Volkswagen Touareg (Typ 7P5) review, problem, specs
Designed under the Typ 7P5 codename, the second-gen VW Touareg was the first car to introduce the glare-free high beam, also known as Dynamic Light Assist in Volkswagen's brochures. The SUV's debut took place in 2010 in Munich, but the model was also introduced at the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show. The new model brings a wealth of improvements over the previous generation, making it better than before in terms of powertrain, comfort, and practicality. A facelifted version showed up in 2014.
- premium feel inside
- very refined
- economical diesel units
- still capable in off-road
- 3.0 V6 TDI
- thirsty V8 and hybrid variants
- expensive to buy
- high running costs
Stay Away From
- hybrid models
Known Problems & Recalls
- certain 2012 VW Touareg hybrid models have been recalled due to an issue with the fuel injection system, which could leak and start a fire
As you'd expect, diesel aggregates dominate the lineup available for the VW Touareg. There's the superstar 3.0-liter V6 TDI good for 258 HP, a choice that makes itself noticed due to its energetic response and decent fuel consumption. Speaking of which, the mill returns 42.8 mpg, but for those who feel they don't need that much power, VW created a less powerful version of this engine, rated at 201 HP. The second diesel in the range is a 4.2-liter V8 TDI, also refined and smooth but far less economical, as it returns 31 mpg.
Last but not least, the petrol-hybrid choice: a 3.0-liter V6 TSI mill combined with an electric motor for a max power output of 380 HP and mixed fuel economy of 34 mpg.
Volkswagen improved the Touareg's behavior compared to the previous generation, which means the SUV will now corner in a more controlled and body roll-free manner. After all, it sits on the same platform as Porsche's Cayenne SUV. Also, the steering feels more communicative and precise, while agility has been preserved - of course, don't forget this is still a two-tonne+ vehicle. You won't feel a thing whenever the tires meet a bump in the road. Plus, when it comes to off-road trips, the 4XMOTION four-wheel drive system does a good job on tricky landscapes.
The second-gen Volkswagen Touareg was not evaluated by Euro NCAP, but judging by the five-star rating received by its predecessor and the long list of safety and assistance features, we can safely presume the model will earn the maximum rating. Nine airbags, ESP and more advanced features (offered as an option) like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor and front assist collision avoidance system make up the Touareg's safety-imposing arsenal.
The otherwise high amount of comfort offered by the first-gen Touareg has been addressed and improved once the second generation hit the market, mostly thanks to a longer wheelbase. Four adults will travel in supreme comfort, but the rear seat can accommodate three grown-ups without a fuss, as long as you stick to a shorter trip. Add the massive amount of space available inside the cabin, the excellent head front seats and the possibility of sliding the rear seats back or forward and you get a complete comfort package regardless of the roads and environment you choose to explore. A limited number of buttons on the dashboard means a neater layout, therefore, improved ergonomics.
Build quality and reliability are solid, even better than what the first-generation Volkswagen Touareg has to offer. It goes without saying that the level of quality inside the cabin reaches premium values here and there, which means you can easily call the Touareg a jacked-up VW Phaeton for that matter. You won't hear a thing in the cabin on trips down the highway - unless you want to, of course - because wind and tire noise can't disturb those sitting in the well-soundproofed interior.
With 580 liters of cargo space in the trunk, the VW Touareg dominates its segment as it sits above the likes of Toyota Land Cruiser, Audi Q7, and Land Rover Discovery. Other than that, this already-generous volume can be increased to 1,642 liters by folding down the rear seats. The Touareg also lacks a boot loading lip, which means big and heavy items can be loaded/unloaded easely; securing these objects can be done using a metal bar and the belts provided by Volkswagen. Furthermore, the tailgate can be electrically opened/closed, although the Touareg does not come in a seven-seat version.
For the Touareg, VW offers an eight-inch color touchscreen display that allows front passengers to manage the infotainment system. The setup offers sat-nav - standard - plus a music hard drive, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a multi-device interface.
The best choice for those looking to combine a potent engine with good fuel economy is, without any doubt, the 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine. This unit returns as much as 42.8 mpg and is also cheaper to run than both the petrol-hybrid and the V8 TDI versions. Also, keep in mind that the 3.0-liter V6 diesel is the most demanded version, so competition for a used one is rife.
Plenty of features to choose from here, but the best part is most of them come as standard on the second-generation Volkswagen Touareg. For example, every Touareg SUV comes with 19-inch alloy rims, heated front seats, leather upholstery, eight-inch tactile display, cruise control and parking sensors, among other conveniences.
That's for the entry-level SE Touareg, but the middle-range Escape trim level adds a center and rear differential lock, raised suspension system and a 100-liter fuel tank. R-Line tops an already rich equipment range with 20-inch alloys, lowered suspension, aluminum pedals, keyless entry and a sporty R-Line exterior body kit.
For those with higher expectations, Volkswagen offers an array of optional equipment made of wooden dashboard inserts, leather plus Alcantara upholstery, adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control and a 360-degree camera.
The second-gen Touareg remains a good car, thanks to a mix of good value and driving pleasure you won't find in any other SUV found in within the Touareg's price range. Add comfort, reliability and adequate practicality to the mix and you get the image of a genuine all-rounder.