In the recent review of the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan TSI R-Line 4WD we put the previous model (my wife’s car) up against its latest release. We both liked it but my wife missed her Golf R32 and was keen to get into something more sporty than the R-Line. Since then, a year has gone by and during this time my wife decided to take advantage of the strong used car market, trading in her 2018 ​​VW Tiguan R-Line 4WD for the all new 2022 VW Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition, that she collected over a month ago. 

The other two Tiguans were very similar, somewhat hard to tell apart. That is not the case with the all new Tiguan R – you can tell right away that this is a performance vehicle. It promised to have all the spunk of the latest VW Golf R with its 315hp 4-cylinder turbo engine, and its 4.8 seconds to 100k/ph time. It’s basically a SUV hot hatch version of the Golf R for today’s practical lifestyles. Faster than her R32, and as practical as her R-Line, she couldn’t wait for it to arrive. 

What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R Range AWD 1st Edition

What we like

  • Styling
  • That Lapiz Blue Metallic
  • Performance
  • Sound
  • Driving experience
  • Infotainment
  • Spec level

What we don’t like

  • Infotainment (radio issues)
  • Engine cover?

What’s In The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R Range?

There are two options available: the Tiguan R AWD (starting from $80,990) and the Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition (a limited run starting from $85,990). Both cars are the same, but the 1st Edition comes with everything as standard; a panoramic sliding sunroof, Harmann/Kardon premium sound system, plus the limited edition 21” Estoril alloy wheels over the normal 20”. These wheels are the only option you can not add if you purchase the Tiguan R AWD.

The engine specifications are the same too. A 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. This engine creates 235kw of power and 400Nm of torque. Power is delivered to all 4 wheels via the 7-speed DSG automatic transmission and has launch control. Considering the size and weight and performance figures of the SUV, the combined fuel consumption figures are not back, at 9.7L per 100km.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition Standard Equipment Highlights

  • Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) 
  • Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) 
  • Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) 
  • Trailer stabilisation 
  • Driver and front passenger front airbags 
  • Driver and front passenger-side airbags 
  • Side airbags at the rear (outer rear seats) 
  • Curtain airbags (Front and rear) 
  • Driver knee airbag 
  • ISOFIX mounting points on outer rear seats (x2) 
  • Child seat top tether anchorage points on outer rear seats (x2) 
  • Anti-theft ‘Plus’ alarm system 
  • Seatbelt reminder (Front and rear seats) 
  • 3 point seat belts for all passengers 
  • Proactive Occupant Protection System 
  • Front Assist incl. Autonomous Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning 
  • Pedestrian Monitoring 
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Travel Assist and Emergency Assist 
  • Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator
  •  Hill Descent Control 
  • Rear View Camera with dynamic guideline 
  • Area View Camera 
  • Park Distance Control (front and rear parking sensors)
  • Driving Profile Selection (Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual) 
  • 4MOTION Active Control (On-road, Off-road, Off-road individual and Snow) 
  • Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) – Electrically Controlled Dampers
  • IQ. Light’ Matrix LED Headlights with automatic headlight range adjustment
  • Dynamic cornering lights
  • Privacy glass – rear window and rear side windows
  • Climatronic 3-zone air conditioning system
  • ‘R’ exclusive Leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel with ‘R’ gearshift paddles 
  • Heated steering wheel
  • R ‘Nappa’ leather appointed upholstery# with heated sports seat
  • Discover Pro Satellite Navigation System
  • 2 x USB-C ports in front centre console
  • Active Info Display ‘Pro’ (10.25″ High-resolution TFT-LCD instrument cluster)
  • Heads-up Display (HUD)

Optional equipment for the Tiguan R AWD, but standard on the 1st Edition:

  • Harman/Kardon premium sound system – $2,500 
  • Panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof – $1,750

The full retail price of the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition is $85,990

There are a lot more trims and features on the Tiguan R, so for a full list of specs and options available for the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line, jump on over to the VW New Zealand website

How Does The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition Compare To Its Competition?

There are a surprising amount of options available if you’re looking for a mid-sized performance SUV. Regardless of options, there is a huge range in price, while offering similar specs. The Tiguan R does stand out as being a good allrounder in both performance and everyday practical space and low on the chart in price too. At this point, it really comes down to personal choice.

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
*(excl CCP)
BMW X3 M40i3.0L V6 Turbo285 / 5004.98.9550$132,300
Audi RS Q32.5L i5 TFSI294 / 480 4.59.8530$121,242
Mercedes-AMG GLA 352.0L i4 Turbo225 / 4005.18.0435$108,900
BMW X2 M35i2.0L i4 Turbo225 / 4504.67.4470$93,900
VW Tiguan R 1st Edition2.0L i4 Turbo235 / 4004.89.7615$85,990
Audi SQ22.0L i4 Turbo221 / 4004.57.7335$80,900
Cupra Formentor2.0L i4 Turbo228 / 4004.98.6345$71,500
Kona N DCT2.0L i4 Turbo206 / 3925.510.0361$69,990

* CCP – Clean Car Program fee or rebate

First Impressions Of The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition

As I mentioned, we had a  2018 VW Tiguan R-Line 4WD in dark blue. So our first impression of the new Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition really showed the sporty more aggressive design of the new model. The Lapiz Blue Metallic was a great colour, much more in line with her older R32 and just feels like a sporty colour. 

When comparing our old and new cars, you can see the evolution. The front has been sculpted to have a more aggressive look, larger grille with a new logo and bigger intakes. The side of the car sees little change with just a different vent trim behind the front wheels. The rear has the new logo too and R is larger lettering just below it, centralised on the tailgate. 

The only thing that I thought looked a bit out of place is the amount of space between the brake rotors and the wheels. The rotors just seemed to be too small for the 21” wheel they have around them. I am sure they correctly spec, but visually they do not look right.

The new Tiguan R looks great, it has embodied the R32 my wife loved, and from her point of view is the perfect everyday car, ticking her main boxes: sporty and blue. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition?

In the driver’s seat, there are not a lot of changes from the Tiguan R-Line we previously tested. The entire cabin has subtle touches of blue, on the steering wheel, driver’s dash, seats, and led ambient lighting. It all combines to make the interior of the R line an exciting place to be. 

The seats have not changed much, still very shaped, focused on comfort with a performance feel thanks to the VW R logo and blue stitching. Both front seats are fully electric with memory functions and lumber controls. The rear seats can also slide back and forth to give a bit more leg room. There is really good leg room in the back of the Tiguan for taller people as the seating position is higher. 

The steering wheel is the same updated one from the Tiguan R-Line with one noticeable difference: there is an R button, which in most high-performance vehicles means the fun button. The controls on the steering wheel and surround stalks have the same options. These give you access to speaker volume, all the cruise control settings, driver display information, and the heated steering wheel. We have said it in the Tiguan and Golf review: the change to haptic buttons on the steering wheel is not our cup of tea. That being said my wife has not found them to be an issue, so maybe it’s a main problem. 

The centre console is the same, with some blue stitching around the gearstick to tie in with the rest of the blue accents. The buttons surrounding the gearstick include auto stop-start on and off, park assist, parking camera and sensors, engine start/stop, park brake and auto hold. Forward of this area is a nice space to be able to put things, wallets, phones, etc. Located in this section there are two USB C charging ports, which means you have access to fast charging when plugged in.  

The media screen is the same with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both now working wirelessly. The options in the home screen are pretty standard, with controls for the radio, phone, navigation, driver assist, media, sound and overall vehicle settings. The menus are simple and easy to navigate, with stylish icons which won’t age quickly.

One thing that has frustrated my wife is that VW still has not fixed the issues with the radio station buttons. Unlike most cars they can display the icon of the station in the list, while VW shows empty boxes. It was like this on the last car we had and we had hoped this was going to be fixed, but it had not changed at all. It just makes the display look very basic with empty boxes everywhere.

The driver’s dash has a clean and edgy design, fully digital with room to customise. It’s got everything you need and the engine temperature and fuel gauge to the side as vertical LED lights. Even my wife commented that the new display was a lot cleaner than the old one she had.

The heads-up display is nice; it is a plastic screen that pops up out of the dash when the car is started. It’s simple and it works fine. In the few times, I was allowed to drive her car, I did find that the angle of the HUD screen needed to be set rather low for my eyes to see it, due to my height. 

The boot space is really good, and with the rear seats up it’s a generous 615 litres and with them down it turns into a very large 1,655 litres. On either side of the boot opening there are two sunken pockets which can be used to stow items that may roll around the boot, which are really handy. 

What’s The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition Like To Drive?

The ride in the Tiguan R is great, when in Sport mode (the SUV’s default mode) the car soaks up the bumps and undulations from the road very well, even on the larger 21-inch low-profile tyres. The default Sport driving profile has a nice engine/exhaust sound, which lets you know this is a performance vehicle. Their steering is sharp and there is a good level of feedback, and combined with the 4Motion AWD this gives the driver confidence about the road conditions and their ability to place the car on the road or in corners. 

There are 4 driving profiles in the new Tiguan R, Comfort, Sport (default mode), Race and Individual. From here you have one up and one down option. The Comfort option makes the SUV a little more easygoing, making throttle control more subdued without feeling slow. The exhaust note also changes to a more subtle tone, barely noticeable compared to the grumble of the Sport profile. It’s fair to say that the Comfort mode has not seen a lot of use. 

The Race driving profile is the up one from Sport. It can also be engaged by pressing the R button on the steering wheel, which sets the car to Race mode, regardless of what setting you are in. Once in Race, the exhaust sound gets deeper and the whole vehicle feels like it’s on edge ready to pounce. The engine response is quick and so are the gear changes. On the throttle, the surge forward is impressive, and the brakes are spot on too. Downshifting into corners with a pop and a gurgle from the exhaust, and away you go out the other side. Great fun to drive this SUV, If I didn’t know any better I would have thought I was behind the wheel of the Golf R, not an SUV.

The Tiguan R is a quick vehicle from stand still; it will propel you from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds. That’s quick, surprisingly quick for a 2.0-litre engine. But it’s not the size, it’s what it pumps out. From this engine, the Tiguan R gets 235kW of power and 400Nm of torque. It’s a big jump over the R-Line which was only able to do 0-100km/h in 7.0 seconds.  The new Tiguan R leaves it in its dust with a massive 2.2-second gap, very impressive. 

Speaking of the engine, there is a part of it missing from our car. We had to ask about the engine cover as after we got home we found it missing. Apparently, VW is redesigning it and we will get it when it comes out. I would have thought the car was designed as it’s been sold, very strange indeed. When will we get it, the dealer can’t tell us. Hopefully, it won’t be long as it really lets down the look of the engine bay, making it feel not very special.  

The fuel economy of the new Tiguan R is advertised to be 9.7-litres combined per 100km. Since my wife got the SUV she has been getting a combined fuel consumption figure of 9.9-litres per 100km, which is bloody amazing, really. Two reasons for this: there are not many performance vehicles that reach or come close to the advertised rating. Secondly, my wife has not been driving her Tiguan like a nana, she does enjoy its performance capabilities. Overall I was pretty impressed with the consumption, more so with the rising cost of fuel these days.

My wife always missed her Golf R32 when we moved to the Tiguan R-Line. She missed the performance nature of it, and really wanted to get that back. Behind the wheel of the Tiguan R, she feels like its that sport hot hatch once again as the Tiguan R is light on its feet, quick and nimble around the city too. 

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan R AWD 1st Edition – Specifications

Vehicle Type5-door, performance SUV
Starting Price (excl Clean Car Program)$85,990
Price as Tested (excl Clean Car Program)$85,990
Engine2.0-Litre 4-cylinder inline turbo-petrol
Power, Torque
235 / 400
Transmission7-speed DSG
Spare WheelSpace saver
Kerb Weight, Kg1,708
Length x Width x Height
4514 x 1859 x 1668
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
615 / 1655
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 9.7
Real-World Test – Combined – 9.9
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
750 / 2200
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5 year / 150,000km
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – 5 Stars – PDZ496

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John Galvin (JSG)
It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.
2022-volkswagen-tiguan-r-awd-1st-edition-car-review<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The all new Tiguan R is a bit of a beast, taking everything we love from the Golf R and putting it into a family SUV. It's great to drive, sounds amazing, it’s super practical, stunning to look at and good value for money for the options you get as standard.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>There are a couple of niggley issues we hope VW can sort out, but overall this SUV gets high marks across the board.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>It's fair to say we are going to like this car as we bought it, but that being said we didn't just buy it because it's the first car we came across in the lot. My wife has had VW’s for years, from the Golf R32, to the Tiguan R- Line and now the Tiguan R. This SUV is not perfect, but she wouldn't keep going back to the same brand time and time again if it didn't tick a lot of her boxes. </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>We are unsure how long the 1st Edition will be available for, but if you're in the market for a sporty, stylish mid-size SUV, get into your local VW Dealer and try one ASAP.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->


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