By KBB.com Editors
In a world dominated by SUVs that might look tough but cower when led over challenging terrain, the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 is a rarity. It offers highly competent on-road driving dynamics, but when the pavement ends the Touareg 2 also proves to be an extremely capable off-roader. Part of the Touareg 2's appeal lies in the fact that its underpinnings are shared with the much more expensive Porsche Cayenne. For those willing to forgo the exclusivity of the Porsche nameplate the Touareg 2 represents an opportunity to enjoy a similar driving experience at a lower price point. However, despite its luxuriously-appointed cabin, many buyers will find the Touareg 2's five-passenger design flawed in light of the current trend among SUVs to offer seating for seven or more.
If you want the capabilities of an SUV and the handling dynamics of a sport-sedan combined into one vehicle we think you'll like the Touareg 2. Whether on or off-road, its excellent chassis can handle anything you throw at it.
While the Touareg's well-rounded character is a big part of its appeal, and few of its competitors are as capable off-road, there are both softer and sportier options in its price range. Also, even a fully loaded, $70,000+ Touareg has neither a premium badge nor a third row of seats.
While not completely new, the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 benefits from more improvements than a typical mid-life refresh. A new front end, revised interior and stronger engines breath life into Volkswagen's SUV.
Driving Impressions The 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2's on-road manners lean towards the sporting side of things, owing its firm, stable road feel to the suspension it shares with the Porsche Cayenne. The...optional four-corner air-suspension helps smooth out the taut ride and adds more than three inches of ground clearance when adjusted to the highest level. Though few owners will ever take a Touareg 2 off-road, those who do are likely to be amazed by its abilities, as a standard center locking differential and hill descent assist make crawling up and down the steepest of trails a remarkably uneventful experience. Hard-core off-roaders will also appreciate the Touareg 2's optional locking rear differential, ability to ford 22-inch deep water and anti-lock braking system tuned to shorten braking distances on loose surfaces.
V10 Turbo Diesel
Volkswagen has long been a leader in bringing diesel engines to the American car buyer. With huge amounts of torque and a high level of refinement, the Touareg 2's diesel V10 may be the engine that finally converts American drivers into diesel fans.
The Touareg 2's standard 4XMotion four-wheel drive system delivers the goods for bold and brave off-road enthusiasts. A low-range gear, adaptive torque distribution and locking center differential help take the Touareg 2 over the most intimidating terrain.
Step inside the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 and you are treated to a richly-appointed cabin of leather, wood and chrome trim. Based on its quality of materials and level of comfort the interior of the Touareg 2's interior easily rivals the best in the luxury SUV class. Where it can't compete, however, is in seating capacity. Many SUVs now offer a third row of seats, increasing occupant capacity to seven, but the Touareg 2 remains a two-row SUV, thus limiting the number of seats to five. Luggage space, on the other hand, is quite good, thanks to a large, useful, squared-off rear cargo area.Exterior
Volkswagen is known for its small cars, but, despite its mid-size SUV dimensions, the Touareg 2 looks every bit a member of the VW family, with restyled headlamps and a large chrome grille that echoes the look of the Volkswagen Passat. The Touareg 2's tall, wide stance gives the impression that it's ready to take on the toughest trails, as do short front and rear overhangs that also help improve approach and departure angles.
The standard equipment list for the Touareg 2 includes a long list of features designed to enhance its on and off-road abilities, including anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, Hill Descent Assist and 4XMotion four-wheel drive. Among the standard comfort and convenience features are dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, heated seats, sunroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. Enhancing the safety of all Touareg 2's are front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, a sensor that can activate the airbags in the event of a rollover and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
There are three option packages offered for the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2. The Lux Package is available only for the VR6 model and includes leather and wood trim, a 12-way power passenger seat and Bi-Xenon headlamps. The Lux Plus Package adds keyless entry and engine start, a Dynaudio audio system, four-zone automatic climate control and heated rear seats. Included in the Technology Package are DVD-based navigation, a back-up camera, six-disc CD changer and auxiliary audio input. Other available options include a locking rear differential, tow hitch and four-corner air suspension.
The base 3.6-liter VR6 engine provides adequate power and helps the Touareg 2 achieve its $40,000 starting price, but the mid-level 4.2-liter V8 proves much more desirable and delivers the level of power and refinement one might expect from BMW or Land Rover. At the top of the Touareg 2's list of engine choices is a 5.0-liter turbocharged V10 diesel that not only provides the swiftest acceleration but also delivers the best fuel economy. All Touareg 2's are equipped with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive.
280 horsepower at 6200 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque at 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
350 horsepower at 6700 rpm
324 lb.-ft. of torque at 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17
5.0-liter V10 Turbo Diesel
310 horsepower at 3750 rpm
553 lb.-ft. of torque at 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20
By Chuck Steak on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "tight as new"
Cons: "get pwr seat passenger side"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have owned many 4wd's. This is the best one for solid construction ---drives like it is new after 130,000 miles."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Disappointed on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks good, rides good"
Cons: "money pit, not durable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We bought it used and did all the maintenance. Replaced front and rear brakes and both headlights. Very disappointed in what was supposed to be a durable well built car."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Moose44 on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "560 lb ft..of ungodly torque"
Cons: "expensive to fix."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought used 2006 V10 a year ago. It spent almost a month in a dealership getting various fixes. Luckily, previous owner bought bumper to bumper transferable extended warranty. Without it, it would have cost me approximately $10,000 to fix up the car. That is the extent of all the negatives. Other than that, this SUV rocks… I pull 30 ft camping trailer. I used to pull it with 5.7L V8 truck and did not like it at all. It did pull OK but hated gassing up every 2.5 hours. I also hated bumpy and noisy ride of truck. Also I just could not live with a truck as a daily driver. This small SUV pulls it like a champ. Thanks to 560 lb-ft of torque, only way to make this car downshift is to floor the gas on highway, while going uphill and towing a trailer. On highway, this thing is a rocket. 0-60 at 7.5 isn’t all that fast but 0-30 and highway passing acceleration is just phenomenal. Also thanks to air suspension, this thing also ride like Lexus LS430 I used to have. Basically, this thing ride like my Lexus LS430, pulls better than 5.7L V8 truck and pass better than many sports cars. But all that will cost you. I am so glad I have my extended warranty for another 4 years and 30,000 miles. I am getting a daily driver so I won’t run out of my warranty soon. I work for a car company and I owned/leased 19 cars in last 20 year. By far, this is the best car I ever owned."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Chick on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Everything except"
Cons: "the gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Drove this car off the lot in 2006....I never, ever had one regret!! Love everything about this car, except the gas mileage on this very fast V8. It's beautiful, safe, well equipped, Sexy and drives like a slot car! Looking forward to the new Touareg TDI"
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By sputnik on Friday, February 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best SUV out there"
Cons: "Maintanence is very very expensive."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have bought many suvs New... RR Supercharged, Nissan Murano, Acura MDX, another RR back in 1990. This VW is as good as the 06 new RR I bought. I like the sensors better then rear view camera. Over all its the best SUV I have ever had. I have rattles from back seat. I will find them and address them. otherwise it is as good as new. feels secure, powerful. You need to be ready to pay rediculaus amounts of money to keep it tip top after warranty expires. So I decided to keep it. I would rather spend a lot of money to keep this top shelf SUV rather then trade it in and have another 30k instalment loan...and for what? It wont be a better car... This one is like new already..."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Drifter on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Does everything in style, Safety, Handeling"
Cons: "Stop & Go City Driving Gulps Fuel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Touareg TDI is, in all aspects, a standout vehicle of uncommon build quality. Having said that, it's not the best choice for a non-engaged owner/driver. If you're looking for strictly a grocery getter and/or don't enjoy keeping your vehicles properly maintained, the Touareg might not be for you. (This is a serious driver's machine.) Prior to purchasing my TDI Touareg, I was driving Audis (A6 & A4)for the past 13 years. I can honestly report that driving the Touareg is very much akin to driving a huge Audi A6. The fun-to-drive factor is actually a toss-up when comparing the Touareg to the A6 I consider my Touareg as an APV (all purpose vehicle). You can arrive at the symphony in black tie one night and the next day, you could be navigating a high country back road heading to your secret fishing spot. This rig does it all! The MPG with the TDI is very impressive, with drivers reporting well over the EPA estimates. The power is more than ample and power delivery is smooth and immediate. So far, the only problems have been extremely minor (light bulbs and computer reset etc.) and were covered under warranty. I plan to keep this Touareg for the rest of my days or until the wheels fall -- whichever occurs first. One note for folks who may be considering a Touareg. If your plans include serious off-road operation, you might want to look at a low millage 2010 or older Touareg so you will have the selectable low-range 4Xmotion capability and locking rear differential. This was discontinued in the 2011 and newer Touaregs. Check-out the YouTubes on the Touareg's off-road prowess."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful