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VW Touareg SUV

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Comments

  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    Thanks for the thoughtful response. You make some good points although I'm not sure about some things.

    > dieselbreath: 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.

    Today Volvo is known for safety and utility while Mercedes is known for, well, luxury and poor reliability. I always thought of VWs as cheap but stylish.

    > Volkswagens never match their Japanese competition for
    > mileage because they are built (like Volvo) from heavier
    > guage steel.

    Bulk doesn't necessarily mean safety. Heavy vehicles tend to be no more safer for occupants than lighter ones and are deadly for others. The idea is to put strength where it matters and create good impact zones elsewhere.

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

    The bright lamp on the left-rear is standard on U.S. spec Volvos.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Today Volvo is known for safety and utility while Mercedes is known for, well, luxury and poor reliability.

    Volvo is known for overmarketing its emphasis on safety. MB does not overmarket it, yet its emphasis is just as strong as Volvo's if not stronger.

    Volvo has made great accomplishments, but consider that in the last ten years, MB has introduced many more safety innovations. This includes co-inventing electronic stability control working with Bosch (and Volvo simply modifies it and claims to invent the first "rollover stability control" system). They also co-developed Brake Assist which you now find in many vehicles. MB introduced the first SUV with advanced safety features back in 1998, when other manufacturers (including Volvo) took years to follow (it had front AND rear crash compatibility back then, and a reinforced roof ... yeah its quality was bad, but the safety was there). MB is the first manufacturer to introduce stability control on all its vehicles, while Volvo only gives it to some higher trims in some models. (And VW is making ESP available on all its models and trims, it seems, while Volvo does not.). MB has aggressively implemented bi-xenons while Volvo is still gradually introducing the technology.

    German manufacturers do well on safety, MB especially. VW has good safety technology and has in fact licensed the ESP, albeit with earlier versions. That's not to say that Volvos aren't great at safety too, but VW is certainly no slouch when it comes to safety. You won't see them overmarketing it either. Fact is, if it wasn't for the safety features, Volvo sales in the U.S. would dry up and they'd go out of business here. Other manufacturers have dramatically closed the gap and exceeded in some areas.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    Concerning the roll-over stability system in Volvos http://makeashorterlink.com/?F22F114A4 , IIRC a number of recent state-of-the-art ABS/ESP programs were developed by Continental-Teves, a supplier of safety systems to VW (e.g., ESP) for many, many years.

    Marketing aside, I trust that my buddies in Hannover will do the best for Wolfsburg, anytime.

    - D.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Quote,

    “Today Volvo is known for safety and utility while Mercedes is known for, well, luxury and poor reliability. I always thought of VWs as cheap but stylish.”

    I have a two part problem with that statement, first and foremost MBZ is known for safety, the list of innovations and patents on the safety side is the largest of any manufacturer, starting with the crumple zone in the early 50’s, collapsible steering columns, offset impact, stability control, electric brakes and for this year pre safe.

    Now if somebody asks what electric activated brakes have to do with safety the answer is simple, modulation or control of the vehicle while in motion, while the state of the art today is to have a dual system (front and rear) ABS an electric activated brake allows to control a vehicle like no other system could, take for instance going at high speed on a blind curve and suddenly a car is stalled on the way or any other object, while taking the curve the friction of the tires is greater on the outside, a conventional system applies pressure equally at the front tires and then the ABS becomes active if wheel lock occurs, on an electric system a computer is second by second calculating key parameters on the vehicle by using accelerometers, turn degrees, speed, etc, when the brakes are suddenly applied like in our example each wheel is going to receive a customized braking force making it more effective than a dumb system like ABS that only reacts to wheel lock besides that the reaction times of an electric system is so much faster. That is going to take us to the next evolution which is electrical steering, if one studies the intricacies of suspension geometry one realizes that the wheels are not in optimal angles as the vehicle is loaded by gravity, speed, uneven pavement cornering, etc, only by the use of a steering by wire can an optimal geometry be attained at all positions, here again Benz leads, a company that has the largest personnel in R&D, over 30,000 and a budget into the billions in fact D/C is one of the largest R&D companies in the world with an average of one patent per working hour..
    I takes courage not to use other words to put people on the road on brake by wire, the research and redundancy was terrific.

    Second the VW group is also known for solid first class engineering with a long list also of technical innovation and if one thing the VW vehicles of today are known is for quality and the use of those materials, especially on the interior. We have a 98 Passat 1,8T and in 5 years that car never had to go and see the doctor, it has done a lot better than the two Camry’s my daughter had in the same period

    We also have the much maligned ML, going into 4 years, never had any problems with it, at this point I would not trade it for any other vehicle other than a Touareg with the V10 diesel, I pull 25ft fishing boat way over 5,000lbs.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    Thanks for the clarifications. I'm sure there's plenty marketing involved from all manufacturers. I notice that Swedish golfer Annika Sorenstam sports a MB logo, not Volvo!

    Despite the passion and hyperbole, there is not much difference between cars in a given class. As consumers we look for small differences. Volvo's emphasis on safety, including their amazing test facility, help to set them apart. Perhaps VW also has world-class test facilities and chooses not to tell us; given their traditional price point, though, I doubt it. The Touareg may be a special case because it was developed jointly with Porsche as I understand it.

    I have a different perspective on some of the comments. wmquan noted: "MB introduced the first SUV with advanced safety features back in 1998, when other manufacturers (including Volvo) took years to follow... ."
    Both Volvo and VW were late to the SUV wars. In Volvo's case an SUV didn't fit their design philosophy and they had no platform to built it on until the P2 was introduced in 2000. The XC70, although successful, was not enough for customers wanting the "security" of a big vehicle. I don't know what influence Ford had in the decision but at that point Volvo saw that the American market wanted a large 7-passenger vehicle and that they could build an SUV on their terms.

    "MB is the first manufacturer to introduce stability control on all its vehicles, while Volvo only gives it to some higher trims in some models."
    Volvo makes the stability control optional on some vehicles to keep the price reasonable. For many drivers the base car handles so well that stability & traction control is not needed. The XC90, however, has it as standard. From what I gather the Touareg has something called 4XMOTION which may be similar but I'm not sure.

    "MB has aggressively implemented bi-xenons while Volvo is still gradually introducing the technology."
    Volvo was not convinced it was a good idea and only started offering it after much testing. Many drivers don't like bi-xenons so they are an option, as they are on the Touareg.

    And allhorizon commented: "Concerning the roll-over stability system in Volvos, a number of recent state-of-the-art ABS/ESP programs were developed by Continental-Teves, a supplier of safety systems to VW (e.g., ESP) for many, many years."
    We can drown in the acronym soup but I believe Volvo's Roll Stability Control (RSC) is unique to the XC90. Is not the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) mentioned in the link what Volvo calls Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC)?

    In any case, I'm interested in the Touareg but, like others, I have a hard time thinking of VW and $40k+ cars.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    re: "In any case, I'm interested in the Touareg but, like others, I have a hard time thinking of VW and $40k+ cars. "
    That is quite funny. When VW builds 2 SUVs in an eastern-bloc factory and ships them 500 miles by train to Germany, it is reasonable for Porsche to install an engine, seats, and paint it and charge $20,000 more than for the same car with V-10 turbo-diesel offering similar performance on half the fuel, but bearing a VW badge.
    Porsche have always had a high VW content.
    The most reliable Volvos for decades were the diesel sedans. That engine used to come in 3 lengths:
    - 4 cyl versions went into VW cars
    - 5 cyl versions went into Audis
    - 6 cyl versions went into Volvos
    They all came from the same VW factory.
    If you ignore trucks and vans, VW sells more cars than GM, Ford, Daimler/Chrysler, etc.
    There is a reason that so many people buy them: its value ... based on performance, safety, reliability, and high resale value.

    Volvo markets performance like Pontiac markets style. You have to emphasize what you have. VW, Mercedes, BMW & Audi are all extremely safe brands, but it is something buyers assume, not something that has to be pointed out explicitly.

    Back to pricing: put $40k into a Volvo and $40k into a VW and see which is worth more in 5 or 10 years. The last study that I saw placed VW in #2 position behind Mercedes for lowest depreciation.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Volvo makes the stability control optional on some vehicles to keep the price reasonable. For many drivers the base car handles so well that stability & traction control is not needed.

    Sounds like an excuse to me. In quantities, stability control (Volvo's DSTC) does not add so much to the vehicle's cost. And it's not like Volvos are cheap, either. VW offers ESP for all trim levels at a very reasonable $280. The fact that Volvo forces one to pay for a higher-end trim version to get what they themselves say is an important safety feature is a poor approach. Especially as stability control becomes more commonplace.

    And while we're on the subject of safety, most of VW's AWD systems are better for a broader variety of inclement weather conditions than Volvo's AWD systems. E.g. the 4motion that is based on the Torsen has better characteristics than the predominantly FWD-based, reactive AWD in many Volvos. Since you mentioned MB, the M-class's 4WD system is also superior, with a near 50/50 split to all wheels all the time and 4-wheel traction control. You'll probably be okay with the Volvo, but since we're talking the more extreme points of safety when we get to Volvos, it's worth mentioning.

    Volvo was not convinced it was a good idea and only started offering it after much testing. Many drivers don't like bi-xenons so they are an option, as they are on the Touareg.

    I'm afraid that's also a dubious rationale. MB does not force bi-xenons on drivers in most of the vehicles (and certainly not their SUV's). They're an option as well. MB has done a lot of testing too, and Volvo is simply behind. And, once again, Volvo only provides xenons on some of the higher-trim versions, forcing one to spend more to get something one can consider an important safety feature. To be fair, VW is behind on xenons as well.

    I certainly would agree with the general assessment that Volvo is ahead of VW when it comes to safety engineering. However, I do not believe the gap to be very wide. Certainly not what it was ten years ago. And I feel that MB has actually pulled slightly ahead of Volvo in safety. MB simply has the $'s to outpace Volvo's R&D, as well as excellent researchers and facilities as well. MB can introduce pioneering safety technology in $100k+ vehicles like the S-Class, and then eventually lower the cost to go into all its vehicles and help suppliers like Bosch and Continental-Teves license it to others. That's how electronic stability control and brake assist were developed, and now many vehicles, not just the European ones, have these features. Likewise, MB's brake-by-wire technology and PRE-SAFE are filtering downward, and eventually Volvo can copy some of this.

    As for VW, we don't know how the Touareg will ultimately fair in crash tests and other safety assessments, but I suspect it will do very well. As well as an XC90? Perhaps not, but probably very close. Look at it this way ... crash tests aren't everything, but the Passat fares as well as the S60 does in the EuroNCAP tests. VW has really narrowed the safety gap on Volvo.

    In any case, I'm interested in the Touareg but, like others, I have a hard time thinking of VW and $40k+ cars.

    I agree that you won't be the only one. Some folks, especially those who appreciate what VW did with the Passat, will be comfortable with the Touareg's price (especially as it goes substantially above $40k depending on equipment). Fact is, while VW has made great strides in customer perception, there are still a lot of folks who have older views of VW's. It will definitely be a challenge, and hopefully the better VW dealerships will be up to it.

    Back to pricing: put $40k into a Volvo and $40k into a VW and see which is worth more in 5 or 10 years. The last study that I saw placed VW in #2 position behind Mercedes for lowest depreciation.

    The depreciation on Volvos is pretty bad. It looks even worse because many new models of 2nd/3rd+ year vehicles have large incentives, thus they can sell well under MSRP. When we were considered a used vehicle for a second car, we were amazed at how cheap we could get a 2001 S60 or V70. The dealer was desperately trying to sell unsold 2002's off their lot as well, and this was in January 2003!
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    Ok, so VW makes lots of cars that are popular, at least in Europe, and some of their components wind up in other brands. That doesn't convince me the Touareg is a great car. I'm not so much looking for "value" or "low depreciation" as a well-balanced vehicle that offers the latest in good engineering and environmental design and that is comfortable in the backcountry.

    The people I know who own VWs have them because they are affordable and have a European flare. Most would have gladly purchased an Audi or Volvo or even an MB if they could have afforded it. "Performance, safety, reliability, and high resale value" were secondary considerations from what I can tell.

    Hearing people's thinking about German cars is interesting. "You have to emphasize what you have." Well, in that case I'd say VW leaves me a little cold. Maybe it's just the Germanic style. When I look at the respective websites for the Touareg and XC90 I see VW stressing performance and off-road ability punctuated by hard rock music, whereas Volvo focuses on safety, versatility and comfort with a backdrop of nature. Very different approaches.

    Then there's wmquan's note that "most of VW's AWD systems are better for a broader variety of inclement weather conditions than Volvo's AWD systems." I thought the Swedish company Haldex supplied the current AWD systems for VW, Audi and Volvo. I doubt there is much of a difference.

    Well, thanks for the responses and I'll add them to my mental notes.
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    > I thought the Swedish company Haldex supplied
    > the current AWD systems for VW, Audi and Volvo.
    > I doubt there is much of a difference.

    Yes and no. The Touareg is Torsen based, as are the VW Passat, Audi A4/A6. The Audi TT and Bora (Euro spec Jetta) are Haldex.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Then there's wmquan's note that "most of VW's AWD systems are better for a broader variety of inclement weather conditions than Volvo's AWD systems." I thought the Swedish company Haldex supplied the current AWD systems for VW, Audi and Volvo. I doubt there is much of a difference.

    mml7 hit it on the head. Note that I said "most" of VW's AWD systems are better than what Volvo offers. Most VW (and Audi) AWD systems are based on the Torsen system used in Audi's quattro. Only a few VW/Audi vehicles (Audi TT and Bora, as mml7 mentioned) currently use the Haldex that Volvos have. While this may change in the future, that is why the Touareg AWD and the Passat 4motion's AWD are much better than the AWD in the Volvo XC90 or AWD trims of the S60 and V70.

    Of course, over time this may change as some future VW's may go to the Haldex. The Haldex in Volvos is cheaper and lighter, and is adequate for most situations, though the Torsen-based systems are simply better. Volvo isn't using a more sophisticated AWD system in the S60 and V70 because they need to make those vehicles cheaper, and it saves weight, and they may (may) not have the engineering to do it.

    The Audi TT has the Haldex because lightness is the TT's game and it's not meant to be a bad-winter vehicle. The Bora gets it because the Haldex is cheaper. While the Passat and Touareg get the more expensive but more capable system.

    The Haldex systems in the Volvos are FWD-based, shifting significant power to the rears after slippage has begun. The AWD systems in the Touareg and 4motion provide power to all 4 wheels and thus do not have to react. 4-wheel traction control ensures that the vehicle can power any single tire that has grip.

    While the Haldex systems in the Volvos react pretty quickly, more extreme conditions (winter storms, etc.) favor AWD that does not have to slip in the first place.

    So yes, there is MUCH difference.
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    > The Audi TT has the Haldex because lightness is
    > the TT's game and it's not meant to be a
    > bad-winter vehicle. The Bora gets it because the
    > Haldex is cheaper. While the Passat and Touareg
    > get the more expensive but more capable system.

    I think that is also has to do with the chassis and whether the engine is transversly or longitudinally mounted.

    The TT and Bora/Jetta share the same platform (A4) whose engine bays are somewhat smaller than the others.

    The Passat is based on the B5 platform that the Audi A4 used to use before its redesign about 1 year ago. Not sure about which platform that the A6 uses.

    mike
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Interesting, thanks. The A4 (the current one and the B5) has the Torsen-based 4motion, so I guess the "full-sized" A4 platform can accommodate it.
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    Sorry, I should have clarified my last post. The Audi A4 uses the B-series platform as does the Passat. The TT and Jetta/Golf/Beetle use the A-series platform.

    The TT and Jetta/Golf/Beetle are using the 4th generation 'A' platform or A4. Hence, the 'A4' moniker in this context has no relation with the Audi A4.

    mike
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Ah, I misunderstood. Thanks for the clarification!

    Since we're on the subject of AWD in the Touareg forum, is the Touareg's normal split 50/50 or is there some bias to the rears?
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    With the tremendous luck you've had with your VWs, can I ask you to "bless" my wife's Passat for luck? :)

    BTW, the Bettle is ranked as one of the safest cars in its class, as are the Passat and the Jetta. VW doesn't advertise that fact very much - but they make some of the safest cars around!
  • 2boysdad2boysdad Posts: 7
    I spent a week in a rented Touareg in Germany this past March. As a rental you don't get the dealer pep talk and guide to "Your new car" so my wife and I toured Germany and learned alot about the Touareg. As a current owner of a VW 02 Passat 1.8T wagon, as soon as the Touareg gets to the dealer, I'm getting one. have been waiting for this SUV and I have tole my local dealer as soon as he hears a shipping date, want one. It doesn't have to be the first one, by I will have that vehicle.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    What were the good/bad you experienced? What options would you definitely want and why? Pardon the questions but you understand that most of us have not even seen one in person much less driven it.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    By popular demand, more info on ESP and ARP:

    1. Continental-Teves is the anti-rollover protection supplier for Ford(Volvo):

    http://waw.wardsauto.com/ar/auto_rolling_punches_2/

    2. ARP is simply the next generation ESP by Continental-Teves:

    http://www.mbs2002.org/Pres2002/Kozyratxt.pdf

    3. Continental-Teves has developed into the market leader, and has many clients:

    http://www.contitevesna.com/newsroom.htm

    Cheers,

    - D.
  • asuncionasuncion Posts: 6
    I was told that there is a huge quality difference between VWs made in Germany vs. South America. Does anyone know where the 2004 Toureg will be made? Thanks.
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    The Touareg (and Porsche Cayenne shells) are manufacturer in VW's new plant located in Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    I love the technology, but I have to start wondering - how "bulletproof" is ESP technology?

    I'm asking this question, because if any of these crazy drivers in Arizona start having ESP equipped SUVs they'll start driving even MORE recklessly!

    Has anyone ever performed a Consumer Reporst "style" test on these cars by deliberately trying to topple an SUV over with an ESP system engaged?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Is Standard Equipment on E & S Class MBZ & W8...
    Not sure about the MLs
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    I'm always amazed when people indicate that they feel Audi is a top-quality make, but aren't sure about VW. Don't they realize this is one company sharing the same engineering and platforms?
    I used to describe a Passat as an A6 without climate-control, but there's no longer that distinction. Back when the A6 came with the 2.8 V6, the engines, transmissions, drive-shafts, and every front suspension piece could be swapped amongst A4, A6 and Passat models. The A8 was the same design, but stronger components.

    The Brazilian Jettas may not be at the same level as German ones, and the Mexican Beetles may have had some inconsistencies (funny, but my IBM laptop and my TDI Beetle both come from Pueblo, Mexico) but the Passat, Eurovan, and Touareg are all european and feature fit and finish that is unmatched outside Europe, except possibly by Lexus.

    Personally, a Touareg would not work for us because there isn't as much leg-room in the back-seat (compared to a Passat or E-class). My wife and father are 6'3", my brother-in-law is 6'5" (like me) and my 16 y.o. son will probably be as tall as me by his 17th birthday, so we're limited to more spacious cars.

    Other than the rear legroom, we loved the Touareg at the Auto Show, but haven't had a chance to drive one yet.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Is Standard Equipment on E & S Class MBZ & W8... Not sure about the MLs

    ESP is standard equipment on all MB vehicles sold here, including the ML's and C-class. In fact, I think the ML was the first SUV to get any kind of stability control system?

    While VW doesn't have it standard everywhere, it's commendable that you can get it throughout the vehicle line, without necessarily being forced to a higher trim level. $280 is a very reasonable price.

    Has anyone ever performed a Consumer Reporst "style" test on these cars by deliberately trying to topple an SUV over with an ESP system engaged?

    In fact, yes. NHTSA is developing a better rollover test (to replace or augment their current rollover resistance rating, which is only based on static measurements and doesn't factor in stability control, tires, suspension, etc.). NHTSA has been using some ESP-equipped vehicles. They think that having stability control is a plus but it is not a panacea either. Even the ESP manufacturers will say you can't defy the law of physics!

    In Europe, the MB A-class failed the "moose test" and needed ESP to correct this. So yes, ESP does help reduce the likelihood of situations that lead to rollover. But like any system, it is not foolproof and should not be taken as a license to drive recklessly, especially in a more top-heavy vehicle like an SUV.

    ESP has now been around long enough that a number of buyers won't buy any vehicle, let alone an SUV, without it. There are plenty of anecdotal stories about how it's helped drivers avoid serious accidents (and not just rollovers).
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    I'm always amazed when people indicate that they
    feel Audi is a top-quality make, but aren't sure about VW.

    Don't they realize this is one company sharing the

    same engineering and platforms?


    Just to play the devil's advocate here, but replace "Audi" with "Lexus" and "VW" with "Toyota". Do you consider there to be a difference between Lexus and Toyota? I think that it is understandable why some people feel the way they do.

    In anycase, people who complain about VW making an SUV that costs $35-$55K probably don't realize that even non "luxury" brands sell cars in that range such as Chevrolet (Avalanche) and Toyota (Landcruiser). Why should VW be any different?
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    You have a point there, but there is also a huge distinction (and its discussed on the messages about all the problems with Camrys compared to Lexus) and that is that most Toyotas sold in North America are built in north america, but a Passat or Touareg or Eurovan is built in Germany.
    Its like buying a Toyota that was built in the Lexus plant.
    Which leads to another point. I can't figure out why so many people buy Jettas (other than base models) when you can get a Passat for marginally more. Especially people buying automatics, since the VW 4-spd auto is one of their low-points (in my opinion) and the Tiptronic is one of the best automatics available.
    (If its good enough for a 400 HP Porsche its good enough for a chipped Passat!)
  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    You know, I never realized that all Lexuses (Lexi?) except the RX330 were built in Japan until you pointed that out. I sort of assumed that Toyota was doing what Honda does with Acura (i.e. build the MDX at the same plant as the Pilot and/or Odyssey).

    As to your other point, I can tell you why we settled on a Jetta over a Passat: comfort. My wife could never get comfortable in the Passat, and felt that the visibility was too poor for someone of her height. Plus, once you price out the Passat V6, you're talking about Audi A4 range -- smaller with less power, but more nimble and fun to drive :-)
  • asuncionasuncion Posts: 6
    Will the Toureg be available in both the V6 and V8 when it arrives in June 2003?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Will be available in both V6 & V8 from the out set...As a matter of fact the ratio for the initial allocations are 2:1 V6 to V8...
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Interesting ... I never considered that some people would have problems with a car that is "too big". Being 6'5" it never crossed my mind. But now that you mention it, I noticed that the majority of drivers of new Jettas are women. My sister-in-law loves hers!
    And the V6 Passat is expensive. A 1.8T with a chip is faster, gets better mileage, costs less, and handles better with the improved balance.
    I agree with you that if you're into the Audi price range, you're probably better off with an Audi. But for me, the A4 is a tight fit, whereas a Passat is not (without the sunroof).

    The Touareg had LOTS of room ... up front.
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