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Volkswagen Touareg

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Volkswagen Touareg – Sport AWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6 Auto Trans (Base Trim)

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PHOTOS
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2015 Volkswagen Touareg: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Conservative, Yet Tasteful Styling
  • Torquey, Efficient TDI Engine
  • Choice of Powertrains and Trim Levels
We disliked
  • Competent, But Not Class-Leading
  • No Low Range
  • Hybrid Model Ridiculously Overpriced
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$42,953
Finance
Estimated monthly
payment:
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payment:
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MSRP
$44,705
MPG
17 / 23
City/Hwy
ENGINE
3.6L V6
HORSE POWER
280 hp
@ 6,200 rpm
TORQUE
266 ft lb
of torque @ 2,500 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
First conceived during VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piëch’s push to make Volkswagen a premium brand, the Touareg aimed high, targeting the Range Rover Sport, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz ML. It was so good, its platform served as the basis of the Porsche Cayenne. Yet despite its goodness, the Touareg has not quite been the runaway hit in the U.S. that some expected.
The Touareg has many things going for it, such as handsome, understated styling that quietly says classy instead of flaunting it in your face with avant-garde design. The 3.0L V-6 TDI turbodiesel is one of the best balances of power, efficiency, and capability in the segment, as well as being exceptionally refined.
Following the arguably over-engineered first-generation model, the second-generation Touareg dropped the low-range transfer case, making it somewhat more of an on-road proposition. However, except on the most challenging off-road terrain, the Tiguan holds its own.
Avoid the hybrid model, which comes at a more than $20,000 premium over the base model, and more than $14,000 more than the TDI—and gets worse fuel economy. There’s no rational reason to buy it. Although not the cheapest model in its class, a carefully optioned Touareg gives you the premium style and feel of the European brands, at a price not much higher than more mainstream rivals.

REVIEW

It's hard to believe the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg represents the 10th model year VW's upscale SUV has been on-sale in the U.S. When it was introduced globally in 2002, it was the largest, heaviest and most expensive Volkswagen-branded vehicle to date, surpassed only by the even more indulgent Phaeton luxury sedan that debuted around the same time. The Phaeton was ultimately dropped from the U.S. market, with the idea of a six-figure "people's car" being a difficult sell in the colonies. But the Touareg persisted, due in no small part to Americans' insatiable appetite for SUVs of all equipment levels and sizes, including, presumably, a nearly $60,000 Volkswagen.
The 2014 model year brings some detail changes to the Touareg, with a 15-hp bump on the TDI model to 240 hp. Peak torque remains unchanged from 2013 at 406 lb-ft. Applied to European models for the past several years, the U.S. finally gets an available R-Line treatment. Unlike Volkswagen's dedicated "R" models, such as the Golf R, "R-Line" simply designates a trim and appearance package, much like BMW's M-Sport and Mercedes-Benz's AMG styling packs (as distinct from dedicated M and AMG complete models). So there's no added horsepower infusion from the addition of the badge over regular Touareg TDIs. However, the R-Line does add a sport suspension, 20-inch "Mallory" alloy wheels, lower bumper extensions and side skirts, brushed aluminum interior accents and R-Line sill plates at the doors.
Photo 2/15
Also included on our tester was a driver's-side memory seat, outside mirrors and heated seats, but no perforated leather, and hence, no seat cooling. But our R-Line tester was hardly lacking amenities, with bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, power liftgate, power folding outside mirrors, touchscreen navigation system, keyless ignition, and dual-zone climate control.
Curiously, although it has a "keyless" ignition, there is still a fob-sized receptacle tumbler in the dashboard that will accept the remote and turns a notch clockwise, so if you want to go old-school, you can still twist and go. But if you prefer to do without that quaint anachronism, there's also a console-mounted button to start the engine.
Once you do, you're rewarded with a model of diesel refinement. Volkswagen's newest crop of diesels are near the top of the heap in terms of NVH. Just as the Jetta TDI is noticeably quieter than the Chevrolet Cruze diesel, so the 3.0-liter V-6 TDI in the Touareg edges out its contemporaries in refinement. To the trained ear, it's obvious it's a diesel when standing outside, but in terms of quantitative noise output, it's as quiet -- if not quieter -- than most gasoline engines on the market today. At idle, from inside the cabin, all you hear is a muted hum, with the characteristic diesel clatter virtually imperceptible. Under acceleration, you get a little of the expected clickety-clack, but not much. But you are rewarded with the expected generous torque. Channeled through the eight-speed automatic transmission, the TDI whisks the 5000-lb SUV from 0-60 in a brisk 6.8 seconds. That pace is a significant full second faster than the new 2014 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel. The Touareg's nearly 400-lb lighter weight likely helped the matter as well.
We averaged an observed 19.5 mpg average, but much of that driving consisted of suburban stop-and-go, and generous self-indulgence in the TDI's sweet, smooth turbodiesel torque. The TDI's EPA figures are 20 city and 29 highway, highly respectable for a 5000-lb SUV.
Photo 6/15
Behind the wheel, the Touareg has a surprisingly athletic feel, turning enthusiastically into corners, and not feeling at all cumbersome, plodding or unwilling to play a little. Its lateral acceleration figure of 0.82 puts it on the higher side of the SUV spectrum, and in the hunt with many midsize sedans.
But the Touareg is no shrinking violet when it comes to doing SUV-type work either. Like all Touaregs, the TDI has a 7716-lb towing capacity, and 1155-lb payload. However, ultimate interior room and volume is relatively modest. If you need truly stretch-out room and space and more truck-like capabilities, your needs may be better served by a GMC Yukon.
But for those that like the Touareg's understated, modern European style and engineering sophistication, there are few other options available near this price level. Certainly, the Jeep Grand Cherokee makes a compelling case for itself, especially with the newly-available EcoDiesel engine. The two models are frequently compared. But we see the Touareg appealing to a different customer than the Grand Cherokee. The Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and other upscale SUVs are considerably more expensive, and in the case of the Audi and Porsche, mechanically very similar to the Touareg. For a balance of style, performance, value and economy in a premium SUV, the Touareg TDI is pretty much your only choice.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI R-Line
BASE PRICE $51,035
PRICE AS TESTED $58,525
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.0L/240-hp/406-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5017 lb (53/47%)
WHEELBASE 113.9 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.8 x 76.4 x 68.2 in
0-60 MPH 6.8 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.2 sec @ 88.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 126 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.82 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.1 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 20/29 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 191/132 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.95 lb/mile
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2015 Volkswagen Touareg

SPECIFICATIONS
$44,705
17 / 23
3.6L V6
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Auto News: Volkswagen Offers Exclusive Vaction Packages to MOAB
Join Volkswagen in Moab, Utah and experience first hand the unique capabilities of the Volkswagen Touareg sport utility vehicle in a professionally guided, off-road adventure through some of America's most ruggedly beautiful landscapes.
The ManufacturerJun 27, 2007
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New Driver for Volkswagen Pairing For "Dakar"
The signing of Miller/Pitchford means that the third pairing of the Volkswagen factory team - alo...
Aug 25, 2006
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Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI Ready For 2006 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Three 2006 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDIs will embark upon the demanding climb to the 14,100-foot Pi...
Jul 10, 2006

2005 Volkswagen Touareg

SPECIFICATIONS
$37,140
16 / 21
3.2L V6
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Truck Trend Shows & Events
Event Coverage: The 2006 Dakar Rally
In 2005 NASCAR bad boy Robby Gordon was a hero when he sacrificed the chance to win stages on the grueling Dakar race to aid Jutta Kleinschmidt, his VW teammate. The steering broke on her race Touareg a few days before the end of the event.
John RettieJan 4, 2007
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Volkswagen's Self-Guided Touareg In Smithsonian Summer Exhibit
Stanley, the robotic Volkswagen Touareg that brought home the $2 million prize at the DARPA Grand...
Aug 1, 2006
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Truck Trend's Second Annual Ultimate 4x4 Challenge
Tow straps--check. Fix-a-Flat: half a dozen cans...where's that portable air compressor? Water? A couple cases should do the trick, and don't forget a case of sport drinks, a box of energy bars, and the first-aid kit.
Scott MeadNov 17, 2005
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Long-Term Update: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8
Our senior road-test editor had an unusual experience with this long-termer. On the way home from the office one night, the Touareg began spraying a reddish, greasy fluid onto its windshield.
Neil G. ChiricoSep 13, 2005
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Motorsports: Desert Racing in Dubai
Mention Dubai in the U.S., and you're likely to get a blank stare. It's a city halfway around the world--literally.
John RettieJul 21, 2005

2004 Volkswagen Touareg

SPECIFICATIONS
$35,900
15 / 20
3.2L V6
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Truck Trend truck reviews
Long-Term Wrap-Up: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8
We had high hopes for the Volkswagen Touareg when it arrived here. After all, this all-terrain machine was co-developed alongside the Porsche Cayenne, leaving no doubt VW was serious about becoming a major player in the SUV market.
Neil G. ChiricoAug 15, 2006
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2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8 Long-Term Test Verdict
A Jack of all trades
Neil G. ChiricoAug 15, 2006
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Long-Term Test Update: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8
Technical Director Frank Markus, while visiting our Los Angeles office, came out to an airless tire one morning just before catching a flight back to Detroit.
Neil G. ChiricoDec 18, 2005
Motor Trend
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2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8 Long-Term Test Update
Solid ride with a few set backs
Neil G. ChiricoDec 18, 2005
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Long-Term Introduction: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V-8
Upon winning Motor Trend's 2004 Sport/Utility of the Year, the Volkswagen Touareg received an immediate invitation to become one of our long-term test vehicles.
Scott MortaraAug 19, 2005
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Long-Term Update: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8
It doesn't take much to ruin an otherwise outstanding ride.
Neil G. ChiricoApr 11, 2005
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Long-Term Update: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8
Volkswagen's Touareg was our 2004 Sport/Utility of the Year winner, and as such it gets an automatic invitation to join our one-year-test fleet.
Neil G. ChiricoMar 16, 2005
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2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8 One-Year Test Update
Sport/Utility of the Year winner
Neil G. ChiricoMar 16, 2005
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Road Test: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V-10 TDI
Last December, Volkswagen's first-ever SUV was honored as Motor Trend's 2004 Sport/Utility of the Year, without benefit of its top-gun powerplant.
Ron SessionsMar 7, 2005
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First Drive: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V-10 TDI
Last December, Volkswagen's first-ever SUV was honored as Motor Trend's 2004 Sport/Utility of the Year without benefit of its top-gun powerplant.
Ron SessionsDec 7, 2004
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Road Test: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
After decades of bringing almost every class of car, from the humble economical Bug through the van to the near-luxury Passat W8, Volkswagen will finally bring an SUV to the U.S.
Greg R. WhaleJun 8, 2004
Truckin
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cool trucks
2004 Volkswagon Touareg - 2004 SUV Of The Year
And the Winner Is...
Carl CalvertMar 1, 2004
Truckin
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2004 Volkswagen Touareg - 2004 SUV of the Year
Read about Truckin' Magazine's 2004 SUV of the year, the 2004 Volkswagen Touareg. The SUV includes a potent 4.2L DOHC V-8. More, only on truckinweb.com, the official website of Truckin' Magazine
Sean P. HolmanMar 1, 2004
Truck Trend
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Paris to Dakar - The World's Toughest Motor Race
Off-road warriors compete for three weeks over 7000-dust-eating, desert miles. Half are run at competitive speeds.
John RettieJan 27, 2004
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2004 Volvo XC70 vs. 2004 Volkswagen Touareg vs. 2004 Chrysler Pacifica
Designing utilitarian vehicles used to be simple: Take a family sedan, extend the roof to the rear bumper, replace the rear coil-spring suspension with heavy-duty leaf springs and--bam!--a station wagon that cost $500 more than its sedan counterpart.
Todd LassaOct 8, 2003
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2003 Volkswagen Touareg
Wolfsburg climbs out of its economy-car shell
Ron SessionsFeb 26, 2003
Motor Trend
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Motor Trend
Volkswagen Comparison - 2002
Together with a new chief at the helm these vehicles offer insight into Volkswagen's future
Matt StoneNov 1, 2002
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First Drive: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
First Drive: VW's first shot into the high-end-SUV segment.
Mark WilliamsOct 18, 2002
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Exclusive First Look: 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
Exclusive First Look: Late to the sport/utility battle, Volkswagen joins the fray with a powerful ally: Porsche.
Jeff BartlettOct 17, 2002
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