By KBB.com Editors
Volkswagen's first SUV has become an unmitigated success. Savvy consumers have warmed to the idea of getting Porsche technology (the Touareg shares much of its suspension and all-wheel drive components with the Porsche Cayenne) at a Volkswagen price. Combining a luxurious and option-rich interior with one of the most complex and capable four-wheel-drive systems in its class, the five-passenger Touareg continues to broaden its portfolio with a new standard V6 engine and the continuation of the segment's only V10 TDI turbo-diesel engine. Tight emission regulations limit sales to just 45 states, but new low-sulfur diesel makes the V10 TDI much more environmentally friendly. And, with 553 pound-feet of torque on hand, this is the midsize SUV to have if towing is a priority.
If you're shopping for an SUV that can go off-road with the best of them, yet can still pamper you like a king when planted on paved byways, the Touareg should be at the top of your list.
If you're a regular Volkswagen buyer the window sticker may shock you, and the Touareg does not offer a third-row seat.
A new 3.6-liter V6 becomes the standard engine on base models, while the Advanced Frontlight System becomes standard equipment on the V10 TDI. New options this year include a power rear liftgate and keyless access with push-button start.
Driving Impressions The Touareg is equipped with a four-wheel independent steel-spring suspension that produces a firm and controlled ride. The somewhat stiff spring rates and spot-on steering allow you to perform some...rather high-involvement maneuvers, proving that, even with a tall ride height, an SUV can still be a stable and competent performer.
V10 Turbo Diesel
The Touareg's V10 TDI diesel marks a major milestone in the American car market, reintroducing the diesel engine to the mainstream car-buying public.
Adjustable Center Differential
An adjustable center differential allows drivers to shift the torque load between the front and rear axles.
Though it seats only five, the Touareg is intended to compete head-on with such well-established models as the Volvo XC90, Acura MDX and BMW X5. To ensure its success, the Touareg has been outfitted with an interior that upstages even the most expensive of those competitors. Generous amounts of leather, wood trim and stylish chrome trim rings adorn the cockpit, affixed to a thoroughly modern dash and interior that look more Audi than Volkswagen.Exterior
The Touareg has combined the familial looks of the Passat and Jetta wagons with a big SUV platform that says, "I'm the real McCoy." Unlike many luxury SUVs, the Touareg's short front and rear overhangs and tall ride-height (evident by the enormous gaps between the tires and wheel arches) speak volumes about where the engineers intended this SUV to be capable to go.
The Touareg features a 3.6-liter V6, six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, electronic stability control, Hill Descent Assist, full-time 4XMotion four-wheel drive, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, tilt-down right side mirror, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlamp control, power glass moonroof, front side-impact and head-curtain airbags, 115-volt outlet in the cargo compartment, heated seats, tilt-wheel with touch controls, trip computer, 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear wiper/washer.
Options include a 350-horsepower 4.2-liter V8, a 310-horsepower V10 turbo diesel, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, navigation, leather seating, heated rear seat, 12-way power driver and passenger seats, air suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, Electronic Parking Assistance, 19-inch alloy wheels, the Advanced Frontlight System (standard on the V10), power rear liftgate and an upgraded audio system.
The standard 3.6-liter V6 is an acceptable engine for the Touareg and a necessity for those who want to get into this vehicle for less than $40,000. The new FSI 4.2-liter V8 is a gem of an engine. Its power and smooth operation rival more expensive V8s from BMW and Land Rover, but its fuel economy is nothing more than modest. If money is no object, the new V10 TDI diesel engine may be your best bet. Its massive torque provides excellent off-the-line acceleration, not to mention towing abilities above and beyond that of the gasoline engine. On the flip side, the V10 TDI will cost you more at the dealership and at the pump, as diesel fuel costs more than gasoline.
276 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20
350 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
324 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
5.0-liter V10 Turbo Diesel
310 horsepower @ 3750 rpm
553 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22
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."
4 people out of 6 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