The Touareg is an interesting vehicle. It’s been around for about a decade now, it’s only in its second generation and has only received what amounts to minor updates over the years. It’s certainly better looking than it was a decade ago, but overall it’s not that different.
The Touareg is an unsung hero of the automotive world. Volkswagen got the Touareg mostly right the first time and hasn’t done much to it since.
Easily the most exciting Touareg line over the last 10 years was the 5.0-liter V10 TDI that made 309 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That V10 was eventually replaced by the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 TDI that powered the Touareg I drove last week. By comparison, it makes 240 hp and 406 lb-ft. of torque. It might not be as powerful, but it’s far more efficient and much more eco-friendly than the last diesel.
The V6 TDI, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, is rated at 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, with a combined score of 23. Pretty good numbers considering the Touareg is a sizable four-wheel drive luxury SUV.
The Volkswagen Touareg TDI Sport might just be the least pretentious diesel-powered German SUV on the market in America right now. Think for a moment and consider what vehicles fall into that segment. Agree?
The Touareg is great to look at, great to ride around in, and not nearly as loud as a Q5 with a giant vinyl plastered down the side. And although the Touareg TDI lacks pretention, it delightfully doesn’t also lack the refinement or self-assurance that usually comes with pomposity.
From the driver’s seat, the Touareg impresses. You can barely hear the engine, or road noise at all for that matter. The infotainment system is well laid out. The interior isn’t cheap looking, as it once was. The seats are comfy. The interior is roomy. The brakes are responsive. And the electronic power steering feels amazing. My only complaint, what’s with the cubby at the top of the dash? It’s unusable and disrupts an otherwise sleek dashboard.
Acceleration in the Touareg TDI isn’t great compared with other German diesel SUVs, but it gets the job done and still feels quite sporty for a luxury SUV.
What exactly is new for 2015:
• Revised exterior styling with new front and rear fascias, with wider air inlet and broader stance
• Larger bi-xenon headlamps
• Chrome accents added to control panel
• New interior themes including Bonanza Brown,Engineered Ebony, Sapelli Mahogany, and St. Tropez.
• Added safety features include adaptive cruise control with emergency braking, adaptive high beams, and pre-crash accident prep system.
• Hybrid model will have a standard coasting function that’ll improve gas mileage.
Why I love the Touareg
1) It’ll tow with ease, and it’s not a pickup truck.
2) It gets great fuel economy, and costs about the same or better than the gas version over 100K miles of ownership.
3) It’s put together excellently. Quiet, solid, and handles fantastic.
4) All other comparable SUVs cost significantly more.
5) Great features and options in the base trim level (Sport).
The sound system is pretty lacking for a $50k vehicle.