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2013 Volkswagen Touareg

Overview
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2013 Volkswagen Touareg Review

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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
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 70 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

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

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."

4 people out of 12 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."

8 people out of 9 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!"

9 people out of 18 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."

18 people out of 36 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."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

70k miles, 2/2011 purchase. NOT A SINGLE PROBLEM.

By on Thursday, August 07, 2014

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

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Diesel. Power. Mileage. ZERO service items."

Cons: "Bit pricey."

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

"I've owned VW TDI's for a while. By far this is the best. It hasn't had a single issue. Just did the brakes on it the other day and I do the routine oil changes myself. It's had a couple recalls but haven't even brought it in for them as they are so minor. And it has a 100k powertrain warranty to boot. Ya, it is pricey, but for what you get, and the towing ability (I pull a 5000lb camper in the summer) you can't beat it. And mileage, I avg 28MPG highway, 45 miles a day each way, 70-80MPH. I can't wait to buy another in 4 more years. (Also have the Q7 TDI 2011, but I'd take this any day over that, other than the extra two seats....)"

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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