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2012 Volkswagen Touareg

Overview
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2012 Volkswagen Touareg Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

If a buyer can move beyond this SUV's moniker (derived from the North African Tuareg tribe) he or she is 90 percent of the way there. Behind the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg's badging is one of the more compelling packages in today's 5-door, all-wheel-drive menu. With its rigid body structure, supple suspension, careful assembly and tasteful appointments, VW's Touareg provides an offering similar to that provided by Porsche's Cayenne, but in (perhaps) a 911 vs. 911 Turbo context. VW's package emphasizes competence and (relative) affordability, without diminishing quality or efficiency.

You'll Like This Car If...

If an on-road dynamic is more important than off-road capability, today's Volkswagen Touareg is one of the better choices in the marketplace. A rigid structure and all-independent suspension provide the composure, while a trio of available drivetrains provides both fun and functionality.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If, in selecting an SUV or crossover, your emphasis is on cubic volume or the ability to clear fallen timber, this isn't your cup of SUV. For you, there's a Jeep Grand Cherokee or 4WD Chevy Tahoe. The Touareg takes proper care of passengers and cargo, but not excessive care.

What's New for 2012

When introduced to the U.S. for the 2004 model year, the VW Touareg aspired to be a do-everything SUV. In its newest iteration, the Touareg has shed 300+ pounds (which included dumping a lo-range transfer case) and is now tailored for on-road, all-season comfort and composure. Rarely will you find a better balance of virtues in something characterized as an SUV.

Driving the Touareg

Driving Impressions With three responsive powertrains connected to Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmissions, all variants of the 2012 Touareg provide a level of driving engagement rare in the SUV/crossover...

category. Given that the Touareg platform was developed in partnership with Audi and Porsche that shouldn't come as a surprise, but there's no evidence of dumbing down the Touareg to reflect its more modest window sticker. We enjoyed the light, more "flickable" feel of the standard 3.6-liter VR6. With the 3.6 as a baseline, the flexibility offered by the diesel, and the "rush" (there's no other descriptive) of the hybrid are truly addictive. All Touareg variants enjoy communicative steering, a supple (albeit controlled) ride and positive braking response. With the possible exception of Porsche's Cayenne we can't remember a more positive driving experience in a vehicle marketed under the SUV descriptive.

PANORAMIC POWER SUNROOF
North Africa's Tuareg tribesmen must enjoy expansive skies and vistas. Why else would Volkswagen equip their vehicular namesake with a "sky window" allowing roughly triple the amount of light found in more pedestrian sunroofs? The sunroof (standard on both Lux and Executive trims, as well as the Hybrid) provides driver and passengers with an almost fishbowl environment. The light show would be difficult to duplicate in any vehicle save (perhaps) Volkswagen's Deluxe Microbus or a Greyhound Scenicruiser.

10-YEAR/100,000 MILE POWERTRAIN WARRANTY
Volkswagen has considerable ground to make up in the area of quality, reliability and customer satisfaction. It appears – based on consumer-satisfaction surveys – the company is making significant headway in all three, and nothing injects more confidence into consideration than a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. As Volkswagen's literature puts it (in the large print), if "something goes wrong with the engine, the transmission or the 4Motion all-wheel drive system, VW has you covered."

2012 Volkswagen Touareg Details
Interior

No mud should be slung within the interior environs of the 2012 Touareg. But should you sling it, the V-Tex leatherette (the people's seating surface) is a cinch to clean – and it's standard in both Sport and Sport w/Nav trim levels. Opt for the Lux or Executive levels, and the interior furnishings are covered in "Vienna" leather and walnut, with metallic trim surrounds. Regardless of the trim package you opt for, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is a viable mix of credible comfort, expansive visibility and upscale appointment. The front seats are supportive, and the rear bench splits 40/20/40.

Exterior

In a process Volkswagen describes as "redesign, re-engineer (and) re-imagine," the 2012 VW Touareg sheds both substantive weight and visual heft. The end result is sheet metal that appears both trim and urbane. The current Touareg occupies a footprint that is both (slightly) wider and longer when compared to its first-generation. The end result tilts toward the station "wagen" end of the SUV/crossover spectrum, embodying both established VW design cues and a healthy dose of athleticism.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Touaregs feature VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system. With a center-mounted Torsen limited-slip differential, the power to the front/rear wheels is split 40/60, providing both optimal stability and enhanced handling. On a series of rain-dampened roadways in Northern California, we found the Touareg both planted and nimble. And given its global mission, we'd give a nod to dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power heated front seats and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Optional Equipment

Performance enthusiasts can enjoy the 2012 VW Touareg in one of three ways. And while the standard 3.6-liter DOHC VR6 is entertaining, those wishing to combine their fun with efficiency can embrace either the 3.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel or supercharged hybrid. The diesel delivers 225 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, along with a combined EPA estimate of 22 miles per gallon. The hybrid, introduced in 2011, is one part Audi (3.0-liter V6) and one part Prius, providing a combined 380 horsepower, 425 lb-ft of torque and an EPA estimate of 21 miles per gallon. With prodigious torque, both the diesel and hybrid Touaregs provide a grin in stop-and-go driving that, frankly, never stops.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg's underlying proposition is to provide a sense of balance in environments rarely offering it. Those vehicles intended for urban duties often fall woefully short when venturing out onto the open road, while family cruisers often seem clumsy when running the in-town errands. VW's Touareg, in any of its three drivetrain configurations, can take on whatever the daily grind – or annual road trip – is prepared to dish out, and does it in a relaxed, confident and (surprisingly) efficient manner.

Touareg V6
3.6-liter VR6
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
265 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

Touareg TDI
3.0-liter turbodiesel V6
225 horsepower @ 3,500-4,000 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28

Touareg Hybrid
3.0-liter supercharged V6 + electric motor
380 horsepower (combined) @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
425 lb-ft of torque (combined) @ 3,000-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/24

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2012 Volkswagen Touareg Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 71 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Out of 67 vehicles I have owned this is the best .

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,480

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Power of the TDI engine is very smooth and the eight Speed transmission is fast and smooth also.The ride of the R line is stiff but that is what I like. It corners flat and towes our 24 ft travel trailer with ease and plenty of power doing it. Very comfy interior. I would buy another one ."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

excellent - 47k miles and all smiles

By on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, fuel economy, torque, quiet cabin"

Cons: "some more room for the rear seat (2 child seats)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"TDI is the way to go. I bought a US built Passat TDI DSG 3 years ago - it is simply solid as a rock - I put 77k miles on it without any creaks or rattles and it needed nothing but reoutine maintenance and a set of brake pads. It feels like it did when it was new. My wife still drives the Passat and I bought the 2014 Touareg TDI. I now have 47k miles on it and averaging about 29-30 MPG. I absolutely love the powertrain, the low end torque is fantastic. The 360 degree area view on the radio is great for parking etc. It's been bullet proof, other than maintenance and some front brake pads there have been no issues. Add me to the TDI fans! It's by no means a cheap SUV, but well worth it."

19 people out of 36 found this review helpful

The "Un-Premium" premium SUV

By on Monday, December 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
2/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Purchased a 2013 TDI LUX new; and now it has 20k on the clock. At around 13k miles, I began experiencing severe tire wear on the inner edges. A trip to the tire shop and $250 later, confirmed my suspicions: the alignment was spot on. Talking with the Pirelli Rep, he feels there is nothing wrong with the tires; and VW provides no warranty on tires. A few cross rotations has them nearly sorted out - not that VW was any help. Then there are the brakes. It seems that my rotors have "warped" @ 16k miles, and VW doesn't feel it is a defect, and is not covered under warranty. In fact, they've gone so far as to tell me "you shouldn't expect brakes/pads/rotors on a 5000 lb vehicle to last over 20,000 miles." My overall take: it has a really nice diesel engine. Fuel Economy stays around 24-26. But, unless you have $1500 dollars laying around to buy new tires every year, and another $600-800 for brakes which should be (but aren't) covered under warranty ever 16-18k miles, this might be a very expensive vehicle for you to own and operate. And don't expect ANY Premium Service for your "Premium" SUV from VW. Fortunately, I have been able to do the work on my brakes myself. I can't imagine paying a VW dealer $1500 or so for new brakes."

16 people out of 23 found this review helpful

GREAT car!

By on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, solid, responsive, awesome sun roof"

Cons: "Tires are very pricey!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Although this is "my car" after years of owning Toyotas, I downsized to a smaller SUV and my husband loves driving this car as much as I do. I cover lots and lots of mountain miles and this is a dream on the curves and hills. I have the TDI Exec model. Its so comfortable and I didn't think I would use all of the "toys" but I do and its wonderful!"

15 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Great vehicle, a little small in the cargo area

By on Sunday, September 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great mileage, solid SUV"

Cons: "Price"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"TDI has been flawless, has pulled my 20' trailer at 7,000 lbs. with no problem. The nav system is not really user friendly, but it does work. Life to date is 28.5 MPG, 70% highway, winter, summer included. Trailering mileage is 14mpg, and included in the life to date. Dealer services are pricey. I considered many, and went with the VW. It looks like we are slowly becoming a VW family."

24 people out of 45 found this review helpful

Buy one. You won't be dissapointed!

By on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned over sixty autos over the period of sixty five years. Makes include everything including Ford, Chevy, Buick, Plymouth, Studebaker, Cadillac, VW, Fiat, Jaguar, MBZ, Audi, Porsche. This is the first diesel. I am so impressed about what the VW group has done with this car. I am going to stick with the VW group and Diesels."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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