store and back, the 4MOTION transmits engine power mainly to the front axle, saving energy. However, the second the slightest wheel slip is detected, it automatically activates the rear wheels, distributing power to all four wheels before wheel-spin even occurs.

Unlike in many AWDs which have a 50/50 distribution of engine power, there is no fixed distribution in the Tiguan because distribution is continuously adjusted to your driving condition.

A keen eye will immediately spot a few exterior differences between the S and SE when setting the two trims side by side. While the S features black roof rails and 17-inch alloy wheels, the SE has silver roof rails that pop out and rides on larger, 18-inch alloy all-season tires.

Both Tiguan trims benefit from the same revised LED headlights, taillights, Daytime Running Lights as well as side mirrors with built-in heating elements. Thankfully, heated windshield washer nozzles can be found in both, which come really handy when temperatures plummet below the freezing point.

A variation in the SE is its remote power rear liftgate feature. While the S's manual liftgate does have a satisfying thud to it, the powered version proves to be more efficient and user friendly.

Another additional cool feature not made available in the S but only in the SE is a sunroof. At some extra cost, the SE trim can be upgraded with a panoramic sunroof that tilts and slides open, providing an awesome sky view and continuous supply of fresh air into the cabin. The SE is further distinguished by smart rain-sensing windshield wipers, which are available on the S as part of a package.

Moving on to the interior of the S and SE, both trims are designed for comfort on the road - but the SE obviously is more high-end. The S seats feature cloth upholstery, but V-Tex leatherette seats replace them in the SE.

The driver's seat in the S has to be adjusted manually whilst the SE makes things easier with an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat version and four-way lumbar support.

Heated front seats are standard in the Tiguan, allowing people to stay comfortable and cozy no matter how freezing it is outside. A dual-zone automatic climate control takes over the S's manual climate control system in the SE, along with touch sensitive controls and second-row air vents.

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SE features a multi-function, leatherette-wrapped steering wheel; this is not standard on the S, but available as an upgrade for additional cost. However, both S and SE trims come with leather-wrapped gear shift knobs as standard.

Driving at night is made easy with the SE, featuring an auto-dimming rearview mirror that reduces glare from distracting lights and keeps you focused. This auto-dimming rearview mirror isn't standard in the S, but available as an upgrade.

Although it’s a jump of a couple of thousands between the base trim S and the SE, drivers will prefer the SE for its enhanced technology.

The S features a color MIB2 infotainment with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, along with other attractive components such as USB-C input, 6-speaker sound system, App-Connect smartphone integration (with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink) via USB, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The SE replaces the 6.5-inch touchscreen with a bigger 8-inch one along with HD Radio, voice control, wireless App-Connect, and wireless charging which means a neater cabin. The SE further integrates a rear charging port, in addition to the standard dual front USB ports.

Another perk of having a Tiguan SE over the Tiguan S is the remote start function. The remote engine start function enhances your driving experience; at the push of a button from your home, the car fires up and gets the temperature just right by the time you're ready to get in.

Volkswagen has equipped the 2022 Tiguan with sufficient driver aids in S trim to provide plenty of reassurance, including forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and reverse automatic braking.

However, the Tiguan SE comes with extra driver assistance features, as the IQ.Drive package becomes standard here. The IQ.DRIVE allows you peace of mind no matter where your destination is. The driver assistance technology includes the cutting edge Travel Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Active Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, Front Assist, Emergency Assist, and Lane Assist.

The Lane Assist is a program that alerts drivers when they're drifting out of their lanes, allowing the Tiguan to gently correct steering if necessary. Adaptive Cruise Control helps maintain an ideal distance between the vehicle ahead of you by adjusting your speed. Emergency assist alerts the driver if it detects something unusual; if the driver fails to respond, it will bring the car to a stop to keep everyone safe.

The IQ.Drive package is available on the S as an add-on for some extra cost, but is built-in as standard on the SE.

Compare the SE vs SE R-Line Black. What is the difference?

Volkswagen's SE R-Line Black is sure to make an impressive image on the road and turn heads with its enhanced silhouette.

As one of the most popular Tiguan variants, the trim has all the right visual touches, such as R-Line® black accented grille, front bumper, side sills, trim & body color lower cladding. The aggressive form rides on 19-inch alloy wheels that are all finished in black.

Considering the interior of the Tiguan SE R-Line Black, the ambient lighting feature helps set the cabin mood with fifteen color options to choose from. The leatherette steering wheel is enhanced with R-Line badge and touch-sensitive controls.

Unlike the previous trims, the SE R-Line Black has a power tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof as standard. The Tiguan also integrates front/rear parking sensors which provides drivers with useful data about how close they are to other objects when parking, preventing unwanted dents.

Compare the SE R-Line Black vs SEL R-Line. What is the difference?

The range-topping SEL R-Line gets you a sharp all-rounded SUV that’s just about as marvelous as utility gets.

The SEL R-Line comes standard as an all-wheel drive, meaning it's only a five-seater with two rows instead of a seven-seater with three rows, which may be problematic for some customers; however, an advantage is that cargo space is more spacious.

Along with AWD comes Active Control, where the Tiguan SEL R-Line driver can switch from one mode to another at the turn of a dial: snow, on-road, off-road, and off-road custom.

Heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, and memory settings for the driver’s seat - the trim is packed with such leading-edge comfort features, providing a thrilling drive.

Out on the road, the provocative silhouette makes a bold impression with its giant 20-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails, stylized chrome grille and body color handles.

The trim introduces an illuminated front grille that gives a beautiful soft glow at night, as well as automatic high beams, which is a much overdue feature. And although all previous trims had heated side mirrors, the SEL R-Line adds a memory function built into those side mirrors.

The SEL R-Line enhances night driving with adaptive front lighting, where lights automatically turn to the direction that the vehicle is steering; and corner-illuminating feature, which helps drivers see better around curves.

Furthermore, with the hands-free power rear liftgate feature, you can unlock the trunk simply by kicking your foot under the rear bumper, which comes very handy when all hands are full.

Going inside the SUV, more impressive features are to be discovered.
Firstly, the front passenger seat is power-adjustable in this trim; and the driver's power-adjustable seat is advanced further with memory function, which can remember up to three positions.

The 10.3-inch driver information display comes with navigation and digital cockpit pro as standard - an enhanced version of the digital instrument display that shows turn-by-turn directions and is customizable.

Both the trims are highly recommended when it comes to safety. However, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line includes further advanced and upmarket safety features like park-assist, area-assist, and road sign recognition.

Park Assist is a self-parking system that makes life so much easier, while Area Assist allows a 360-degree view of what’s around the car to enhance safety. Road sign recognition uses a camera in the interior rearview mirror to inform the driver of any detected speed limits and traffic patterns.

We cannot forget to mention that the 9-speaker audio is amplified by the Fender® Premium Audio System with a subwoofer in this Tiguan. The enhanced audio system gives you the license to fully rock out, turning your VW into a heart-pounding performance by your favorite musicians.

Final Thoughts

All four trims of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan are confidently stylish and impressively versatile, making it a difficult decision when it comes time to choose.

However, a scrutinizing evaluation and close inspection leads to the SE and SEL R-Line as the paramount options to be considered. First of all, the base trim S is a little basic with its manual lift gate, cloth seats, and smaller touchscreen. And on the other hand, the SE R-Line Black does not proffer enough benefits to justify its price increase over the SE.

There is a significant price difference separating the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SE and SEL R Line. In spite of the high price, the SEL R-Line would be a pleasure to drive - if cost was not a major factor.

It's got high-end components like navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, Fender branded audio system, 10-inch digital cockpit, park assist, and captivating exterior accents. It has standard Active Control and 4MOTION all-wheel drive, both of which results in better performance and handling no matter where you are headed. Unfortunately, the SEL R Line is a five-seater which does not come with a third row of seats.

For those customers living a tighter budget, the Tiguan SE works perfectly fine. The trim treats you with a powered tailgate, wireless charging, power-adjustable driver’s seat, 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, as well as an optional panoramic moonroof. This seven-seater SUV is ideal especially for bigger families who require a third row of seats.

Compare the Volkswagen Tiguan:

2022 Tiguan vs Atlas
Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Trime Levels