Premium midsize SUV; Built in Germany
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $19,500 – $33,700*


2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Front


2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Rear


2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Interior


2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Profile

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V8, V10 diesel)
  • Cargo room
  • Interior materials
  • Quietness
  • Front-seat comfort
Cons:
  • Navigation-system controls
  • Fuel economy (Except V6 diesel)
  • Idle-speed clatter (V10 diesel)
  • Visibility

Any Touareg 2 rewards with first-class cabin decor, competent SUV road manners, and terrific off-road prowess. When new, Touareg 2 has been pricey for a Volkswagen, on par with Lexus and Mercedes-Benz rivals that offer superior brand prestige and customer care. Resale value trails those premium models, which could be good news for secondhand Touareg shoppers.

Overview

Volkswagen first launched the Touareg in 2003. Renamed Touareg 2 for 2008, the premium midsize sport-utility vehicle got mild styling changes, greater power, and additional standard features. This five-passenger four-door wagon came with all-wheel drive. Developed with Porsche, which offered its own version as the Cayenne, the Touareg 2 also lent its basic design to Audi’s Q7 premium large SUV. Competitors included the Acura MDX, Land Rover LR3, and Volvo XC90.

Modifications to the grille and taillamps were the main styling updates, while 19-inch wheels replaced 18s as standard on V8 and V10 models. The V6 model had 280 horsepower for 2008, and the V8 model reached 350. Both were 40-hp increases. (Volkswagen said a limited number of 2007 Touaregs had been available with similar power increases.) The V10 model’s turbodiesel remained at 310 hp. All Touareg 2s had a six-speed automatic transmission. Designed for off-roading, the AWD system included low-range gearing and a locking center differential; a locking rear differential was optional.

Standard safety equipment included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. The V10’s height-adjustable air suspension was optional for other models. Former options that were now standard included a power liftgate, power driver’s seat, and front/rear obstacle detection. Leather upholstery was optional on the V6 and standard on other models. Options included keyless entry/starting, a navigation system, rearview camera, and heated rear seats.

Yearly Updates

2009 Touareg 2
After the 2009 model year began, a new TDI (diesel) engine replaced the prior V10 diesel. The new 3.0-liter turbodiesel produced 221 horsepower. A new high-end Lux Limited trim package also became available. Touaregs could tow as much as 7716 pounds.
2010 Touareg 2
The 2010 Volkswagen Touareg 2 lineup underwent a few changes, including the discontinuation of the available V8 engine.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive

Three engines have been offered in the Touareg 2, each mating with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.6-liter V6 produces 280 horsepower, versus 350 hp for the 4.2-liter V8 and 310 hp for the turbodiesel V10. During the 2009 model year, a new 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 replaced the V10 engine. All Touaregs have all-wheel drive. The available V8 engine was discontinued for 2010.

Turbodiesel ohc V10
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.9/300
Engine HP
Engine Torque (lb-ft)
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

16/20

18.3

Turbodiesel dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 221
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 407
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/25

21.8

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/219
Engine HP 280
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 265
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

14/20

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/254
Engine HP 350
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 324
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

13/18

15.5

Road Test

Touareg 2s are among the heaviest midsize SUVs, and the V6 labors in mountain driving and highway passing sprints. A test V6 model accelerated to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. The V8 version is no hot rod, but it delivers better all-around acceleration and is a necessity for towing. Volkswagen claimed 7.6-second 0-60 acceleration for that model. The turbodiesel’s monumental torque yields brisk takeoffs and ready passing power. VW claimed 7.5 seconds for 0-60 mph acceleration for the early diesel model. On the downside, that V10 suffers occasional turbo lag, plus some diesel smoke and smell on cold starts.

Fuel economy extracts a penalty, especially with a gasoline engine. A V8-powered Touareg averaged 15.5 mpg in our tests. A V10 diesel averaged 18.3 mpg, and a V6 diesel got 21.8. Volkswagen recommends premium-grade fuel for the gasoline engine. The V10 requires ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. The V10 diesel was unavailable in California and certain Northeastern states.

An impressively rigid structure enhances ride comfort, with the base suspension and 17-inch tires furnishing the most appealing experience. Bumps can intrude with the available 19-inch tires. The air suspension has three firmness settings, but only the middle one satisfies on-road expectations. That system’s main asset is providing up to 11.8 inches of off-road clearance.

On the handling front, Touareg 2 is no match for lighter SUVs such as the Acura MDX or Lexus RX, but VW’s version always feels confident. Steering has a linear feel but isn’t as precise as it should be. A Touareg 2 corners with good balance but marked body lean. The air suspension imparts a slightly more agile feel. A compact turning radius aids maneuverability, but some test V8 and V10 models have suffered from driveline binding with the front wheels fully turned. The astute AWD system has helped a Touareg claw through severe conditions in dry-surface off-road tests.

Touareg 2 rivals some upscale passenger cars for quietness. The air suspension muffles tire thrum slightly better than the conventional version, but the 19-inch tires are always more audible than the smaller-size tires on coarse surfaces. The V10 turbodiesel clatters at idle, but is otherwise muted. The V6 turbodiesel can also be heard at idle, but far less so. V8 versions make a pleasant, expensive-sounding growl at full throttle. Wind rush is low for an SUV.

Gauges, dashboard, and console look contemporary and upscale, but the proliferation of buttons and controls requires a preflight briefing. The climate system is a bit too low for easy driver use or view. The navigation system takes plenty of study to master and governs too many audio functions, but its Global Positioning Satellite feature is useful when off-roading. Touareg 2 matches any luxury SUV for quality of interior materials. One test V8 model suffered from a dashboard buzz on coarse surfaces.

Front occupants get great headroom and generous seat travel on firm and comfortable seats. The standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel helps drivers find an ideal position. For some testers, though, portions of the gauges were blocked by the wheel rim. Step-in is rather high but entry/exit isn’t difficult. Hampering visibility to the front corners are large outside mirrors. Backseat headrest hinder views to the rear, but the available rearview camera is a help (if installed). Some test Touareg 2s had slight windshield distortions.

In the back seat, the tallest riders may want a bit more head clearance. Foot space shrinks to marginal with the front seats set far back, but knee room is never painfully tight. The rear seatback doesn’t recline, but the cushion provides fine support. Narrow rear doorways hamper easy exit.

Handsomely finished, the cargo bay is tall and wide rather than long, but it’s spacious enough. The load floor is somewhat high, though. Rear seatbacks lay flat, but not before an annoying ritual of flipping the lower cushions and removing the headrests. The cabin has abundant small-item storage.

Ratings

Model Tested: Volkswagen Touareg 2 V8

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
50%
Cargo Room - 9
90%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 61

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.4 187.2 75.9 68.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
71.0 26.4 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 38.3 41.3 35.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Door handles
Description: The inside door handle(s) may not snap back after opening and the door release cable needs to be rerouted. (2004-08)
Keyless entry
Description: The remote keyless entry may quit working, may only lock the doors or other strange behavior due to lost synchronization. (2004-09)
Wind noise
Description: Wind noise from the outside mirrors requires additional sealing between halves and replacement mirrors will not be covered under warranty. (2008-09)
Liftgate
Description: The rear liftgate may not open all the way, but revert to a 31 degree angle if the release switch is held longer than 4 seconds or if something gets caught under the liftgate switch while closing. (2007-08)
Parking brake
Description: The parking brake warning light stays on because the parking brake damper (strut rod) gets weak over time requiring replacement. 2004-09)

Recall History

2008 All
Description: Owner’s manual may lack instructions for tire-pressure monitoring system.
2008 All
Description: Fuel supply line on some vehicles was changed during production, which could lead to insufficient sealing of connector; could result in fuel leakage.
2009 Touareg
Description: Fastening struts on roof edge spoiler can crack, causing spoiler to loosen and possibly detach from vehicle without warning.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.