By KBB.com Editors
In a world dominated by SUVs that might look tough, but cower when led over challenging terrain, the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg is a rarity. It offers highly competent on-road driving dynamics, but when the pavement ends the Touareg also proves to be an extremely capable off-roader. Part of the VW Touareg'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 represents an opportunity to enjoy a similar driving experience at a lower price point. Despite its luxuriously-appointed cabin, however, many buyers will find the Touareg'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 VW Touareg. 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, $60,000+ Touareg has neither a premium badge nor a third row of seats.
For 2010, the V8 model is dropped from the Touareg's lineup and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is made standard on all trims.
Driving Impressions The 2010 Volkswagen Touareg'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 off-road, those who do are likely to be amazed by its abilities, as a standard locking center 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's ability to ford 22-inch deep water and the anti-lock braking system tuned to shorten braking distances on loose surfaces.
V6 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's clean diesel V6 may be the engine that finally converts American drivers into diesel fans.
The Touareg'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 over the most intimidating terrain.
Step inside the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg 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 Touareg'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 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 midsize SUV dimensions, the Touareg looks every bit a member of the VW family, with integrated wrap-around headlamps and a large chrome grille that echoes the look of the Volkswagen Passat. The Touareg'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 VW Touareg includes features designed to enhance its on and off-road abilities, including anti-lock brakes (ABS), 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, 12-way power driver's seat, heated seats, sunroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. Enhancing the safety of all Touareg'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 four main option packages offered for the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg. Highlights for the Lux Package includes leather and wood trim, a heated steering wheel and a 12-way power passenger's seat, while the Lux Limited Package adds 20-inch wheels and body colored sport bumpers. Included in the Technology Package are hard-drive based navigation, single disc CD/DVD/MP3/WMA player, auxiliary audio and USB inputs, Bi-xenon headlamps, keyless entry and start and a rear back-up camera. To get the Dynaudio sound system, one must upgrade to the Premium Technology Package. Other available options include a tow hitch and, on TDI only, a four-corner air suspension.
The base 3.6-liter VR6 engine provides adequate power and helps the VW Touareg achieve its $41,500 starting price, but the new 3.0-liter V6 diesel is the engine of choice – especially for those who need maximum towing power. Not only does the diesel provide swift acceleration, it also delivers better fuel economy. All Touareg's are equipped with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive.
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel
225 horsepower @ 3500 rpm
406 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
By Jones (MI) on Thursday, April 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I considered trading this vehicle in when the fuel pumps failed at 150k miles but decided against it. Repairs on this vehicle are expensive, but I've only had maybe three major repairs in 10 years. I think I've driven the last 50k miles with no mechanical problems. This vehicle has 150k miles on it but it does not feel worn out at all. Its a V-8 engine. It handles great. Its very solid and I still like the way it looks after 10 years."
By daniel (DC) on Sunday, January 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "timeless and fucntional design"
Cons: "Needs plenty of premium fuel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Nice SUV with real off road capabilities that surprise hard core 4wd enthusiasts. Simultaneously, very comfortable and capable highway cruiser, with exceptional road manners also in curvy roads and tight secondary roads. In the city, it is relativley easy to park due to excellent turning radius, it is not a mini or GTI, but surpisingly agile for a 5000lbs vehicle. Excellent towing vehicle that effortlessly tows 5000lb trailers at full highway speeds even on hills and reasonable fuel consumption. Interior build quality and level of luxury are top notch. Negatives really only are fuel consumption in town and only a 5 seater. So far excellent reliability. Electronic warnings are frequent but largely reset themselves, maybe electronics are just a bit overly sensitive"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Critical Driver (MA) on Monday, September 03, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Style, performance, comfort, safety, reliability."
Cons: "Gas mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"First off, if you're worried about gas mileage, you're looking at the wrong car. That's the only thing I can say negatively about my Touareg. Any European SUV in this category will be similar. The overall experience with this vehicle is great. Comfort, reliability, performance, off road capability, technology... all great. If you're living in an area with snowfall, this vehicle handles incredibly. Safe and strong in any weather. There's just something about a VW that grabs you and make you an enthusiast. I took my Touareg to the Outer Banks and drove it on the beach for a week... WOW!!! I passed a lot of BMWs that were stuck and even a few Jeeps!"
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Treg408 (NJ) on Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "V8, Air Suspension, Low Range, Lockers, Lights"
Cons: "MPG's, Maintenance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used with 27000 miles on it back in April of 2012. I can not stress how much I love this car. The only repair it ever needed was to replace the driveshaft. The car is solid and secure in everyway possible. I have had this car off in some pretty rough terrain and it felt just as solid as it does at over 100 mph. The interior is top notch. The leather in my LR4 and the 2012 ML Bluetech can not match up. Everytime I drive the car I love it more and more. The adjustable suspension and the low range are my favorite features. I will keep this car well over 100,000 miles. It may be expensive to maintain but if you take care of it, it will take care of you. I love it and the V8 power is amazing."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Lidia (GA) on Monday, July 16, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"PROS: There are too many to single out, but our 2005 VW Touareg has a timeless elegance to it's appearance that often shocks people to know that it's not a newer vehicle. The quality of the leather seats and the shine of the wood grain and chrome accents adds to it's incredibly luxurious interior. It has amazing handling and offers a sturdy drive. The incorporated in-dash cooler help keeping a cool bottled drink on-hand during long road trips, while the "thunk" to each closing door reminds the driver that there is a great level of sound proofing from outside distractions. We've weathered heavy snow and torrential rains with heavy winds in our VW without feeling "vulnerable". The Touareg holds it's own. It never rolls back on hills and proves it's reliability year after year. CONS: For anything worth having, it's worth having to upkeep. Routine maintenance on the Touareg is a little pricey, but with it, the reliability of the Touareg is hands down PRICELESS. OVERALL: There are so many great things to say about the Touareg, but it's performance and reliability outshines them all. Never had a cold morning where my Touareg didn't start. Never had an engine failure. Never been stranded. Never. Reliability and luxury with an amazing drive; anything else is immaterial."
14 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By think twice (CO) on Wednesday, April 04, 2012
I don't own this caroverall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "super comfortable seats,luxurious inside."
Cons: "to expensive for even simple upkeep"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Beautiful car to look at but thats just about all you can do with it because the car is a GAS HOG!!! With the way gas prices are now adays its impossible to go anywhere.Also whole inside is electric,sounds kinda cool but actually pretty scary.It also has a electric system on the dash to tell you when somethings wrong with it.Not convienent when every five seconds somethings beeping saying its failing.Numerous times Ive been driving and it starts beeping telling me to pull over because the brakes failed.That is not actually the case my brakes are fine,but the system is faulty.ANNOYING and SCARY.I would only recommend if you have alot of money for upkeep,even a simple oil change turns out to be pricey."
16 people out of 17 found this review helpful