By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
Unless you know your nomadic North African tribes, the Touareg's name won't mean much to you. However, once you learn what this 5-passenger SUV can do you'll be singing its praises, goofy name and all. A rigid body paired with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive (AWD) system (in this case VW's 4Motion) makes the Touareg a formidable off-road explorer while its broad engine choices offer power, economy and technology unavailable on most domestic competitors. Be it the torque-happy turbodiesel or the lightning-quick hybrid, the Touareg will get you where you want and do it in record time. With six possible trim/model combinations from which to choose, it's hard to imagine anyone willing to drop $40K or more will find much to quibble about in the Touareg.
If you're seeking a credible SUV that can tow and participate in light off-roading, but you want that same vehicle to be civilized and fuel-efficient when it's on the road, the 2014 VW Touareg makes an excellent choice.
For 2014, VW adds a new R-Line trim to the Touareg family, bringing unique interior and exterior features, 20-inch alloy wheels and a sport suspension. A new 360-degree Area View monitor and hands-free, easy-open tailgate are made available on all but the R-Line and Sport trims.
Driving Impressions No matter which VW powertrain motivates the 2014 Touareg SUV, it will be hooked up to an 8-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels via the 4Motion AWD...... system. Because the Touareg's platform was developed in conjunction with Audi and Porsche the level of handling and ride compliance dwarfs that of most big SUVs, a remarkable achievement considering the Touareg's relatively moderate sticker price. With the 3.6-liter VR6 under the hood, the Touareg feels refined, responsive and nimble. But, once you've experienced the adrenaline rush from the turbodiesel, or the amazingly quick Hybrid, you'll likely find the VR6 is suddenly wanting. On the road, the Touareg demonstrates strong brakes, communicative steering and a firm yet comfortable ride. For pure driving enjoyment, we think the Jeep Grand Cherokee comes close, but the VW still has the upper hand.
AREA VIEW MONITOR
This clever system uses cameras at the front, back and under the two side mirrors to create a 360-degree image helping to reduce blind spots and potential accidents.
10-YEAR/100,000-MILE POWERTRAIN WARRANTY
To overcome a perceived gap in its reliability record, VW backs every Touareg engine with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, including the Hybrid. The rest of the vehicle gets a 3-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty.
"Tasteful" best sums up the 2014 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, R-Line 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 2014 Volkswagen Touareg is a pleasing mix of credible comfort, expansive visibility and upscale appointments.Exterior
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 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 2014 Touareg leans toward the station-wagon end of the SUV design spectrum in terms of stance and proportions, and the theme suits it.
All 2014 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.
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, Area View monitor, 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.
The 2014 VW Touareg's engine choices are as varied as its trims. The base VR6 is a narrow-angle 3.6-liter engine balancing power, smooth operation and reasonable fuel economy. The TDI turbodiesel V6 produces superior low-end torque and power, yet earns nearly 30 mpg on the highway. The real star in the Touareg lineup is the Hybrid that combines an electric motor and a supercharged gasoline V6 to produce an impressive 333 horsepower. 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.
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
With a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $45,000 for a base VR6 Sport, the 2014 Touareg supports VW's value message. However, higher trim levels drive up the price in a hurry. A top-line VR6 Executive runs more than $58,000. Choosing the TDI Clean Diesel power alternative adds $3,500 to any trim. Opting for the innovative supercharged Hybrid technology costs nearly $65,000. Check out KBB's Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are paying for the Touareg. To its credit, the Touareg TDI is projected to fully hold its own from a resale standpoint, while Touareg's gasoline V6 and Hybrid models are a few percentage points below the segment average over three to four years.
By Rich on Friday, January 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,480overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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 ."
15 people out of 31 found this review helpful
By Jerry M on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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
By TheAnt on Monday, December 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
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."
18 people out of 26 found this review helpful