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VW Touareg SUV

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  • 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)
    http://www.funtigo.com/MLtransmission
  • 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.
  • Sorry I didn't get to respond to ur post earlier....heavy travel last few weeks interupted by tons of snow in the NE.

    My comment about the ML pertained to ME personally, not specifically the vehicle. The ML is an excellent SUV for its intended job, albeit the initial reliablility problems that plagued the ML in its first few years.

    My problem is that we (my wife and I) don't really need an SUV...I want one for the occasional time we need to haul stuff around and constantly have to ask a friend with an SUV to help out. My Passat does just about everything we need, except in those large volume occasions.

    But, back to the ML, I have test drove it and like it, but not enough to rush back and sign up for one. My wife is on the short side, had difficulties in getting up and out of the vehicle, which I had to consider. The step-in is certainly not car like. So, unless I come up with something more car like, I'm still looking. Maybe the FX or the Touareg will fill my needs.
  • Paul Miller VW [Mr Paul Miller's words] tells me that a $2500 deposit I made with Visa for a Touareg delivery in the spring will not be refunded although they cannot deliver the vehicle I need until the fall [I specified in writing "VW telematics by Onstar"]. Who is crazy here? I find it hard to imagine that Visa or VW USA would be sympathetic to a "You have a contract" position by the dealership at this early date when VW wants this launch to be happy for all and initally at least demand is supposed to far exceed supply. At this point I am soured on the whole VW idea - I have been buying new cars for 45 years and never seen this before. Any ideas?
    ....RBS
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Dispute the charge with VISA.

    Or contact the State Attorney General (Consumer Protection Office or whatever your state calls it).

    Or hire a lawyer and send a demand letter.

    Or contact the BBB and/or the VW "zone manager."

    Or picket the dealer, call the TV stations ....

    Or complain about the dealer on Town Hall :-)

    Or some combination of the above.

    Steve, Host
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    I feel your pain, but why would you give anyone a $2500 deposit on a vehicle that is so far out?
    And $2500???

    I have posted here more than once that US Touaregs don't begin production until April, with original deliveries late May; early June.
    This has now been pushed back a month or so...Fall, to me is October...

    On Star will be a component option...We even have a required course/overview on Telematics.

    Did you sign anything indicating that the Deposit was non-refundable?
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    schedule an appointment with the sales manager. Calmly tell him that you need your deposit back, now. Be nice, but firm. In the meantime, contest the charge with Visa. Don't go to the lawyer until you've tried nicely. If the sales manager is a jerk, then call your lawyer. It shouldn't cost too much to have your lawyer write a demand letter.
  • Don't know about Ct. but I recently read that deposits on cars are fully refundable right up until just before you sign the title and take the keys.

    The State Attorney General should be able to tell you your rights.
  • In the promotional material I've seen from Porsche, the Cayenne will have some sort of integrated towbar mechanism. It looks like a pivoting arm that drops down from the undercarriage with a built-in ball on the end.

    Will the Touareg have a similar mechanism? If yes, can someone please provide some more details? Specifically:

    a) Is the ball on the end replaceable to support either 1-7/8 or 2" balls?

    b) What if I have a hitch-mounted bike rack that slides into a "standard" 2" receiver? Will I be able to use this with a Touareg?

    Thanks.

    -Alex
  • I am normally a "read only" user as I have been told that my opinions are generally welcomed but....anyhow when I saw you mention Miller in Ffld, I saw RED. They are a bunch of (edited by our friend Steve)
    A very good friend of mine lost a $1k deposit a few months ago on an '03 Expo.
    My advise is this: read the t's & c's on the back of the buyers order, specifically the delivery clause. They cannot perform (deliver the automobile) within the term defined, therefore the buyers order should be void. Have your atty. send Paulie a love letter stating this.
    Do yourself a favor, stay away from Miller, and tell all of your friends and neighbors the same. There is really no room for them in our community.
  • Has anyone received an actual invoice on the Toureg? My dealer in NJ does not have one.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    We do not get an Invoice until we actually get the car...You probably mean an Order Guide, and we don't have those yet either.

    Essex Fells, NJ
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