Overview & Reviews
As the popularity of SUVs has grown, it seems that much of the original rugged off-road personality these models were known for has been bred out of the segment in favor of on-pavement comfort and drivability. Among luxury SUVs, that shift seems even more evident. The original Volkswagen Touareg was one of the sport-utilities that clung to those off-road roots, but the next generation made the shift toward the everyday.
It's hard to argue with the results, though. The first-generation Touareg was a capable model known for its high-class interior, off-road ability and respectable towing capacity. But it was also very heavy and had subpar fuel economy. The newer Touareg lacks those more serious off-road chops but is otherwise a superior vehicle that's more in line with what consumers want from a modern and luxurious SUV.
Current Volkswagen Touareg
The Volkswagen Touareg is a five-passenger midsize SUV that's available in six main trim levels: Sport, Lux, X Special Edition, R-Line, Executive and Hybrid. All but the Hybrid and X Special Edition can be had with either gasoline V6 ("VR6") or turbodiesel ("TDI") V6 power.
The base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, while the turbodiesel V6 TDI generates 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid variant features a supercharged, direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor that combine to produce 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard on all models.
Even the base Sport trim comes with bi-xenon headlights, a power tailgate, dual-zone automatic climate control and heated power front seats. A navigation system package with keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera and a hands-free power liftgate is optional. Stepping up to the Lux trim gets you all that, plus a panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery. Celebrating this model's 10th anniversary, the X Special Edition is essentially a Lux with the TDI engine, exclusive paint, unique wheels and upgraded leather upholstery. The R-Line loses the hands-free liftgate, but otherwise is a Lux with 20-inch wheels, a sport body kit and a sport-tuned suspension. In addition to the Lux features, the Executive features a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a top-view parking camera and a premium sound system. Opting for the Hybrid adds a power-adjustable steering column and additional front seat functions.
In our reviews, we've found that the Volkswagen Touareg is a well-designed crossover SUV that offers commendable driving dynamics. The Touareg's base V6 is a solid pick, but we've found the more fuel-efficient TDI diesel more to our liking and well worth the added premium. On the other hand, the Hybrid model boasts the type of power and performance of a V8 engine, but its less-than-frugal fuel economy may fall short of some expectations. In essence, it consumes about as much as a V6 engine would. A major highlight for any Touareg is the cabin, which scores points for its upscale design and high-quality materials.
Used Volkswagen Touareg Models
The Volkswagen Touareg was fully redesigned for 2011 with a new focus on on-road driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. In addition to its somewhat sleeker styling, this Touareg differs from the previous one by going without a dual-range transfer case. Although that change reduced its all-out off-road capabilities, VW realized that most upscale SUV drivers likely spend most, if not all, of their time on pavement and would benefit much more from a 400-pound weight reduction and the resulting increases in fuel efficiency and on-road handling dynamics. This second-generation Touareg also provides more comfort for those in back via added legroom and a reclining seatback.
For 2013, the TDI engine's horsepower was increased from 225 to 240. The celebratory X Special Edition and sporty R-Line trims didn't debut until 2014.
The first-generation VW Touareg debuted in 2004 and lasted through 2010. Initially, it came equipped with either a 220-hp 3.2-liter V6 or a 310-hp 4.2-liter V8. Many owners considered this V6 to be underpowered, so going with the V8, especially now that depreciation has set in, probably isn't a bad idea. VW also sold a few range-topping Touareg V10 TDI models that first year -- the TDI had a diesel-fueled turbocharged V10 displacing 5.0 liters. It was rated at 310 hp and a stout 553 lb-ft of torque. Every engine was connected to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The V10 was dropped for 2005, while the original V6 received 20 more hp. Changes for '06 included upgrading the optional CD-based navigation system to DVDs and adding an available rearview camera, an auxiliary multimedia MP3 connector and a 115-volt power outlet (in place of the previous 12-volt source) in the rear cargo area. The V10 engine also made its return to the U.S. market very late into the 2006 calendar year.
Some notable engine changes occurred for '07. For that year Volkswagen brought out a new 3.6-liter V6 engine that produced 276 hp, while the Touareg's 4.2-liter V8 was given a boost to 350 hp.
In 2008, the Touareg was renamed the Touareg 2 and received a slight refresh (not a full redesign), but VW dropped the "2" two years later to once again make it just the VW Touareg. Changes included updated styling and revised feature content. This was also the last year for the big V10; it was replaced for '09 with the V6 TDI, which made 221 hp and a still robust 407 lb-ft of torque). The V8 was also discontinued at the end of the 2009 model year.
Of the few demerits attributed to the first-generation Volkswagen Touareg, mediocre backseat and cargo space were the most prominent. The lack of a third-row seat and the standard suspension's stiff ride also managed to dull the Touareg's shine, though an optional (and pricey) air suspension fixed the ride quality issues. Overall, the Touareg proved to be an excellent road tripper, with a luxuriously quiet cabin on the highway and smooth-shifting transmission.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 979.00
New Owner - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By Kalliopi - December 29 - 2:00 am
Only having the car a week I can only tell you that it has been A BLAST
TMP's Touareg - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By tmpfilemgt - December 29 - 2:00 am
I love this SUV. I have had a jeep and a QX4. The Touareg handles like a jeep, rides like a sedan and had no road noise as did the QX4. It is comfortable.
The V8 Rag - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By GTC2230 - December 29 - 2:00 am
Excellent ride, excellent comfort, superb handling, quiet, good stereo, my V8 loves to gulp premium fuel
LOVE IT!! - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By Evekitty - December 24 - 10:00 am
I have never had this much fun driving a vehicle. I constantly find myself thinking, if not saying "WHEEE!" when taking corners in it. I also enjoy not being one of the many with Mercedes, Lexus, or other over- manufactured vehicles that are a dime a dozen. Drives like a dream. As I enter the garage each time, or approach in the parking lot, I am still awed by its beauty, and can't believe it's actually mine.
Certified T-Reg - 2010 Volkswagen Touareg
By Kimball Dempsey - December 23 - 4:13 am
I've scouted these diesel SUV's for several years and really like the older body style over the new style started in '11. But, I found the TDI's to be expensive so I've been patient. I found a Black T-Reg diesel advertised as a Certified Preowned with 63k miles at a local VW Dealer. The vehicle was in excellent physical condition and all of its meticulous service records were available at the dealer where the only previous owner always had it serviced. I didn't even dicker on price. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after purchase the check engine light and warning graphics came on. It ended up being an oil sensor that was replaced under warranty. A week or so later, I noticed the Nav system would blink off inexplicably but would always reboot and come back on. I needed to take the vehicle back to the dealer to have the right rear window fixed (dropped down and wouldn't go back up). The service manager told me VW had a service bulletin on the Nav and it required reprogramming to work out the bug. They did this and fixed the window under the CPO warranty. That was about a month ago and after a rather auspicious start with this T-Reg, it seems to be operating well. The only other issue I've had, and it was a one-time thing, is the rear hatch wouldn't open one day either with the power assist or manually. But after driving it a few miles and trying it again it worked fine. Weird, but I hope its not a precursor to another failure and trip to the dealer. The things I like most: I'm 6'4" and the seating position is excellent and I like the front bucket seat comfort much better than in my wife's newer Lexus RX. The ride around town is harsh but on the highway its a dream. This vehicle has great acceleration and doesn't suffer major turbo lag like other turbo diesels I've owned. The gas mileage is reasonable (21-22 around town and about 26 on the highway so far). The sound system is very good and I've found the Nav system easy to use and decently intuitive for a 6 year old technology. The things I like least: Slight rattle in dash somewhere at lower speed, but with the radio at normal volume its hardly noticable. Rear cargo room is very limited and the rear seats don't completely fold flat. Harshness of ride on bumpy roads around town. Lacks rear LED tail lights and for a vehicle in its price range when new this should've have been a standard as should have been front seat presets. Overall: I really like the vehicle and although it is 6 years old by model year and I understand it will have service issues from time to time, I'm hoping the initial quirky gremlins are behind me. I well understand the love for and cult following T-Reg's have gained over the years.
Least Reliable Car I ever owned - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By Mike M - December 13 - 10:56 am
I bought this car used just over a year ago. I've had almost 20K in repairs in that time. I found out afterwards that 2004 was the first year of the touareg and the V10. It is loaded with all sorts of problems. Mine has been in the shop 3 months of the first year. Do a web search before buying one. When it does work its the best car I've owned, so if its a second car that you don't have to use daily then buy it. We need it for towing and its ruined quit a few weekends buy either stranding us somewhere or having to cancel because it was in the shop again.
6 failures change tires @ 15k mi - 2005 Volkswagen Touareg
By Jack - December 8 - 12:00 am
Dash lights failed. Entire assembly needed to be replaced. Tires worn out at 15K. Dealer recommends alignment when tires changed. At slow speed turns it feels like the U joints are catching and releasing. Told it is caused by the tires that need to be replaced. Warning lights appear and need to be "recalibrated." Accelerator pauses occasionally. Told it was the brakes that don't allow the accelerator to function - not true. Very expensive car for this to happen in 6 months.
LOVE THIS CAR - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By Benzboy429 - December 4 - 10:00 am
What can I say I got it today, and I love it
Great Vehicle - 2004 Volkswagen Touareg
By jfuller539 - November 28 - 10:00 am
This vehicle is fun to drive and it would rank high with any sports vehicle in its performance. Plus it looks great
Great Diesel - 2010 Volkswagen Touareg
By Don - November 26 - 10:00 am
This is an excellent SUV diesel which has exceeded my high demands and expectations in every respect: Power, comfort, style and reliability. I have 20,500 miles and virtually no problems have surfaced. Eventually I will probably buy the newer model, but I plan to keep this for many more years because it is so well-executed and realized. Dealership support for the routine service has been exemplary. It is superior in most respects to my former BMW X5 and is more evocative of the Sahara than Wilshire Blvd--a good rugged simple feel with less "look at me!!" attitude than the BMW.