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VW Touareg SUV



  • I hope those mileage conversions/estimations are a bit off. For myself, I might accept 12 mpg from the V8, but not the V6. As for the V10, I really was excited about the prospect of 300+ hp and better than 20mpg. If reality proves to only be 17mpg I may have to reconsider my options.
  • rjr57rjr57 Posts: 7
    I have one of the marketing brochures, and the dashboard photo shows a paddle shifter behind the steering wheel on the left side. It's a European model (speedo in km). In the spec inserts that come with the brochure there is no reference to paddles, and there is a disclaimer stating some of what you see in the photos might be different in the U.S models.

    Also, many thanks to our Austrian friend tbreth for taking the time to share his observations. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the rear seat roominess and comfort level.
  • Yes, thanks to Tbreth and rjr for the quick answers and responses. Much appreciated. Does anyone out there have any personal experiences with driving the v-6 yet? I'm really wondering if this engine has enough get up and go for nearly 2 tons. Thanks in advance.
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    Unfortunately, no, my conversions are dead accurate, or else it means that my HP 48GX has fooled me for an incalculable number of years :)

    Remember that these mileages were obtained:
    1. from non broken in vehicles,
    2. in the hand of automotive journalists,
    3. including performance measurements.

    This magazine is dead on when it comes to driving vehicles the way they're normally driven (except for performance measurements - not everybody measures the kilometer from a standstop), and this is why it's my ultimate reference when I look for a car. They obtained a mileage of 29.1 mpg for the 330d but I do 35 with mine, so again it all depends on your driving style.

    And the paltry mileage for the V6 is easily explained: this engine is already a gas pig in other VW models (Phaeton, Golf R32, Passat) and here it has more than 2 tons to move, added to the fact that the auto is constantly hunting gears due to the serious lack of torque.
  • Wasn't suggesting that you couldn't operate a calculator (thanks for that btw).... more like I was hoping for some inaccuracies from the reporting source or someother contributing factors (like you described) that may have contributed to poor mileage figures.

    Now I'm really hoping the V10 comes here and soon.
  • tbrethtbreth Posts: 8
    As to the prive list I found on the internet and to the articels I read about the Touareg, yes, the shifters are an option, available to all Touaregs with automatic transmission.

    Concerning roominess and comfort in the second row, I have to say that even behind me ( I ussually sit very far backwards as I am quite big and like to have my legs not crmaped) I could sit in the back seat. I would touch the front seat a little bit but not too much, so I could even sit there for some time. The back row has a center and two side air outtakes which is more than usual. With the 4C air condition the back row can even adjust the temperature individually (but thats an option). So as a conclusion: Very good sitting for two, the third in the middle is a little bit worse, as usual.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I was wondering if the rear seats can be moved forward and back, like the rear seats in some other SUV's. Also, how flat do the fold down when you want the extra storage space?
  • tbrethtbreth Posts: 8
    As far is I know (please don't be to angry if wrong because it did not interest me too much) the seats are not sliding.

    Concerning folding down the rear seats as to what I saw from photos they folded down fully and on one photo there was some angle left (not much) so I suppose from the number of photographs that they rather fold down totally.
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    From what I saw on the VW site, the rear seats folded pretty flat though I don't believe they do have any forward or rear adjustment.
  • The seats can fold two ways...either dropping the backrest to a near-flat fold...or if flatness is a must, you can remove the headrests, flip the seat portion up, then fold the backrest down giving a full-flat cargo area.

    As for Marketplace dealers...I am one of the lucky ones whose local VW dealers has always been very good, with friendly sales staff and excellent service. A few years ago, they became one of the first Marketplace dealers, and they are quite a bit more than nice sofas.

    Gunther Volkswagen of Coconut Creek has a huge 4-lane wide, 8 bay deep service lane, 40+ bay indoor garage facility for the service department, and beautiful showroom. Sales experience includes receptionist in the center to greet all incoming, coffee and tea bar with cafe tables, and a sales staff with excellent knowledge of every vehicle. They are friendly and courteous. Service is the same, and includes washing your car when serviced, rentals on site for all warranty work, and courtesy vans. They are easily equipped to service $40-$70K cars to a level those buyers will be satisfied with...better than anything I have yet experienced from my local Mercedes dealer or Acura dealer, and at least on par with the best I have seen from Lexus.

    I have driven the Cayenne this past weekend just to get a first taste of the certainly drives more sports-car-like than the Touareg will...but is roomy in all 4 positions, comfortable from the driver's seat, and looks capable off road (again, not as much as the Touareg will).

    For those looking to cross shop X5s, MLs, GX450s, and the like, you will find the Touareg to be a more luxurious vehicle, with more cargo and passenger room than all but the Lexus, and on-road handling and comfort the equal of any of them.

    For those looking to off-road, the Touareg will simply put the others to shame. It is in a league previously reserved for a rare handful of vehicles...Range Rover, Hummer H1, and older Land Cruisers. On vwvortex, I was asked to compare the off-road prowess of the Touareg to the Hummer H2, which is not too likely to be cross shopped by too many people, but has a certain off-road image which makes it appear capable of anything (it is not). It was very interesting to do the research...with information provided by each manufacturer's own spec sheets:

    1) Max ground clearance -
    VW - 11.8”
    H2 - 10.7”

    2) Max approach angle -
    VW - 28 degrees
    H2 - 40.4 degrees

    3) Max departure angle -
    VW - 28 degrees
    H2 - 39.6 degrees

    VW - 29.4 degrees
    H2 - 25.8 degrees

    5) Max center ground clearance angles -
    VW - 11.8”
    H2 - 9.4”

    6) In-cab adjustable tire pressure -
    VW - no (may be optional)
    H2 - no (may be optional)

    7) Locking differentials -
    VW - center and rear separately
    H2 - center and rear separately

    8) Transfer case with high and low -
    VW - yes
    H2 - yes

    9) Visibility while off road -
    VW - excellent (thin pillars, low hoodline, good
    greenhouse area, small frontal section)
    H2 - poor (high beltline, small greenhouse, high frontal
    area, large A, B, and C pillars, poor rear visibility

    10) Max water fording depth -
    VW - 23”
    H2 - 20”

    11) Hill descent and ascent controls -
    VW - yes - crawl 36:1
    H2 - yes - crawl 33:1

    12) Max grade percentage -
    VW - 45 degrees
    H2 - 45 degrees

    13) Max cross grade performance (i.e. sideways on a hill) -
    VW - 35 degrees
    H2 - 37 degrees

    VW - 7700 Lbs.
    H2 - 6500 Lbs.
  • Thanks - great post. Sounds like your dealer is really first-rate. This would take away a lot of the concern over buying a first-year model.

    From the pictures I've seen I certainly like the Touareg's looks better than the Cayenne (and I would not even consider the H2, for many reasons). And the VW's pricing appears to be way more affordable - it seems like you get a LOT more for your money. The performance stats and sports car handling - the only advantages that stand out in favor of the Cayeene - are not worth this much price premium, IMO. I would think most others will come to the same conclusion and will result on the Touareg outselling the Cayenne by a large margin (5-1 perhaps?). The Touareg seems to do everything very well, and if you don't go too crazy on the option list, it look like you'll be able to buy a very capable SUV for the money.
  • The Touareg should certainly sell on its own merits - great features, luxury, very attractive, capable off-road, and competitive price. VW being much more mass market and having far better dealership coverage within the United States will ensure that the Touareg should cleanly outsell the Porsche.

    However, don't underestimate the power of the nametag in those places which do have Porsche dealerships. There will be very strong sales of the Cayenne in the U.S. Despite very strong criticism by Porschephiles when news of the first Porsche SUV started spreading, those selfsame Porschephiles are the ones hunting at the local dealerships waiting for news about the debut. I guess they changed their tune, and figured if you are a Porsche owner and you need a larger family car to go with your 911, what better than one from the same manufacturer? Porsche marketers were insightful enough to see that potential...not to mention all of the Porsche Club and vintage racing folk who will go crazy for the Cayenne as a tow and support vehicle for their 356s and 550s.

    Touaregs do seem like the better vehicle. For one thing, VW still uses better materials and has slightly higher fit and finish than Porsche...even owners of 911 Turbos complain that the interior design and materials is not of very high caliber. In many a European car magazine, you can find reviews of Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Rover, and other marques which compare the interiors against the Golf or Passat as the standard-bearers, and rarely do they feel the competition measures up. In my opinion, the Cayenne interior looks a bit plastic...the grains are not optimally chosen, the center stack looks messy, the steering wheel is not well designed, and the dash material looks too shiny. The Touareg on the other hand uses the excellent matted, textured rubberlike plastic used on most of their current models, with excellent grain matching, and smooth teutonic design cohesiveness and luxurious materials.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Out of the box, I think the Touareg still has an issue off-road -- lack of suspension articulation. It is my understanding that they are working on a model that will let you disconnect the anti-sway bars. That would greatly improve its articulation. As it is now, it's way too easy to lift a tire off the ground, and a tire in the air doesn't give you any traction...
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    1. H2 uses a nice electric gear-based locker i think. VW uses a clutch-based locker & center diff, which are weaker and relatively high-maintenance...just look at Acura MDX's rear clutch-based not last long if you use it often.

    2. H2 ground clearance is static...ALWAYS the same. VW has all-independent, so it's ground clearance changes with terrain. In addition, don't forget that about the clearance of the CONTROL ARMS of the independent suspension! Those control arms are lower and may drag in off-roading.

    3. Wheel articulation is far superior in the H2 or any other solid-axle SUV. VW has a car suspension with car-like wheel travel.

    4. Breakover angle on the H2 with rear air suspension is around 27-29 degrees.

    5. How about strength and durability of a solid rear axle...and not to mention the superior wheel articulation???

    6. How about the risk of electronic failure of the air suspension of the Touareg?? If this fails, the VW is no better than an X5. BTW, it is very possible to have these electronic suspension go bad...just ask Range Rover owners. My brother's LX470 occasionally has it's own mind.

    BTW, i do NOT own nor plan to own a H2. I have a 4Runner 4wd.
  • I currently own a Jetta, and the foot space in the back could use a little help. I was wondering if I should expect the same with the Touareg. By the way I am already making plans to purchase one of them.
  • al63017al63017 Posts: 149
    Have seen that statistic and am amazed. I would think if you towed any thing that heavy it would push you around not the other way around.
    Seems like you might need a big Suburban to tow that much. What do you think. Like I would buy a Suburban if I needed to tow that much. (I'm not crazy enough to buy GM--know two people with 2002 GMC's and had all kinds of trouble--one finally caught on fire and burned up--other has had 3 rear ends installed--maybe 2--but too many.

    Just bought new Nissan Murano and like it a bunch. I have a limit on what I will spend on a vehicle and Murano hit my price point and got what I wanted. But Touareg sure looks interesting.
  • I think the V10 Diesel form the European Touareg can probably do more than that, but you won't see VW publish a higher figure just to keep themselves free of lawsuits from someone towing a 10,000Lb trailer without trailer brakes and losing it on a downhill slope. The Touareg is a very heavy vehicle, which gives it some advantage over many lighter car-based utes. But remember a 4 ton Big Rig Semi can carry 20 tons behind it! Of course, there is no such thing as an "emergency maneuver" in one of those big boys at highway either hit it or jackknife trying not to!

    I would be confident towing up to 7,000 Lbs in a Touareg without any worries - if the manufacturer is willing to publish that figure, the truck is likely capable for much more.
  • HI,
    You obviously live in SF (me too) have you driven the Touareg at Gunther (didn't think they were out yet)? Tested the FX-35 last weekend, has given me some relunctance to rush out and buy a VW SUV. Really concerned about underpowered Touareg V6 model. V8 out of sight (price). FX-35 right in the 36-37K range. The FX was certainly more Sports than Utility (but still had a fair amount of room).
  • Did I understand correctly? Did you actually test drive the touareg? I live in Texas. The local dealership told me maybe until April or May. What else can you tell me about the test drive. I myself plan to purchase one in May. If it is half as good as I have read so far. I currently own a Jetta VR6, Although I love the car, the touareg seems like the only other option. What do you think
  • I can accept that a V10 turbodiesel Touareg can probably tow my 5,000 pounds of boat and trailer reasonably well. That Touareg weighs over 5,000 pounds and it has a pretty beefy braking system and fancy suspension. I'm completely dubious about the V6 which claims the same 7,000+ pound towing rating. It has a much more feeble suspension setup and it doesn't have all that much torque. I can imagine it wandering between gears on the flats at highway speeds and wheezing up hills. When a car does that, you start wondering about engine and transmission cooling problems.

    I drive a VW GTI as my commuter car. In the 18 months I've owned it, I've received two "scarlet letters" informing me about problems. The first is the well-known issue of the windows dropping into the door when the "window regulator" fails. The second is the well-known issue of the ignition coils failing on the car. The 1.8T has one coil per cylinder so there are 4 to fail. In both cases, the letter said that if these parts failed, I was to bring the car into the dealership to have the car repaired at no cost. Sorry, that just doesn't cut it. If there's a known defect in the car, the car should be recalled and repaired. I now get to wonder if my car will die off in the boonies with a failed coil pack. I now get to wonder if the window will drop into the door when it's -20F. And this company thinks it's going to start selling $60,000 luxury cars and $40,000+ luxury SUVs?
  • Phastphil and Touareger...I haven't yet driven the Touareg. I have read a bunch about it, and I do have a good friend in Germany who has driven the V8 and V10 diesel versions - this is where most of my driveability info comes from. The rest of the info is just from reading and researching.

    I drove the Cayenne...which at least gives a small taste of the size, room, and maybe a few of the shared fittings, though with Porsche doing its own assembly, interior and exterior panels, and engine, it doesn't provide enough info about the Touareg. As far as space, the Porsche was roomy enough for 4 people comfortably, and 5 for short drives. I would estimate the same room as my W8 Wagon, with more height.

    As for the Infiniti...though I find the design interesting, it wouldn't be a vehicle I would be in the market for. It is powerful enough and drives with very sporting intentions, but the space in the back is entirely too small for cargo, the passenger room in the rear seat is tight, the roof is way too low for over 6 footers to be comfortable, and of course there is virtually no off-road capability built into the vehicle. I tested the Murano when it debuted, also because I thought it looked interesting. Again, nice ideas, but too car like and loses too many of the functions which would make me want to buy an SUV. My Passat W8 Wagon has better cargo room and interior space than either of the Nissan offerings, has roughly the same accelerative abilities of the Infiniti, while handling and braking better than both. For me, an SUV should truly have the "U" part of the equation to make it worth choosing over a sport wagon, since it is the only thing truly giving them an advantage in my mind. Otherwise, too many compromises are made just to have a higher, overweight, ill-handling station wagon.

    The Touareg looks like the first SUV I have been truly interested in in a while. I do have an MDX, which is leased. It replaced my last (1997) Mitsubishi Montero, and though initially it seemed a good choice and the on-road dynamics of the MDX are pleasant enough, it just doesn't really do anything better than my wagon does, while doing many things worse.

    Geoffdgti - though I partially agree with your frustration over receiving the recall notices, and do agree that VW should as soon as possible begin preventative fixes of the problems with the coilpacks, they ARE currently replacing the window lift pieces on all four windows without requiring a failure, at least in our area. I think the fact that they acknowledged the coil pack problem is a good thing, since many manufacturers still attempt to hide some of their problems which should be recalled. For example, Acura has had problems with their ECUs failing on MDXs at abnormally high rates, yet we never received a recall, and after seeing threads about the problems and beginning to worry, we still had to go through the ignomious embarrassment of being stranded on the side of the road with a non-responsive accelerator and a blinking CEL. BMW has had very consistent problems with cold engine behavior on their M3s; often the cars stall out requiring multiple starts, and run very rough for the first few minutes. A simple fix to the ECU program and an adjustment of the initial fuel sending on start up has solved the problem, however BMW has never announced such a problem, and only fixes the problem if and when customers complain and bring their cars in. Also with BMW, would you like to know how many I-drive modules have been replaced in the new 7-series? And still no official recall, on a $70,000+ car.

    I will have no problem with my local dealerships selling VWs at $40K, $50K, $60K and more. My experiences with VW have been excellent, and my VW dealership experience both in sales and service have exceeded my most recent experiences purchasing both an Acura MDX and a Mercedes CLK Cabrio.

    Again, this is just my experience. You have had a lesser experience, and that is regrettable. Unfortunately, only time will tell if more people have good experiences or bad experiences at their VW dealerships. I hope the result will be much as it was with Lexus...that people purchase based on product and price, and not on history and prejudice (No critic thought anyone would ever buy a $50,000 Toyota, by any name). The new redesigns sweeping many of the VW dealerships throughout the country (our were converted very early a few years ago), and the training that salespersons have undergone, seems excellent. Rumor I have heard is that only the new style, redesigned dealerships will be selling the Phaeton and Touareg.
  • I have had the same feelings about VW for some time, however I have a '01 Passat that has been very reliable, and the dealer for the most part has been pretty good (Gunther-Plantation FL). We also have a MB, and when you compare the service/support of VW to MB, there is absolutely NO comparison with MB winning on everything from better service to better coffee in the lounge! So before I drop 40K+ at VW I'm going to think real hard about this one.

    There apparently is no "perfect" solution: MB- great cars and service, but no SUV worth buying, Infinit FX looks very appealing, but terrible residual value, BMW X-5 nice SUV, but arrogant dealers and out of sight pricing, Porsche, sorry way above my price range, Lexus - great service, RX too oriented to soccer mom's. This is a real problem which is why I keep driving my Passat. Need a real compelling reason to make the switch.
  • Wow. It appears to me that you are well read. I thank you for the info.
  • In recent weeks VW has reportedly sent out a second letter saying they will replace all H-series coil packs BEFORE they fail at no cost. (The first letter simply indicated they would replace only those that do fail.)

    Apparently this whole coil pack mess has proven to be a major embarrassment to VW primarily in the way they handled the situation. VWA has just announced the appointment of a Quality Control Officer in part to hasten factory response to marketplace demands. Sounds like the first step in the right direction. Let's hope.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Phastphil wrote,
    “There apparently is no "perfect" solution: MB- great cars and service, but no SUV worth buying”

    That sentence caught my eye, I am curious to know why you think the ML is not worth buying?
    I bought a 99 ML430, purchased in 1998, this is the much maligned SUV, right after I bought it I read all the reports saying how horrible vehicle it was, I said to myself I blew it, especially since I paid cash. Now going into five years I never had any problems, minor or major.

    I did not buy my ML just to go around town, I bought it for a purpose, during the summer every chance I get I like to go to the beach in the Gulf Coast, I used to tow my two three seater jetskies with my pickup, but I like to go to some secluded areas which means off the road into sand and some steep boat landings, after getting stuck and slipping and sliding a few times I said I want a AWD vehicle, I read the literature on the ML, test drove it and said OK.
    In this five years I got to know and like it better as time goes by, not only do I tow my jetskies but also a big 23ft fishing boat, way over 5000lbs. I have also got it stuck in deep mud to the doorsills (anything will get stuck in the mud, I also stuck my Unimog with 4ft tires). In all fairness it does real well in the mud considering and take it from a guy who has done thousands of miles of off the road traveling for many years. I guess the point I am trying to make is that I have put my ML to hard use and after all this it rides tight and smooth as the day when I bought it, it has taken the hard long hauls better than my GM pickup.

    The ML just won its third Dakar race in the unmodified class (for production time against Dakar wins it has by far the best ratio of any manufacturer), meaning as is from the show room, no modifications are allowed, plus hundreds of other rallies so far, underneath the skin a very substantial truck hides, just take a look underneath. I would not dismiss the ML so lightly.

    Is funny, seems like yesterday I bought the truck and was feeling down about the negative publicity and my possible mistake, now I look with contempt all those shinny new SUV’s going about town.

    I did not come here to bash or sell, I have an interest on the Touareg, especially that V10 diesel, about the same time we bought a Passat and it also has been a good and pleasant ownership.

    I am attaching a picture I took at the Alabama plant a while ago, judge by yourself that beefy transmission. (click on the hi res for better view)
  • Geoffdgti - though I partially agree with your frustration over receiving the recall notices, and do agree that VW should as soon as possible begin preventative fixes of the problems with the coilpacks, they ARE currently replacing the window lift pieces on all four windows without requiring a failure, at least in our area.

    The issue is that I haven't received a recall notice for either failure. All I got was a letter telling me that if it broke, come in and get it fixed. I just had the GTI in for a 40,000 mile service. They didn't replace the coil packs. They didn't replace the window regulators. I inquired about both. There were ~50 dead VWs in their lot waiting for parts and the scene of irate VW owners milling around the service waiting room was pretty ugly.

    Knock on wood, my VW has been flawless and my dealer service has been fine, if not exactly fawning all over me with service and perks like a Mercedes dealership. I bought a 100K extended warranty and I'm beginning to wonder if this is my first-ever car where I don't make my money back on the extended warranty. I'm pretty happy with my econobox but I'm not sure I'd want to buy a $50,000 luxury car or lux-SUV from VW.
  • Geoff, I know it is a bit more of a hefty drive for you, but you may want to try another delaership. Our local dealership has one of the newest, and largest, Marketplace dealerships in the United States, and they have gained quite a reputation amongst local club members around here as being excellent in the service department. They have replaced the window regulators for virtually every one of my VW-driving friends (Golf and Jetta) and in our local clubs, without any of them having experienced failures, and without being asked in several cases. They have very Mercedes-like service personnel, their dealership and service department are similar in layout and cleanliness, sales floor and staff are trained similarly, and the coffee is great (Barney's). The service I receive on my Mercedes is good, but no better than what I get when I service my VW.

    Oh, and if you haven't gotten a recall letter on the coilpacks, rumour is you soon will.
  • This is a response to one of the posts from maybe a while back I don't rememeber exactly when. I believe the discussion was regarding how the traction control works on the Touareg. If I remember correctly someone posted that it worked the same way the x5 works (i.e. using the brakes). But this is not true. I've seen it in road and track and I've seen it on the VW web site. It's one of the things they touted--how it used a series of clutch plates to transfer power from wheel to wheel when TCS is needed. Just wanted to clarify that.

    BTW anyone know roughly when this sucker is gonna be available? I am very very interested in getting one but I need a new car soon and don't think I can wait til the summer if that's when the Touareg does indeed come out.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    This is how i understand it:

    1. It does use ABS-assisted 4-wheel traction control system.
    2. HOWEVER, it has clutch-packs on the center AND rear differential...both of which are "lockable".

    So, in normal driving, it acts very similar to a BMW X5, Mercedes M-class, etc.. However, when off-roading, you have the option of locking the center diff for 50/50 power split between front and rear axles. In addition, to provide more consistent push, you can also lock the rear axle. The front axle is still controlled by the traction control system (ABS-system). Similar to the Hummer H2 setup.

    Clutch packs are located in the center and rear differential. It controls the power distribution between front & rear (center diff) and left & right on the rear axle (rear diff). The front axle is open differential.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    Sadly, due to some subtle DOT required alterations, we will not see our first units until late July. Hope that is not too late for you. Now that is for the West Coast...The NE should probably beat us by a week or two.
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