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2013 Volkswagen Touareg

Overview
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2013 Volkswagen Touareg Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

The name is quirky (from a nomadic North African tribe) but behind the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg's badging is one of the more compelling packages in today's 5-door, all-wheel-drive (AWD) lineup. With its rigid body structure, supple suspension, strong engines and tasteful appointments, VW's Touareg provides an unusually rewarding driving experience for something called an SUV. Then fold in the traditional SUV qualities of hauling ability and all-weather security and the package becomes quite irresistible. Volkswagen's decision to add a torquey turbodiesel and an amazingly fast hybrid to the powertrain menu makes it even better. There are nine discrete model/trim combinations: Sport, Sport with Navigation, Lux and Executive packages, each available with either gasoline (V6) or turbodiesel (TDI) power, plus the Hybrid.

You'll Like This Car If...

If on-road dynamics is more important than off-road capability, today's Volkswagen Touareg makes a great choice. A rigid structure and all-independent suspension provide the composure, while a trio of available drivetrains provides fun, function and efficiency.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your emphasis is on sheer cubic space or the ability to clear fallen timber, this isn't your cup of SUV. Check out a Jeep Grand Cherokee or 4WD Chevy Tahoe instead.

What's New for 2013

After a full redesign two years ago, the Volkswagen Touareg gets few changes for 2013. Most notable is a bump in horsepower for the TDI engine from 225 to 240. Also there are new LED taillights for the Hybrid, some redesigned wheels and a new shade of wood interior trim.

Driving the Touareg

Driving Impressions With three responsive powertrains connected to Volkswagen's 8-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion AWD, all variants of the 2013 Touareg provide a level of driving engagement rare in the SUV category....

It's true the Touareg platform was developed in partnership with Audi and Porsche, but the good news is there's no evidence of dumbing down the Touareg to reflect its more modest price point. With the 3.6-liter VR6 the Touareg feels polished, light on its feet and plenty responsive, but by comparison, the flexibility of the turbodiesel and the "rush" (there's no other description) of the Hybrid are truly remarkable. The Touareg has communicative steering, a supple (albeit controlled) ride and strong brakes. With the possible exception of Porsche's Cayenne – and that's a cousin – there may be no sweeter driving experience in a vehicle marketed as an SUV.

PANORAMIC POWER SUNROOF
Volkswagen's "sky window" lets in roughly three times the light of more pedestrian sunroofs. It's standard on Lux, Executive and Hybrid models and provides a near-fishbowl environment.

10-YEAR/100,000-MILE POWERTRAIN WARRANTY
Volkswagen still has some ground to make up in the area of perceived quality and reliability, and the effort is being helped by a confidence-inspiring 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on all three engines, including the Hybrid.

2013 Volkswagen Touareg Details
Interior

"Tasteful" best sums up the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg's cabin. The design is restrained and clean but well executed in beautiful materials. It doesn't have the intricate detailing of an Audi interior, but you can see the family connection. The seating surfaces are V-Tex Leatherette on the Sport trims, and genuine leather on Lux and Executive levels (and Hybrid), which also get wood trim. The front seats are supportive, and the 60/40 folding rear bench seat slides fore-aft and reclines. Regardless of trim level, the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg is a pleasing mix of credible comfort, expansive visibility and upscale appointments.

Exterior
2013 Volkswagen Touareg photo

In a process Volkswagen described as "redesign, re-engineer (and) re-imagine," the VW Touareg shed both substantive weight and visual heft in its 2011 makeover. The end result is sheetmetal that appears both trim and urbane; the skin is pulled taut over the wheels and cabin. There are established VW design cues plus a healthy dose of athleticism. The 2013 Touareg leans toward the station-wagon end of the SUV design spectrum in terms of stance and proportions, and the theme suits it.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2013 Touaregs feature VW's 4Motion AWD system with its adaptive front/rear torque distribution providing great stability and enhanced handling. Dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power and heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Bluetooth with audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio and power outlets (one 115-volt and four 12-volt) are standard across the board. So are six airbags, traction control, stability control, hill descent assist and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Optional Equipment

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 Navigation option on the Sport trim adds a touch-screen nav system, rearview camera and power liftgate. The higher trim packages – Lux, Executive and Hybrid – include features such as the panoramic sunroof, leather seating, 12-way-adjustable front seats with memory, 19-inch alloy wheels (in place of the Sport's 18s) and walnut or Vavona wood interior highlights. A rear spoiler and side steps can be added separately.

Under the Hood

Three very different engines give the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg very different personalities. The base V6 is a narrow-angle direct-injection 3.6 with a fine balance of smoothness, acceleration and fuel efficiency. The TDI turbodiesel boasts strong low-speed torque (406 lb-ft) and miserly highway fuel consumption (29 mpg, 700-mile range). The Touareg Hybrid combines an electric motor and gasoline engine, but unlike any other hybrid, that engine is a supercharged 3.0 V6 making 333 horsepower on its own. Add the electric motor's seamless urge and you have an eye-popping total rated output of 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is quite surprising and efficiency still excellent. Regardless of engine, all Touaregs use an 8-speed automatic transmission and VW's 4Motion full-time AWD.

3.6-liter VR6
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6
240 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg

3.0-liter supercharged V6 + electric motor
380 horsepower (combined)
428 lb-ft of torque (combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/24 mpg

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2013 Volkswagen Touareg Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 75 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Best VW I have owned...period

By on Thursday, May 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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: "Fuel economy, comfort, styling"

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

"I have been a brand loyal VW customer since 2003, all of them being TDIs. I had two Golf TDI before getting my Touareg and I've never regretted having this SUV. In fact, having the TDI engine in this flagship SUV made complete sense. If you're familiar with the service intervals, it is a no brainer. Every 10K. Yes, it's a German car and some things will be a little bit more, but it is worth it and I have a great mechanic that services my vehicles. This car is extremely comfortable and makes distance driving a joy. You have all the contact from the road and this 6600 lb car is quite responsive. The fuel economy is insane! While it is rated 28 highway, I have been able to coax 32-34 on a trip to Chicago with the AC on no stop. What full sized SUV can do that on the market? You will initially think this is too much car for me, but after a the first week it becomes a part of you. I was lucky to get this car used as part of 1 yr old company fleet car for VW with less than 12K on the odometer, so the price point worked out very well for me and I still had all the benefits of a solid warranty. New or used, this is a fine VW to have."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever owned!

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

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: "Handles like a sports car."

Cons: "None"

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

"Love this vehicle! Handles like a dream, great milage, great looks. Plenty of room. Best purchase I have made in a vehicle."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I will continue to drive this elegant beast 4ever!

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,111

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: "Awesome vehicle, driving the country is a treat..."

Cons: "None"

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

"What a vehicle! Never shirks, never a problem, smooth, tough, elegant and reliable as the day is long. You cannot do better!"

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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 ."

22 people out of 46 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."

20 people out of 37 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."

27 people out of 39 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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