Car Review

2016 Volkswagen Touareg: New Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI
Certified 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$35,915
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg VR6
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$25,999
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Sport w/Technology
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$28,992
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$36,900
RELATED READING
See all Volkswagen Touareg articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2016

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg midsize crossover asks us to see its Volkswagen badge in a different light: a premium light. While most of us tend to lump vehicles such as the Volkswagen Jetta and Passat in with the rest of the mainstream, the Touareg is something else again. It has refined bones.

The Touareg is built on a platform jointly engineered with Audi and Porsche, which use it for the Q7 and Cayenne, respectively -- so this is a truly world-class foundation at thousands of dollars less than those two top-flight brands.

This also makes the Touareg a pleasure to drive. It feels unflustered over freeway slabs and weathered roads alike, tackling trickier surfaces with confidence. The back seat's elevated position -- and copious knee room and headroom -- also makes this one of the best vehicles for long trips with four adults on board. Throw in the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and you have a crossover SUV with premium virtues.

What's New for 2016?

The hybrid version has been discontinued. In the wake of the emissions issue, the diesel-powered TDI model has been discontinued, as well.

What We Like

Spacious and upscale interior; responsive handling; 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty

What We Don't

Brand/price disconnect; no USB port; no third-row seating option

How Much?

$43,615-$60,655

Fuel Economy

The Touareg comes with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Its 3.6-liter gasoline V6 is rated at 280 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption at 17 miles per gallon in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg is available in Sport, Sport w/Technology, Lux and Executive trim levels.

The entry-level Sport ($43,615) comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, a power tailgate, heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with tilt-telescopic adjustability, 8-way power heated front seats, sliding/reclining rear seats, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and an 8-speaker audio system with a 6.5-in touchscreen, a 6-CD changer, iPod integration, an SD-card reader and satellite radio.

The Sport w/Technology ($47,655) trim adds a hard-drive-based navigation system with digital music storage and an 8-in display, keyless entry/starting, a hands-free power tailgate with a foot sensor, a rearview camera, a towing package and lane-change assist.

The Lux ($52,360) has the Sport's standard features and those from the Technology package and then adds 19-in alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces, power-folding exterior mirrors (auto-dimming on the driver's side), wood-grain interior trim, ventilated 14-way front seats with driver memory settings, power-folding rear seats and park distance control.

A Driver Assistance package is optional for the Sport and Lux. It includes adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, a blind spot monitoring system, forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and park distance control.

The Executive ($60,655) brings 20-in alloy wheels, heated rear seats, rear sunshades, a heated steering wheel with power adjustability, an extended overhead-view parking camera and a 10-speaker/620-watt Dynaudio sound system, plus the safety features from the Driver Assistance package.

Both the Lux and Executive offer the option of 21-in wheels.

With the rear seats up, there's 32.1 cu ft. of cargo space behind them. When you fold the seats down, this area expands to 64 cu ft. Neither figure is remarkable for the class, but the Touareg has the added advantage of quite a squared-off shape.

Safety

The Touareg comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain). The Driver Assistance package (see above) adds several safety technologies.

Volkswagen also has a post-collision braking system, which is standard in all its vehicles. In the event of one collision, it applies the brakes to prevent (or at least mitigate) a secondary impact. And in light of the high center of gravity that every SUV has, the Touareg includes a rollover sensor system as part of its stability/traction control.

The government hasn't crash-tested this vehicle, but the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Touareg its highest rating of Good in every category.

Behind the Wheel

The Touareg's interior is typical of a Volkswagen. It's simple yet full of high-quality materials. Some rivals have a more luxurious feel, but the Touareg's excellent ergonomics and unpretentious character is charming in itself. The focus here is on functionality. For example, the driver's seat doesn't look like much, but it offers a wide range of height adjustability, and the bottom cushion tilts independently. The panoramic sunroof brings some welcome light and warmth to this otherwise somber environment, as does the LED ambient illumination.

The driving position is superb, providing great all-round visibility, and even the footrest is in the perfect place. The back seat is one of the best in the business. Its range of fore/aft travel is 6.3 inches, and the seatbacks recline. What's more, the bottom cushions are high, so thigh support is excellent. There's also plenty of foot room under the front seats.

The steering system is satisfyingly responsive, which is unsurprising given the Touareg's Porsche connection. Although the Touareg feels born for high-speed cruising, it's equally at home on the dirt, where the chassis can exercise its long-travel suspension.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Acura MDX -- The MDX offers three rows of seating and great resale values.

2016 BMW X5 -- The X5 isn't cheap, but it's a state-of-the-art crossover in every respect.

2016 Lexus RX -- A new generation of the RX has debuted for this model year. It's well made, well equipped and completely dependable. But the driving experience is still utterly forgettable.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class -- What used to be the M-Class is now the GLE. This model is pricey, but it has a gorgeous interior and plenty of talent.

Used Porsche Cayenne -- The Cayenne makes even more of this platform, as it offers superior on-road handling and the availability of greater power. You should seek out a certified pre-owned example to get a decent warranty.

Autotrader's Advice

The lure of a luxury brand is hard to resist, but you shouldn't overlook the understated joys of the Touareg.

Find a Volkswagen Touareg for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI
Certified 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$35,915
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg VR6
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$25,999
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Sport w/Technology
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$28,992
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI
Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg
$36,900
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Volkswagen Touareg: New Car Review - Autotrader