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VW Touareg SUV



  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    We were launching the New Passat & The New Beetle...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    But where's the new Microbus?

    As far as the Touareg goes - is it shipping and are any in the showrooms yet? Is there just that one "tester" in CA? I keep hearing conflicting rumors. Thanks.

    Steve, Host
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    The MicroBus goes into Production Q4 2005 as a 2006 offering...

    Touaregs will be available both Left & Right Coasts in mid June...Central US a wee bit later...1 V6 and 1 V8 will be delivered, and then they will be allocated based on Annual Planning Volume (APV)probably until August and then we will be able to order direct to Germany via the VIM with deliveries in Calif. in October.
    And, with such a long a la carte menu, I suspect this will be the norm...
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    >> 5 Years ago we were launching the New Passat & The New Beetle <<

    That's right, which means that (given that planning starts many years before production) 5 years ago they already had spent several years post-NB and post-NewPassat and had nothing to show for as far as the US market is concerned. That would have been the right time to make a change. Instead, things dragged out and all they have now is the Touareg, which, as I said, enters the market way too late. Also too late was the NB convertible, and the microbus will be 2-3 years after the Element and several other cross-overs will have defined the landscape.

    Where was the US-size, affordable and practical VW minivan in the 90's? Where is the AWD version of the Jetta, perhaps with slightly raised suspension? They could have easily made 50% of the Forester annual sales with a car like that.

    And I don't think anyone is truly banking on the Phaeton rescue-all any longer.

    Sales of the Passat and Jetta, VWs bread-and-butter, will slump due to questioned reliability and slowly outdated power and technology at least until the new models come out. So at least for another year, I predict contracting sales in the US when other manufacturers will be picking up. I call that poor market research and planning. Why play catch-up, when you have the capability to produce a segment leader on time (as shown with the Passat release).

    - D.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    allhorizon: "... 5 years ago they already had spent several years post-NB and post-NewPassat and had nothing to show for as far as the US market is concerned."

    Some great commercials.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    In my area the local dealer said they won't have their first allocation or even a demo to try until early July. They have around 5 deposits.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    When you consider all the work in the brand to migrate to the common platform strategy (especially Seat and Skoda) along with the Audi cabrio, the VW R32, the new "mini Lamborghini", and keeping Audi on the Podium in Le Mans (considering they didn't even race there 5 years ago) they have been pretty busy. Plus we have the new diesel technology, the 6-speed DSG tranny, and the new platform for the Cayenne/Touareg, plus 6-speed Tiptronic trannies.
    The western European market is the most competitive in the world, yet they supply 1 of 6 cars there AND remain profitable. That's an impressive balancing act! (plus the new rally buggies that placed first in both Diesel class and 2-wheel-drive on their maiden outing)
    With the platforms finally in place I think things will move faster in the future. They have some catching up to do (especially the Golf)
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483

    Yours is a more a balanced assessment than mine. Apart from benefiting from the low-cost brands, in Europe, they also have (or had) the mini-minivans, the transporter (light truck) market, the small platforms (A2, A3, Polo), etc.

    I was more concerned with the US market. It simply does not have to be such a hit-and-miss strategy. I believe the US market is more predictable and somewhat more stable in certain segments than it may look like from the European vantage point. VW/Audi could and should take advantage of that, rather than falling behind for inexcusable reasons.

    I remember talking to one of VWs top-level crash simulation engineers in the early nineties: he told me, at headquarters they did not even know what a family truck ("SUV") or a minivan were. And I believe him. Having owned two Subarus at the time, I also asked him what VW was going to do in this new AWD niche market.

    Audi is taking care of that, and the VW segment should not compete, was all I ever heard. 10 years later we got the Allroad (what a competition to Subaru - not!), and still no affordable AWD wagon from VW [again, I am talking US, here].

    I could go on and on, but you get my drift.

    This discussion should probably be continued in a new thread.

    - D.
  • poseidonposeidon Posts: 30
    All I know is VW took way too long to bring the T-reg to the U.S. and I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on one. The only bummer is I don't think I'm going to be able to swing one, equipped the way I would like. Too bad the V-6 is such a pig... or should that be that the GVWR is so heavy... or both?

    On a separate note, I've seen mention of a "V8x" package that will be available. Can anyone tell me what this package is? Thanks.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Reliability and target market.

    VWs have Great styling, georgeous interiors, excellent handling, smooth transmission.

    But they just can't execute on reliability.

    Every VW owner we know - outside of ourselves, have had nothing but problems with their Jettas, and the Beetle is living up to it's name as being very "Buggy".

    If you look at the percentage of repeat buyers for VW, it's probably very low - lower than GM, I bet. At least with the American cars, you get to pay a lot less for the same level of unreliability.

    However, even if VW can fix their reliability problems, it will only stem their customer defection rates. VW's styling (interior and exterior) is very.... European.

    I happen to love their refined interiors (a lot of care and though went into them, IMHO), but I don't think most Americans care very much about the interior of their cars as they do about the exteriors - at least not from what I have seen from my coworkers.

    Nope, VW attracts the "quirky" kind of buyer (and I mean that in a GOOD way!). Kinda like Mac users are "quirky" compared to PC users. Their customers want something unique, stylish and something that tells people how unique they are. Their advertisments reflect this, and so do their drivers.

    Too bad about their reliability though...
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    Reliability is not a concern at all for VW in Europe. The only recurrent defect known about seems to be fragile turbochargers. Other than that they're better than average...

    Go figure :)
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    As a former VW owner ('00 GTI VR6), my comment would be that the reliability and build quality of the vehicle eas excellent, but the dealer network (in Atlanta) was poor at best. In my area there were 2 VW dealers that were marginally convenient to my home and work locations. Both were owned by the same company (Jim Ellis). My complaint centered around their ability to service in a timely manner. Repeatedly I'd call or stop by to get an oil change only to be told I'd have to schedule an appointment (usually a week in advance) and leave the car with them for the day. As I use my car in my job, that was not feasable. As VW upgrades the capacity of their dealer network to match their upmarket aspirations, I'll reconsider them. But based on my experience, there's going to be a lot of 40k+ customers that are diappointed with the ownership experience.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    I've heard that same comment too - how VWs are more reliable in Europe than in the US.

    Which leads me to beleive that their Non-German manufacturing plants are not quite up to spec, or they're making us pay for World War 2! :)
  • ohiosuvohiosuv Posts: 33
    I talked with the sales manager of my dealership earlier this week and he said his VW rep told him they would be receiving a showroom Touareg in a couple of weeks. I have my doubts, since this is the same guy that said the vehicle would be here in April when every other dealer in the area said June. He also mentioned they have a number of deposits.

    Regarding VW reliability, I have my concerns regarding quality and take some comfort in that the Touareg will be built in Europe. I also take some comfort in that if VW blows it on the launch of the Touareg, they will lose tremendous credibility in their desire to sell premium vehicles in the future. I hope they put all their efforts into making the vehicle as error free as possible.

    Outside of the reliability issue, I have two other considerations. 1) VW dealerships are not accustomed to dealing with premium vehicles and, thus, the level of service that one expects in a premium may not be the same as with (say) a Lexus or Acura and 2) I hope the V6 is powerful enough given the somewhat heavy weight of the vehicle as I am not willing to pay for a V8. Paying @$41,000 for a VW is one thing (and a bit of a stretch in itself), but paying @$47,000 for a VW is quite another.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    a few things...A well equipped Touareg V6 with Leather, 12 Way Power Seats, Wood Trim, Nav System and Bi-Xenons builds out at just under $41,000...

    Tow Capacity @ 7700#s exceeds Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer(7300#s), ML 320(5000#s), X5(5000#s)
    MDX(4500#s),and RX300(3500#s), Durango (7250#s),
    and this with the 4.7LV8.

    As to the weight of the V6 it comes in at about 5500#s...X5/5850#s, Durango/6200#s,MDX/5732#s, Explorer/5850#s.

    And the Touareg 3.2L V6/225/225 gets the job done in this group as well. Durango 4.7LV8/235/295, X5/225/214, ML320/223/254.

    And the VW Operating/Brand Standards Program has been in place for three years giving those Dealers that are serious contenders to really carry full and continous Inventories of the Touareg and Phaeton sufficient time to ramp up both sales & service processes...Those that have not will watch the train leave the station without them. And there is a generous list of existing Lux. Brand Dealers waiting to build MarketPlace facilities and deliver The Promise.
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    > As to the weight of the V6 it comes in at about
    > 5500#s...X5/5850#s, Durango/6200#s,MDX/5732#s,
    > Explorer/5850#s.

    The 3.0 X5 is actually about 4586lbs (the 4.4i is ~4800)
    The MDX with Touring is 4504lbs

    From what I've read, the V6 Touareg is at least 4900 lbs, which puts it at a fairly significant power/weight disadvantage.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Not according to the Specs given to Kelley Blue Book...Don't know why you would suggest that it weighs less than I stated...

    And Car and Driver provides the weight for the T-Regg after their tests in March.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    I think it is more perceived reliability than actual reliability (or quality). This is a tough one for me because my personal experience with VWs has been stellar, much better than the experience my friends and relatives have with their Accords and Camries. What gives? I truly believe that the typical types of problems in VWs have little to do with reliability. The cars are actually very reliable. But a lot of little things tend to break, especially initially. Usually taken care of during service, under warranty. This gives bad JD Power ratings, even if you won't have another problem with the car for the next 150,000 miles (which is kind of my average VW experience). And it makes for a lot of annoyed owners, especially the OC types.

    At any rate, reliability/quality of cars has gone up over the years, and from looking at statistics, and to put things into perspective, I am certain a 2004 VW is more reliable/has better build quality than a 1998 Toyota or Honda.

    - D
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    > Not according to the Specs given to Kelley Blue
    > Book...Don't know why you would suggest that it
    > weighs less than I stated...

    I got my figures directly from the manufacturer's published weights, not from a third party source. Maybe you're talking about the GVWR? I'm talking about curb weight.

    > And Car and Driver provides the weight for the
    > T-Regg after their tests in March.

    The C&D weight was for the V8 not the V6, IIRC
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Gross Vehicle Weight because of post #398...But the important thing is the fact that the Touareg will certainly perform in it's goal environments...On the street, in the boonies, or towing the family boat or horses...

    And these are all V6 numbers, including the dollars...I put nothing in about our V8 at all...
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    Gotcha. Missed the post talking about GVWR.

    However, you state that "the weight of the V6 it comes in at about 5500#s". Are you talking about the GWVR or the curb weight? Everything I've read so far puts the curb wt closer to 4900#, though I don't have the same info. sources you do.

    > And these are all V6 numbers, including the
    >dollars...I put nothing in about our V8 at all...

    You mentioned the C&D article, which talks about the V8 not the V6, so I extrapolated.

  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    I have to admit that of all the problems she had with her Jetta, only two were "Showstoppers" with only one being significant enough to potentially leave her stranded (Alternator died at year 4).

    The disappointing thing for us was that the constant window problems really made it a love-hate relationship with the car. Things like that, and the ongoing O2 sensor problems with the current generation of Jettas really makes me wonder just how committed VW is at acknowledging and fixing these persistent problems.

    At least they got the window regulator fixed - though it took them almost six years to do so. If Honda can lock down and fix a 1.5% transmission failure problem in three years, why can't VW fix something so easy as a window regulator in less than six years?

    Someone also mentioned here that even if VW were to be able to roll out the Touareg in a reliable state, there is still that issue of Dealer service.

    Although the dealership at my area is excellent, I can see how difficult a transition it might be for VW.

    It is easier for any dealership to "kiss up" to the richer clients when everyone there owns a luxury car.

    With VW's lineup (though upscale) spanning from low to high end, treating everyone the same will irk the wealthier ones, while segregating them will definitely alienate the majority of VW's customers.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Secondary to "Come on, we will be late" from my bride...we were going to meet some friends for dinner...I put in the wrong numbers for the V6 Touareg...Curb weight 4881#s & Wet or GVWR is a whopping 6283#s...V8 is 5564/6790...
  • poseidonposeidon Posts: 30
    Hey can someone help me out with the vehicle weight discussion? What exactly is GVWR vs. curb weight vs. "wet" weight? Which most accurately reflects the weight of a T-reg driving down the road, with driver, full tank of gas, no trailer? From what I read in various magazines, the bottom line is the V-6 is incapable of propelling the T-reg quickly and gets dismal mileage, but is the most affordable. The v-8 is fast enough, but even worse mileage, and is expensive. The v10 has both power and decent mileage, but that 50K price point is beyond what I am willing to pay. Thanks.
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    Shamelessly lifted from (with a couple edits)

    GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle, including liquids, passengers, cargo, and tongue weight of any towed vehicle

     UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight. The weight of a vehicle as built at the factory with full fuel, engine (generator) oil and coolants. It does not include cargo, occupants, or dealer installed accessories.

    Wet Weight - Term used to describe the weight of a vehicle with all storage and holding tanks full. i.e., water, propane, etc.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    VW definitely has some issues with some of the dealers in the US. And the SA and Mex cars are not quite at the quality of the German ones ... which are on par with Mercedes. But the big thing lacking is the "fantasy" marketing and brainwashing of the American people that the Japanese makers have invested heavily in.

    In Germany, recalls are something done for the sake of the lives of customers. In Japan, recalls are something NOT done for the sake of your brand's image. The "legendary quality" of one manufacturer is actually legendary mediocrity. And when it comes to safety, an RCMP constable working highway patrol in the Canadian Rocky Mountains (the first guy on the scene at many, many fatal accidents) told me: "I'd rather be in a German car with a seat-belt than a Japanese apple-crate with an air-bag!" (he drives a Passat)

    My Beetle TDI has 150,000 on it with just oil changes, a couple light bulbs, and 2 sets of tires. We sold my wife's '91 Passat with 235,000 on the odo and the only time it failed her was when an o-ring on the oil-cooler went with over 200k on the clock. It was replaced with a Eurovan that now has 190,000 on it and the only problem
    is the cruise control quit working at lower speeds, then eventually altogether, suggesting it needs a new sending-unit (speed sensor), but we haven't bothered to spend money for that.
    All these cars have power windows and locks and nothing has ever failed.
    A friend has a '79 diesel Rabbit that she restored (stripped/painted/re-assembled) at 313,000 kms, but didn't touch the engine. It runs like a new car (and the original vinyl seats look amazing!)

    My brother-in-law has always driven Toyotas, but switched from a Camry to an Accord EXR to a Jetta TDI.
    Now, after 1 year with the Jetta he's going to replace his second car with a second Jetta, since his wife monopolizes the first one. He's not going back to Japanese cars because:
    - the VW is more comfortable (he's 6'5" like me)
    - the Jetta handles better
    - the fit and finish is better
    - the car is more economical to operate
    - German cars feel a lot more solid than Japanese (excluding Lexus & Infiniti) -- just feel the weight of the doors, and imagine an SUV broad-siding you ...
    - VWs have higher resale than anything from NA or Japan. (according to a recent study , they rank #2
    behind Mercedes for lowest depreciation)

    But, other than that, a Jetta and a Camry are pretty comparable (except that the new Camry's are SO UGLY -- they look like a bloated echo!)

    Here's another take on quality.
    2 cars have a recurring problem: 1 in 1000 exhibits the problem.
    The owner of the german car goes to the dealer and is told: "Yes, we know about that and they're working to remedy it."
    He comes away thinking all cars have this problem.
    The owner of the japanese car goes to the dealer and is told: "We've NEVER seen that problem before ... have you been abusing this car?"
    He comes away thinking he'd better not mention this problem to anyone or they'll think he caused it!

    Its an attitude difference ... is the customer someone to be treated with respect and told the truth, or are they just your market ... someone who should come grovelling on their knees and just be happy they are priveledged enough to be able to drive one of your cars. And be sure to fire anyone who ever talks to a customer about the problems, or even other service managers, because according to head office "our cars have no problems" (at least that was the official word of the largest Japanese auto maker 10 years ago according to a service manager concerned about faulty brake master cylinders on their best selling model)

    Has anyone else come to the same conclusion???

    (I know I'll get flamed for this one :)
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I have an RX300 and am interested in the Touareg. Never owned a Lexus before but the service and quality of the car is amazing. I am pretty practical when evaluating a new car but I must admit Lexus service will be up on the list of criteria. The Lexus dealer has bent way over backwards to deal with the couple of problems I have had. It does concern me when I read about the mixed reports of VW service.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    > dieselbreath: And when it comes to safety, an RCMP
    > constable working highway patrol in the Canadian Rocky
    > Mountains (the first guy on the scene at many, many fatal
    > accidents) told me: "I'd rather be in a German car with a
    > seat-belt than a Japanese apple-crate with an air-bag!"
    > (he drives a Passat).

    Well, what do we know about the Touareg's safety design features? How does it compare to the current SUV benchmark, the Volvo XC90? For example: rollover stability system, low frame cross-member for bumper matching, pedestrian-friendly hood, side curtains for all seats, boron steel roll cage, seatbelt pretensioners, whiplash protection, rear fog light, etc.

    More generally, the VW site scarcely mentions safety. I'm not familiar with VWs and would be interested in hearing owners' perception of the brand's safety. I never even considered a VW until the Touareg because a coworker had kept a folder of VW crashes (I believe one of his family had been injured in one) and liked to refer to the old Microbus and Bug as "pegleg specials."
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    on ALL cars you need to Google (auto safety)
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Its difficult to find all the safety info in one location. In terms of air-bags, there are 2 front, plus 3 side-curtain down each side for a total of 8!
    German luxury vehicles have always been at the forefront of safety. I'd bet that most of the major safety features in a Volvo were invented by Mercedes. Volkswagens never match their Japanese competition for mileage because they are built (like Volvo) from heavier guage steel. VW also uses virgin steel which is more consistent and predictable (a safety factor), but also a reason they last long after their Japanese competition has been recycled.
    For example, a New Beetle with automatic weighs 500 pounds MORE than a Toyota Celica, the same as an Accord and only 140 pounds less than a Camry. Given how much shorter its dimensions are you can appreciate how much stronger it is. Similarly, a EuroVan is about 600 pounds heavier than a Caravan.
    The Touareg is a heavy vehicle. It will likely prove to be an extremely safe vehicle. But if you want more luxury, safety and handling in a 4WD, wait for the VW Phaeton. At 5500 pounds it matches the top-of-the-line Cadillac Eldorados of 30+ years ago for bulk.

    RE Rear Fog Lights: That's one of the features of European VWs that doesn't cross the Atlantic. Are they legal here?
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