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VW Touareg SUV

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Comments

  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    A good article about the Touareg, the only thing I wish is for VW to quit dragging their feet and bring that darn V10 diesel, if it does not meets California’s emissions tastes I promise I will never drive into California. For those that never experienced one of this new diesels you will be in for a pleasant surprise, especially the V10 with 553 ft/lbs of torque , it will accelerate you like you never experienced before, although Ford, GM and Chrysler have come up with just as powerful diesels they are bigger, heavier and rougher nothing like this finely designed and crafted engine, after all is refined enough to go in the VW flagship car.

    Also just read an article from a British web site telling how VW is developing a super off-roading version of the Touareg to be absolutely tops in that area with numerous modifications though the inside will not be plush but rather utilitarian for rough use and the sides and underneath will be well protected against bumps.

    The engine

    http://www.europeancarweb.com/firstlook/0302ec_touareg05_zoom.jpg

    The article

    http://www.globeandmail.com/globemegawheels/20021114/tough.html
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I always told people the Passat was an A5, at least in 2.8 and 4Motion trim. Indeed I participated in a "price" comparo of a Passat V6 w/4motion and a fully equipped A4 1.8T quattro -- the Audi was a 5spd manual and the person I went out driving with felt the Passat needed a stick shift to compete (I agree).

    There ARE subtle differences that for most people justify the Audi price (BTW the Passat and Audi were close in MSRP and way far apart in lease payment -- the Audi was much less per month).

    Now, having said that, I believe that VW may successfully enter the high - price market -- if they can get their quality act together.

    The new Phaeton, apparently, has been a big let down in Europe. It has been plagued with QC problems that made the press -- the US press -- big time. The A8, as memory serves, has historically fared well reputation wise, and the new A8L has been [temporarily, I assume] crowned the "best" lux car (Automobile magazine current issue).

    VW (and Audi) advertising is pretty poor, too. The man racing the little boy on his tricycle ad for the Passat W8 -- lose it! The two yuppies pulling out of their driveways, one driving an A4 and one a Bimmer 3 series -- double lose it.

    I have never seen an allroad ad. The Jetta ad where the guy licks the handle, did not speak to the "driver's wanted" theme. And on and on and on.

    VW and Audi -- decent to excellent products, value prop pretty high (in their respective classes), low zoot commercials, spotty dealer network and yet the cars sell pretty well.

    Think of how much better their fortunes would be if the company that does the current Infinity or Mazda ads could be enlisted on VW/Audi's behalf "zoom zoom" indeed.

    The BMW ads, too, "driver's wanted" comes to mind.

    Anyway VW's and Audis ARE fraternal twins at the most and close first cousins at the least. But, for the moment Passats are really not viewed by most of the consuming public as Audis that cost less -- and the automotive press certainly is giving a lot of VW's a critical drubbing.

    Things have to improve. VW really has a black eye and Audi, for the time being, is mostly unscathed and untarnished. A lot of folks don't even know that they're related. Go figure.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Good comments re marketing.
    It seems to me that VW is trying to present a realistic image of its cars in the ads, which may be a European approach. Whereas the other makes are all selling a dream (a van that goes "zoom zoom" ... give me a break!)

    But the big lie sells really well in North America. The new Camry's have rattle behind the radio, at the base of the windshield, in the doors, and problems with the rear disc brakes.
    Some auto magazines suggest that touching the brakes in a Lexus RX330 in a fast corner is taking your life in your hands because the handling is so bad. Yet Toyota maintains an image of "legendary quality" that I believe is the best marketing scam in the history of advertising. Sell the sizzle, not the steak...

    I agree that VW needs to change their marketing completely (at least in North America) if they want to make a dent in this market. (Why weren't they advertising TDIs when gas was $2.00 a gallon?)

    Meanwhile, if trends persist, VW will sell more cars in China next year than in the US! What's with that?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Thank you for a GREAT POST....
  • mooseman3mooseman3 Posts: 3
    Previous comments about Toyotas may be accurate but in isolated circumstances. I have had about 5 Toyotas and drove them together at least 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles). We now use a BMW X5 4.4i, while great with gadgets and power and handling it is a POS for reliability. During all the miles and all the years with Toyota we never had any issues, only minor, minor problems and the BMW had more problems in the first few weeks than all the Toyotas together.
    Right now I am looking at the new Toureg Diesel when it is available but let me tell you if VW has the same reliability issues as BMW you could gold plate it and I wouldn't even give it a thought. Reliability is the most important luxury issue for me.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I wouldn't put too much stock in the effect of assembly location on reliability. I've got about 50,000 miles on my built-in-Germany 2000 GTI GLX. So far, I've replaced the rear struts and shock top mounts twice (and will need to do it again shortly). I've replaced the coil pack, spark plugs, plug wires, rear brakes, starter, and a small clip on the center armrest lid. I believe the throttle body shift rod needs to be replaced and the front struts seem to be getting soft as well.

    I hope the Touareg is more reliable than my GTI, but I doubt that the fact that it is built in Europe will have any significant impact on the quality. The quality will be a function of the design and the standards that VW holds its suppliers to.

    MB has certainly taken a hit on reliability recently, with their JD Power ratings similar to VW. In particular, MB has had problems on new model roll-outs. IIRC, the 2000 S-class was particularly troublesome. That said, our 2002 C240 has so far only had one problem. The CEL came on one afternoon. The dealer told my wife to bring it in the next morning, they replaced the computer (which they had in stock) and she was on her way. No problems since. I wish my VW experience (both with the car and the dealer) had been as good.
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    Dealers got to try it out this week and compare it to the rx330 among others. Talked to one on my flight down there.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Personally I want reliability too. But if I cant have decent performance I don't care how reliable the darn thing is.

    No boring cars -- I'll give VW and Audi that: they are generally not boring.

    I have high hopes and expectations for the Toureg on every front!
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    The general consensus is that Toyota and MB had great quality, but they are slipping (although Lexus is still up there).
    What is the trend for VW?
    Other than the bad ignition coils, are they slowly getting better, slowly getting worse, or ?

    What do you think?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,753
    who has the Cayenne Turbo on order. He won't get it for another two to three months and close to $95k! The Toureg is essentially the same thing but much more plush. Granted the C.T. is a performance vehicle but I question if almost twice the price is it worth it and the VW is finished nicer?
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Carnaught: It depends on WHY you're buying the vehicle. If its to please yourself, then the Touareg makes the most sense. And with the V-10 TDI engine, it will match the Porsche (non-turbo) in "normal" driving performance (mid-range acceleration -- which is all torque). In fact, driving around town, the VW TDI will probably feel more powerful.

    But if you're buying the vehicle to impress your friends, I'd say the Porsche badge on the front is worth about $100,000 more than a VW badge!

    And if you're buying the vehicle for off-road performance ..... I think you have to be nuts to spend this much (VW or Porsche) on a vehicle that's going to get abused off-roading! (unless you have WAY too much money to spare) -- but that's just my opinion.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal -- which is certainly not a car newspaper of any sort -- the epitome of VW's march upscale, upmarket, upprice, the Phaeton (available NOW in Europe) has been a huge let down, QC wise.

    To this day, there are many VW dealers that can totally turn a person off to the whole experience (they seem just like an American car dealership). VWGuild seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.

    My take on most of the legendary reliability remarks (about any brand) and anecdotes is this: the point-of-purchase/service sets the tone and largely establishes the reputation of automobiles.

    Now, before you jump all over me -- let me 'splain myself. I am not suggesting that poorly designed, engineered and asembled cars with super dealers will be acceptable to a high-buck consuming public. Rather I am saying that a good car, all around, will have its image run the gamut from poor to very good based almost entirely on the point-of-purchase/service experience.

    I keep looking at the Passat W8 -- and still am hoping that there will be one with both sport package and a 6spd manual transmission. I think the Passat W8 is a bargain (or probably would be if configured as I noted above); but even when I visit an "exclusive" VW dealer (they only sell VW's, and they have a completely stand alone store, too) I get the same old tired and slimy sales approach that made me stop buying Chrysler products in 1977. . ."what'll it take to make you buy this TODAY?" coupled with low product knowledge and an apparent inability to listen. So I run away to the safety, sanity and sanctity of my local Audi dealer who treats the customer well, isn't pushy and genuinely wants to listen.

    Moreover, the Audi dealer is used to customers who want to order their cars and will wait 4 to 9 months for them to come in. The VW dealer loses interest in you if you won't buy off the lot.

    The approach is as different as, say, Wal-Mart versus Saks -- even if the purchase price is the same. A nearly $40K Passat W8 is right in the same ballpark as the A4 3.0 -- yet the treatment from the VW dealer is like fast food and the Audi dealer is like a five star restaurant.

    VW dealers are order takers -- to compete in the upmarket they must become consultative salespeople.

    This, while certainly no substitute for a quality product that is reliable, is a complement to the product. As far as I know, other than the coil problems (and although bad, the handling of the problem was dismal) VW's are reliable and put together well.

    The dealer body, broadly speaking, has not received "the memo" (the "We're movin' on up" memo).

    So, how about that reliability reputation -- JD Powers and Consumer's Union doesn't just make this stuff up (we presume, eh?). No, they survey the customers -- they (Powers, et al)report that the [VW] cars are unreliable. A PERCEPTION that may be grounded in reality, but is exacerbated by the memory of the last visit to the dealership.

    I have "heard" that the Lexus automobiles from time to time have had problems -- "normal" problems. But the dealers "kill the customers with kindness," the dealers as says Richard Geer in Pretty Woman, "give the customers some major sucking up" (sic). The customers may have reliability issues and QC issues and maintenance and repair issues -- but the dealer soothes and smooths over the problems by his/her treatment of the customer.

    VW needs to imitate such behavior FIRST, simultaneously they need to be relentless and ruthless in their pursuit of ever higher quality control and build ever more reliable cars.

    I submit, however, that if VW improved the quality and reliability by 50% and left the dealer body as is, that the reports given to Powers and Consumers Union would not reflect as large of an improvement as one would think.

    My Audi dealer (and my friend's BMW dealer, and my other friend's Acura dealer, etc.) treats me so well that I find it much easier to overlook the "normal" problems of a complicated mechanical contrivance -- which IS my Audi allroad.

    VW quality is probably on the "low end of normal" and is hopefully getting better (if it isn't it will or there will be no more VW) -- but the dealers, broadly speaking (source: reading the words written on these and other chat/discussion rooms) have a long, long, long way to go toward understanding the "upmarket" VW is so ardently striving for. Hint: get rid of the Herb Tarlick sales staff and bring in someone, anyone with a little sophistication and good grammar.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

    P.S. VWGUILD -- where in the heck IS the Passat W8 with 6spd manual and sport package (tires, wheels, suspension and perhaps even seats?) -- I thought it was supposed to be here in the US by now?!?
  • mudman2mudman2 Posts: 152
    Get this

    My dealer is a VW / Audi / Porsche on the same lot, same salesmen.

    Worrying, don't you think, or split personalities

    Wait until Mid June and the have a cheaper SUV on the lot

    lol
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    are moving this way, even as we speak right here...

    Of course, I can only speak for myself, but these cars have required a bit of extra effort to acquire...

    My Volkswagen Inventory Management system showed me with 0 allocation and I had to make a phone call to place my orders...Strange because we are a pretty large store.

    For reasons that I still cannot comprehend this car is like an orphan. If the 6 speed is not available locally it is no doubt because Dealers
    have been left with W8s that have been given no Corporate support, and they are reluctant to order more...In an ANY configuration.

    I am just not that timid...I have always believed in the W8; it is just a fantastic driver...The 6 Speed will be awesome.

    Mark, more and more Dealers are posting their entire inventories on their VW websites...try there...
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Mark,

    I think you hit the nail right on the head with your post.

    However, I have this nagging feeling that VW might be flushing their marketshare down the toilet again - thanks to the low overall reliability ratings. The poor QC of the Phaeton seems to bear that out. The makes it 4 unreliable cars (Bettle, Jetta, Golf Phaton), and two cars with average reliability (Passat and Eurovan).

    If memory serves me right, that's what made VW pull out of the NA market a while back...
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    Mark,

    Thanks for your eloquent words.

    I have a VW/Audi dealership/repairshop here that previously treated Ferrary/Jaguar owners and the like. So I feel blessed and I have always been treated extremely well. But shame (and chapter 11) on you dealerships who do not see the trend.

    I think there is no imminent danger that VW will go down the tubes, because 95% of their product is without competition.

    Now, let's just get the other 5% right.

    - D.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Would you explain further your statement that "I think there is no imminent danger that VW will go down the tubes, because 95% of their product is without competition."

    Which models are you referring to that VW makes and sells in the States have no competition?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I went to the VW dealer yesterday (so that I could peer into every W8 (I think they have 4 of them) that is on the lot.

    Three of the four had sport package, one was "standard."

    The wheels look nice on the sport package. Actually the W8's were about $39K and although it is hard to take that they are sitting right beside some 20K or less VW's -- they seem to be high content and they look quite substantial.

    I noted that a lot of the cars on the lot had the optional ESP on them. Wise dealer.

    VW has many good looking products but even this exlcusive dealer doesn't present them well on the lot.

    The roll out of the Toureg and Phaeton and the, I presume, 04 Passat W8 were supposed to coincide with a "new" look at the dealers -- correct?

    Well that new look is certainly hidden at this dealership -- which is very nice, but it is no different than it was 5 years ago.

    Are the 04's going to have the VW advantage that is 100% free unscheduled maint? Or are only the new upmarket models to be so blessed?
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    have not been seen yet by me...And any pre-paid
    maintenance would be included the Warranty.

    Mark, are you speaking of Showroom Display, or the Inventory in general?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Peter (et al),

    Here are the unsubstantiated rumors that seem to be "out there":

    1. VW's will go to an Audi-like plan, i.e., 4/50K warranty; no charge maintenance for full-term;

    - or-

    2. The Phaeton [only] will have the Audi Advantage plan and if the car is wrecked the customer have the use of a Passat (if the wrecked Phaeton is being repaired by VW).

    - and/or -

    3. This (Audi Advantage-like plan, i.e.) will spill over to the Passat W8 and the Toureg

    - and/or -

    4. This will spill over ONLY to the Toureg.

    I have NO impression that this would take effect PERIOD until the '04 model year or whenever the Phaeton actually makes it to the US.

    ======

    Questions?

    Will VW offer sat nav on any car or just the Phaeton? Or will it be just the Phaeton and Toureg?

    Will On*star (or some other Telematics [doubtful if that would happen]) become available on VW's?

    What, in MY 04, VW's will be available or standard with all wheel drive (in addition to the Passat, Passat W8, Phaeton and Toureg, that is)?

    IF VW comes with sat nav will it be the full-screen style or the sat nav lite like the last few years of Audis have had (not that I am complaining, I actually like my sat nav lite in my Audis)?

    Will the 6-spd tip become available in VW's (beyond the Phaeton and Toureg) and if so in what models and when?

    Inquiring minds.

    Thanks.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    The only thing that I know to be true & correct from all of these questions is that On Star will be a Dealer based ordering option on all VWs in 2004...
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    The VW diesel V10 engine got second place in the international engine of the year voting.
    http://www.ukintpress.com/engineoftheyear/ieoty.html
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    First place amongst conventional engines.
  • knockoffknockoff Posts: 72
    If you are in Salt Lake City area, there are about 20 (2 types: V8,gold & V6,gray) new T-regs at Strong VW for a press drive-in.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Just catching up, but an excellent editorial.
    Vancouver is blessed with excellent dealers, but I bought my '92 Double-cab Transporter truck from Speedway motors in Victoria (Porsche/VW dealer) and they were totally hopeless. If I lived in Victoria I would not buy another VW. The dealerships really are important.

    In Vancouver (or Langley), when I take my New Beetle in for an oil change, it comes back totally cleaned inside and out, and has a written report indicating what percentage of brake pads are left front & rear, tire wear, all safety items are checked, .... they are excellent. And a lot of their sales are custom-ordered cars rather than off-the-lot. However, this sounds like the exception to the rule.

    But what exactly can VOA do about the dealerships?

    How much control do they have?
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 99
    Mark - an excellent post a few ago about the differences between VW (order takers) versus Audi dealers (consultative).

    What about the combined dealerships? My local dealer does Audi/VW from the same showroom (I'm conisdering an A4 and maybe a Touareg), but I'm concerned I'll get the VW 'treatment.'

    I must say, if I were to order a VW, I'd go to vwguild without hesitation even though we're on different coasts. My biggest concern - less attention on service from my local dealer when thye see I didn't buy the car from them. I know that service shouldn't be different, but that's been my VW experience. They shouldn't event ask that question IMO.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    will be the same enhanced experience that is available now from all Dealers that are serious players in this new environment...

    Brand & Operating Standards and moving up through
    the various levels is of paramount importance today...Lots of money at stake; not to mention product...If you ain't in; you out...:)

    On a more practical level, one must not forget that Audi has only 1/3 of the cars to take care of...If anything, I believe that Audi Service will probably benefit from the competition...
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    David,

    My dealership is combined VW/Audi. They even have two large signs at the service place, so that VW and Audi customers can in principle form two separate lines. Everyone ignores that, and I have always received the same courtesy and treatment as the Audi customers (sometimes better treatment, since some of the Audi customers require a bit too much "patience" from the service personnel).

    - D.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I have not had the pleasure of visiting a combo dealership as you describe. Of the two local dealerships, one is NOW pure Audi -- it used to be Audi + Volvo (THAT was interesting); the other dealer is, for the time being, Audi+Porsche.

    This latter dealership is breaking ground for a new stand alone Audi dealership -- both Audi and Porcshe apparently want it this way.

    My Audi/Porsche dealer used to own a separate stand alone VW store. He indicates that VW/Audi will not allow on a go forward basis any more VW/Audi dual dealerships and I believe I remember him telling me that when the new facility was constructed it had to be exclusively Audi and another one exclusively Porsche.

    Funny, the showroom has a Les Nessman wall in it -- one side Audi, the other Porsche. The wall is transparent though and the salespeople think it doesn't fool anyone.

    I guess it is possible, although unlikely, that a TT shopper might be swayed to a Boxster or vice versa!?!

    Marketing!
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 99
    I hadn't realized that VW/Audi dealers were going to have to separate thier facilities. Should be interesting.

    Interestingly the other side of my VW/Audi dealer is BMW. The BMW customers get a closed off office area where they sit at a normal desk to discuss service issues with an advisor. For VW/Audi customers, its the usual stand-up desk. One line for VW, one line for Audi.

    I agree the Less Nessman wall won't fool anyone, especially, as I see it serious Audi customers (thost that really know) would also love to own a Porsche.
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