Review: 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Executive

Monday July 20th, 2015 at 2:77 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Volkswagen Touareg Executive

By David Colman

Hypes: Super Clean Fit, Finish and Appearance
Gripes: Sloppy Throttle, V6 Needs More HP and Torque

Volkswagen has refreshed the appearance of the Touareg SUV for 2015. Most noticeable is the revamped prow, with seven horizontal strakes emphasizing the platform’s 76 inch width. New 20 inch alloy rims complement the new grill’s linearity with their triple ribbed five spoke design. All in all, VW has successfully infused the aging Touareg platform with a new visual vocabulary. Yet all the previous virtues of this luxury SUV remain: all-wheel-drive (4Motion), sumptuous accommodations for 4, excellent all-around visibility, and rock solid handling. The 4 Motion system benefits from a self-locking center differential that will extricate you from virtually any traction robbing situation. The grabby Goodyear LS2 Eagles (275/45R20) contribute high levels of wet and dry traction. And if you do get yourself well and truly stuck, VW provides 3 years and 36,000 miles of 24 Hour Roadside Assistance including towing, jump starts, tire changes, plus remedies for out-of-fuel and lock-out problems.

2015 Volkswagen Touareg Executive

The upgraded interior of the Executive model rivals the best offerings from Range Rover or BMW for understated good taste. Our “Black Oak Brown Metallic” test model featured a “Cornsilk Beige” interior as easy on the eyes as it was on the torso. The enormous power lifting and sliding panoramic sunroof (standard issue) brightens both rows of the interior, even when shut. Both front and rear seats are trimmed with exceptionally pliant leather, carefully tailored into bolstered sections that look like recliners you might find at Scandinavian Designs. In fact, that same clean European design idiom permeates the interior, from the precision feel of the center console lid to the ancillary controls on the steering wheel and dashboard. VW charges $2,500 for the Executive Driver Assistance package, which adds Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist, a lane departure warning system. Both offerings add to the Touareg’s ease of operation and your own peace of mind. VW’s Lane Assist is one of the best on the market, with a mutable chime and a useful blinker under each exterior rear view mirror to remind you of adjacent traffic.

Also new is an 8-speed automatic transmission which VW imports from Japan. This unit insures decent highway fuel mileage of 23MPG, as well as manual gear override via a stubby floor mounted selector lever. Unfortunately, steering wheel mounted paddles are not offered as part of the gear changing system. Still, it’s easy to lock the transmission in a gear ratio of your choice. Doing so insures that the gearbox will not up-shift on its own accord, especially handy when you are pulling a trailer. Touareg is well equipped for such towing duty, with its standard receiver jack, and standard “Area View” camera system to help position hitch on ball. Trailer rating is a generous 7,700 lbs.

2015 Volkswagen Touareg Executive

If you do plan on towing a substantial load, opt for the diesel engine or the Hybrid Touareg, because the base model V6 we tested is short on pulling power. Bear in mind that this VW weighs in at 5,060 pounds. If you select the TDI turbo diesel option (base price $62,200), you get just 240hp, which gives you a power-to-weight ratio of 21lb./hp. But the diesel’s exceptional torque output of 406 lb./ft. more than covers the horsepower shortfall. If you opt for the top model 380hp V6 Hybrid ($66,995), your power-to-weight ratio drops to a very lively 13.3 lb./hp. Our gas powered V6 Touareg Executive ($58,700 base price) makes just 280hp and 266lb.-ft. of torque. That’s a burdensome power-to-weight ratio of 18.07lb./hp. Further complicating the gas V6′s lack of thrust is a throttle pedal that is not linear in its application. When you mash the throttle, you encounter considerable pedal free play before the engine responds to your input.

2015 Volkswagen Touareg Executive

The Executive version of the Touareg is loaded with comfort and luxury features you will pay dearly to match should you chose a similar product from Porsche (Cayenne) or BMW (X4 or X5). For example, standard inclusions from VW are adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights, park distance control, 10 speaker Dynaudio sound system, Climatronic dual zone automatic climate control, keyless access with push button start, remote power lift gate with easy opening feature, rain sensing wipers, and a dozen more useful additions. Life with this Volkswagen is pleasurable, and its promise of future benefit recently reached maturity with a full blessing from Consumer Reports. CR just conferred “Recommended” status on the Touareg, since reliability has finally improved to “average” after many years in the sub-par category.

2015 Volkswagen Touareg Executive

  • Engine: 3.6 liter VR6, 24 valve narrow angle V6 with FSI direct fuel injection
  • Horsepower: 280hp
  • Torque: 266lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 19 MPG City/23 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $62,110
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2013 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

Monday November 25th, 2013 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Drag race Champ, Build Solidity, Creature Comforts
Gripes: Inconsistent Brake Response

Most of the vehicles available for review show so few miles on the odometer that it’s difficult to envision problems that might develop down the road. This Touareg, however, arrived so late in the 2013 model year that it was already showing more than 10,000 miles of accrued travel. The benefit of driving such a relatively high mileage test vehicle is that it allows you to judge how well it wears its mileage. In the case of this VW, you could never tell it had travelled more than ten thousand miles if you didn’t sneak a peek at the odometer. The ingot like chassis had not developed so much as a single squeak. The massive doors still shut with the authoritative click you expect from a Zippo lighter cap. Lovely 5-spoke alloy wheels showed nary a curb scar thanks to the protective shielding afforded by the bulging sidewalls of the Michelin GreenX radials (265/50R19).

Unlike so many car chassis based crossover SUVs, the Touareg feels more like a truck than a car. For starters, you step up into the spacious cabin, which, by virtue of its height, affords you a commanding view of the road and traffic patterns. This visual superiority trumps any information conveyed by the lane departure warning systems that are all the rage today. Our test Touareg was not equipped with any of these annoying contrivances, nor did it need them thanks to the excellent 360 degree vision available from the driver’s seat. Touareg’s truck-like attributes also manifest themselves in the 7,700 pound tow capacity of this chassis. Although you can’t quite fold the 40/20/40 split rear seats flat, you can still gain 64 cubic feet of storage by tilting them forward. With rear seats erect, the Touareg still provides 34 cubic feet of space in its sizeable aft compartment. The key fob allows you to open the aft hatch, and a button near the liftgate lets you automatically shuts the lid.

VW only offers the Hybrid power train in its top model Touareg. At a base price of $62,575, you’re not wanting for anything in the comfort or luxury department. Beautifully upholstered front leather seats feature 12 way adjustability and 3 stage heating. The steering wheel is heated, as are the outboard rear seats. Deep door pockets, a vast glove box, and sizeable center console and dash face compartments all help keep clutter under control. Each front seat commands no less than 3 memory positions for favored seat position. Standard fitment on the Hybrid is an RNS 850 touch screen navigation and radio control panel. This graphic interface also provides rear vision when reverse gear is engaged. An enormous power sunroof remains eerily quiet even when open at freeway speeds. Bi-Xenon headlights swivel to illuminate turns at night. Standard Climatronic heat and air conditioning reacts swiftly to input changes and effectively distributes air on demand to individual tastes on separate sides of the cabin.

If you get the idea that this Touareg is just about enjoying an elevated level of indolence, you’re missing the point. What this VW really has in spades is power, lots of power. For starters, this is the world’s first supercharged Hybrid. A 333hp supercharged V6 combines with the added 47hp kick of an electric motor to produce 380hp and a whopping 428 pound feet of torque. When you slam the right pedal home, the Hybrid hurls its 5,000 pound curb weight forward like a Tim Lincecum fastball. Aided by an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Hybrid Touareg is never lacking for grunt. The only fly in the ointment is getting the ferociously fast rig stopped. Unfortunately, the regenerative brakes on our test vehicle felt spooky and inconsistent. This seems to be the hallmark of hybrids which transfer brake heat into energy.

The Touareg Hybrid is a remarkably sporting proposition. Thanks to its Goliath twin engine power train, it will run circles around lightweight sports cars, while looking after your every need with palatial solicitude. It’s really quite a bizarre combination of attributes, well worth the lofty asking price.

2013 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

  • Engine: 3.0 Liter Supercharged V6 + electric motor
  • Horsepower: 333hp + 47hp = 380hp
  • Torque: 428 lbs.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 20 MPG City/24 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $63,450
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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2011 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Sport Review

Wednesday March 23rd, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Posted by: mash

By Mary Ellen Ash


  • Well laid-out, high quality interior
  • Clean and uncluttered console area
  • Quiet and refined ride with sporty handling
  • Permanent All-Wheel Drive


  • Very few and relatively minor
  • A little pricey compared with other top brand models

It happened on a dark and very stormy night. I was driving through the puddle infested, super windy freeway much faster than I should have, because it felt no different than if the conditions had been ideal. While most drivers decided to stay off the roads that night, my Touareg assured me with its warm bear-like hug that everything would be okay. And isn’t that why we all want an SUV?

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VW’s Touareg Supercharged V6 Hybrid – Coming Soon

Wednesday February 4th, 2009 at 7:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Toureg HybridHere’s some serious German technology coming to our shores (after production starts in 2010): Volkswagen’s upcoming Touareg with a supercharged V6 and hybrid drivetrain cranking out 374 HP and giving back 26mpg. Those are some impressive figures, especially for a big and heavy SUV.

The upcoming Touareg V6 TSI Hybrid uses VW’s new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 TSI petrol engine producing 333HP that is combined with a 52HP electric motor installed between the V6 TSI and a newly developed 8-speed automatic transmission. Curiously, this contrasts with the Touareg ‘s mechanical sibling, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid that features a normally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 FSI. There’s no word on what the other corporate triplet, Audi, is planning to do with its SUV, the Q7 and whether that will feature a hybrid drive system at all.

Anyway, back to the technical goodies in the Touareg.

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L.A. AUTO SHOW: 2010 Mazda 3, Honda Insight, Touareg TDI, Seinfeld at Boxster/Cayman release and Germans love the word "efficient".

Wednesday November 19th, 2008 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

Here’s the straight poop on what’s happening at the Los Angeles Auto Show…

2010 Mazda MAZDA3

Since its release nearly five years ago, the MAZDA3 has become a global best-seller due to its incredible balance of sportiness, practicality, fuel efficiency and affordability. In fact, one in every three cars Mazda sells worldwide is a MAZDA3. With the 2010 MAZDA3, Mazda yet again expects to raise the standard of what “economy” cars can deliver with more refined ride quality, a more luxurious-yet-sporty interior, attractive exterior styling resembling the RX-8, improved luggage space and new safety features. In addition, the MAZDA3 will offer new features like dual zone climate control, 8-way power seats, push button start and Bluetooth phone and audio; items not normally optioned in an economy car. The 2010 MAZDA3 will carry over the first-gen 2.0L four-cylinder, but will offer a new 2.5L with the company’s innovative new Start Stop technology that should put out between 175-185 horsepower and deliver up to 33 mpg.

Click the link for video of the new 2010 MAZDA3 sedan

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2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Review – A Luxury SUV That Knows How To Work Hard

Monday March 10th, 2008 at 7:33 AM
Posted by: Francois

2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2
By Francis Cebedo


  • Impeccable interior
  • Innovative side headlights that light up when the car is in a turn
  • Adjustable ride suspension really works and it adjusts the auto height automatically
  • Auto sensing rain wipers worked flawlessly
  • So many controls to play with and I never had to open the manual
  • The electronic parking assist is a great tool. The rear camera also displays graphics to indicate where the car is going.
  • Ahh luxury. Driver and passenger both have powered seats; the kids in the rear have their own climate control and their own heated seats.


  • Cargo room is limited
  • Folding rear seats is painful to operate
  • Sunroof is tiny
  • Exterior styling seems unchanged from the previous Touareg
  • No iPod dock

Ruling: This is a luxury SUV.

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