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2013 Volkswagen Touareg

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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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 81 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

Elephant on roller skates

By on Friday, January 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,225

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It's a Volkswagen! Germany's best SUV"

Cons: "None at current time."

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

A piece of art.

"This is one of Germany's finest suv. I had it for 3 years, it's a joy to drive. Driving this elephant on roller skate all over central California and Bay Area I get 27-30 mpg. Best of all is that you don't see one on every corner. If you own one of these 9th wonders of the world, you know what I mean. YES I will buy an other one. DAS AUTO ( bulli )"

A piece of art.

Transmission Nightmare

By on Friday, January 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Comfort, Freeway driving, style"

Cons: "Tranmission Unreliable/Dangerous, Infotainment"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I don't understand all of the great reviews, unless my Touareg is unique and having issues where others are not. First, I love the overall style and comfort of my 2015 Touareg. It drives on the highway like a dream. But, when driving in city traffic or cornering, the transmission stutters, "Bangs" into gear after the engine revs and the transmission cannot figure out which gear it should be in, then finally slams into gear lurching the car forward. When cornering the transmission goes in and out of 2nd and 3rd gear causing it to feel like the car is going to stop, then lurches, then downshifts and it feels like its going to stop again. I have had this car into the VW dealership 4 times, with about 30 days of loaner cars. They have "involved" a VW factory mechanic, they replaced a valve body, which made the issue worse. They are now claiming the car is working per VW specifications. I opened a customer care case, they guy told me there was no issue and hung up on me. My second issue is with the infotainment system. It takes 4-5 minutes to start up. I will be out of my driveway, through my neighborhood and onto the freeway before it's done booting up. The dealer told me they could disable Sirius/XM to make it better. They download the entire Sirius catalogue at every start causing the delay. I have not had this issue with other cars."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

2011 VW TOUAREG The best Vehicle Design TDI

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

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: "Fun? This car is the ultimate"

Cons: "No con"

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

"I have not had any problems with my 2011 VW Touareg. In fact this is the finest and best engineered car/truck/rig out there. After owning it a few years you really start to appreciate how well it is built. Water drains off perfectly, the paint is durable and easy to maintain. With over 400 ft pounds of torque it is a real power to reason with. Handles fantastic. Speed??? this vehicle is fast off the line and cruise at high speeds with comfort. This touareg is above current technology. It corners like know other and remains level on turns taken rapidly. I can't say enough about the VA touareg"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Pure pleasure and power

By on Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lux - pure pleasure on the road"

Cons: "rotate tires @ 5,000 miles"

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

"The Lux TDi diesel version with Vienna leather seats provides pure pleasure to drive and ride with the full function passenger seat - hard to come by in other vehicles. Head rest slides back for neck comfort. In VW style it sticks to the road in avoidance moves. The TDi diesel is strong and feels secure on the interstate. What a cruising vehicle. I feel 100% secure and confident when my wife drives away in it. She absolutely loves it for comfort, handling, storage, and much more. Best vehicle so far. Nothing too complex and overbearing in the controls.. they keep it simple. Constant 30 mpg on the road at 70 & A/C. Great for adult passengers in the back seat. Beats most other front seats."

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best SUV

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

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: "Overall Quality"

Cons: "Must purchase extended warranty to avoid pay $$$"

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

"This is my six VW and by far is the BEST. TDI is the way to go,,, you can get 40 miles on hwy if you are under 65 miles...with no ac..How many SUV with that power can do that ? Only the 2013 VW Tuareg TDI...Best TDI for the money and awesome overall quality."

7 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Best ride I've ever owned! Great vehicle!

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,700

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: "Super vehicle, does everything you'd ever need!"

Cons: "Ipad interface."

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

"Love everything about this vehicle except the interface when I plug in my iPod to the sound system. If you have lots of songs, it's a drag trying to get to the one you want. Otherwise, sheer perfection in engineering!"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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