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 Chloe P. on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,100overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful inside and out"
Cons: "Way too many expensive electrical issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I don't know quite where to begin. I purchased my used, 2004 V8 AWD Touareg in November 2014. She is luxurious, comfortable, and sexy in every way but sure is darn deceiving. After three days of bliss, I started experiencing issue upon issue with my used Touareg. Upwards of $5,000 worth of pesky electrical work needs repairs, and today I had to watch my baby get hauled away on a tow truck to the shop because my key fabs stopped working and car won't start. She is beautiful and I love Blair (yes, she has a name), but I am frustrated with the endless issues that continue to arise. It may have been because of a bad dealer who didn't perform the 100,000 service check like they said they did. I'm hoping after these problems are fixed that it will be smooth sailing but I'm skeptical. I would not recommend buying a used Touareg."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Kathy on Thursday, February 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "LOVE the way she corners, even at high speeds."
Cons: "Navigation is not good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I LOVE my Touareg 2! I have never once had any kind of issue with it. I have a very bad back and the comfort of the vehicle is A+, I can ride in her for hours. She is a beauty to look at and the body style is very stylish. There is plenty of leg-room for four and the tailgate is a breeze. I take very good care of her because I wish to keep her for years and she wants to look as good as she drives. My only complaint would be the navigation system, it's not user friendly, in fact I hope that VW has upgraded that."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Dwayne on Saturday, February 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, good off road, comfortable ride"
Cons: "Very expensive to maintain, German prices"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I love driving the car. Very comfortable off road or on highway. Very well appointed. However, shares platform with Porsche Cayenne, taking it well above VW prices for repairs & maintenance. For that reason alone I would never buy another one."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Lovetoteach on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives like a dream; fearless in bad weather."
Cons: "mp3 hookup would be nice on my model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This vehicle drives extremely well and is very comfortable around town or on road trips. It may not have third row seating, but we have a small family and don't need a mini bus. Great leg room for backseat passengers. I absolutely love this vehicle, and we feel very safe in it as well."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Estela on Tuesday, December 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,300overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, awesome to drive, hugs the road"
Cons: "Expensive to repair, eats breaks and light bulbs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This is the best vehicle I have bought so far. It's great in snow, rain and can handle beautiful in the highway. It's 8 years old and a lot of people always assume it's newer...It does go through breaks, gas and light bulbs more often than any of my other cars. I just finished payment for it and of course the warranty has expired and I was just informed that it needs a timing belt replacement. The local VW dealer is asking for $6,999.00 for the repair. I'm waiting to hear back from another VW repair shop (not a dealer) and see how much it would cost through them. I love my car and would hate to get into another car payment so I'm not sure what to do at this point. I might consider buying an Extended warranty (waiting for some quotes). Wish me luck!"
7 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By rooster on Friday, October 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,210overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "driving dynamics- ease of entry and exit- luxuriou"
Cons: "expensive to repair"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"great road manners- plenty of power 3.2 v6 motor-very classy looking and very few around so she is unique and fun to drive"
12 people out of 23 found this review helpful