2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Executive

I was going to comment on the price of the Touareg and the fact that it's encroaching on Audi Q7 territory, but after driving a BMW 535xi that costs almost $10,000 more, this VW suddenly seems like a relative bargain. Admittedly, there's probably not a lot of (if any) cross shopping between a 535xi and a Touareg, but both vehicles have all-wheel drive and a turbocharged six-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed transmission. And they return very similar fuel economy (19/29/23 for the BMW, 19/28/22 for the VW) despite the fact that the Touareg outweighs the BMW by almost half a ton. Plus, the Touareg can tow up to 7700 pounds. Credit goes to VW's TDI diesel V-6. If any engine could make Americans forget about the rattly, underpowered, unreliable diesels of the early '80s, this is it. In fact, if you put someone behind the wheel of this Touareg and didn't tell them that it was diesel-powered, I'd wager they'd never realize it until they saw the label on the inside of the fuel filler door.

Inside, materials and the way they're put together are first-rate. The large navigation screen is easy to read, and I like large, legible buttons located just below the screen for each of the functions: radio, media, phone, climate, nav, car, setup, etc. No need to fiddle with a dial, like with BMW's iDrive or Audi's MMI. Last but not least, when I got in the Touareg, the readout between the tach and the speedo said that the range was 710 miles. Surely that's not possible, I thought. But then I looked up the capacity of the fuel tank (26.4 gallons) and multiplied it by the vehicle's highway EPA mileage rating (28 mpg) and came up with 739.2 miles. Even at its city rating (19 mpg), the Touareg could travel 500 miles on a tank of fuel. Very impressive - even when you consider that, at today's prices, it'll cost you close to $100 per fillup.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

nice car, how can get it?
I had an '04 Touareg, V8, lemoned it and got an '05 without any questions for free. Then I proceeded to lemon the '05. It took me 18 months but I got it done. The biggest issue I have is that VW does some things very well, and then they stop caring and refuse to acknowledge the problem, they blame you for bringing it up, then they quietly sort of fix it without ever acknowledging the problem. Or they just tell you "we don't re-engineer parts" ie, they won't allow the service dept to fix a squeaky armrest, because that's how it was made, so deal with it. Or a loud alarm goes off when you start the car and there is no-one in the passenger seat and there is no way to silence it. Or the air bag turns on and off in the passenger seat as my 120 lb wife moves around, or when we hit a bump. Or the leather rips prematurely, or the rear windshield wiper rattles when it moves, or their is the "lag of death"... take it down to about 20 mph and then hit the gas, you will count to 3 before anything happens. POS.
good car
I love the TDI engine. Had an ALH and BHW and now the CBEA engine. I really love the Touareg and want to write a check and get one. But, I wished it had a third row of sears. Q7 is too big. Thats really the big issue for me. Im also worried about the HPFP. I love the design, ride, and all the standard stuff like the back up camera, Nav, etc...
read the NHSTA report on V6 TDI HPFP failures
While Volkswagen and Porsche have done a great job restyling the respective Touareg and Cayenne to look more sleek and smaller, I must remind both Jennifer and David that the new Touareg/Cayenne are bigger than their predecessors. In virtually all dimensions - length, wheelbase, height, and width - the cars grow about an inch or two. As far as driving dynamic, that can only go to show the much improved handling that the company has been able to get out of the platform, but in no way is this in the same size class as a Tiguan.

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