Premium midsize SUV; Built in Slovakia
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $18,600 – $51,000*


2011 Volkswagen Touareg Front


2011 Volkswagen Touareg Rear


2011 Volkswagen Touareg Interior


2011 Volkswagen Touareg Profile


2011 Volkswagen Touareg Front

Pros:
  • Acceleration (TDI)
  • Fuel economy (TDI, Hybrid)
  • Interior materials
Cons:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Steering/handling

Volkswagen’s latest Touareg is slightly larger, but notably leaner (weighing some 400 pounds less) than its predecessor. Though no longer the off-road billy goat it once was, Touareg is still a comfortable, luxurious SUV, with a well-appointed interior. We laud Volkswagen for offering a full breadth of engine options, including diesel and hybrid powertrains. We especially like the diesel. It’s so smooth, quiet, and refined that we would pass up the conventional gas version entirely. The Hybrid is similarly well behaved, with seamless transitions between electric and gasoline power. If you’re shopping for the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, be sure to put Touareg on your list, too.

Overview

In addition to freshened styling, the redesigned 2011 Volkswagen Touareg lineup included the company’s first gas/electric hybrid model. This five-passenger SUV had standard all-wheel drive, but the previous generation’s low-range gearing was discontinued. The 2011 model was 1.5 inches longer in wheelbase, 1.6 inches longer overall, and 0.5 inches wider than the 2003-2010 Touareg. This Volkswagen lent elements of its basic design to the premium-midsize Porsche Cayenne. Three powertrains were offered: conventional gasoline, TDI diesel, and gas/electric hybrid. The conventional engine was a 280-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. The TDI model had a 225-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. In the Hybrid, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine paired with an electric motor for 380 horsepower total. The Hybrid could run on one or both of its power sources to balance acceleration and fuel economy. No plug-in charging was ever required. All Touaregs used an eight-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity was 7,700 pounds.

Standard safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front side airbags, along with hill descent control. V6 and TDI versions came in Sport, Lux, and Executive trim levels. The Hybrid came in a single trim with equipment similar to Executive versions. A navigation system, rearview camera, power driver and passenger seats, and heated front seats were standard across the board. Leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, and memory seats were standard on the Lux, Executive, and Hybrid. Rear-obstacle detection, an uprated audio system, keyless access/engine start, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel were standard on the Executive and Hybrid. A power tilt/telescopic steering wheel was standard on the Hybrid and not available otherwise. Volkswagen’s Touareg competed against the Acura MDX, Infiniti FX, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, as well as the Lexus RX and BMW X5

Yearly Updates

2012 Touareg
Little was new for the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg apart from new equipment packages. The New Touareg Sport with Navigation models included Park Distance Control.
2013 Touareg
The main change for the 2013 Touareg was a revised turbodiesel engine that featured a stronger engine block and 15 more horsepower.
2014 Touareg
Highlights for the 2014 Touareg included a newly optional motion-activated liftgate and the addition of a sport-themed R-Line model with sport suspension, 20-inch wheels, and unique trim. Push-button start saw expanded availability to most trim levels, and Executive and Hybrid models added an around-view camera feature.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Touareg buyers could select from three powertrains: gasoline V6, turbodiesel V6, or the Hybrid. The 3.6-liter gasoline engine made 280 horsepower, while the turbodiesel produced 225 horsepower in 2011 and 2012 and 240 horsepower in 2013 and 2014. It also produced considerably more torque than the gas-powered V6. In the Hybrid, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 mated with an electric motor, with total output of 380 horsepower. All Touaregs used an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Turbodiesel dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 225-240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 406
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
8-speed automatic

19/28

25.6

ohc 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
8-speed automatic

16/23

Supercharged dohc V6/electric
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 380
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 428
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
8-speed automatic

20/24

20.2

Road Test

Despite a curb-weight reduction of about 400 pounds versus the first-generation SUV, conventional V6 Touaregs provide only slightly better-than-adequate acceleration. The TDI is stronger in any situation. The diesel engine is powerful, smooth, and projected to be the most fuel-efficient. Only those looking for the absolute least-expensive Touareg need look at the base V6. After a very brief delay from a stop, the Hybrid takes off with authority. The gas/electric transition is virtually imperceptible. On all models, the eight-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth shifts and prompt response to throttle inputs.

Fuel economy varies considerably by model. In Consumer Guide testing, a Touareg TDI averaged an exceptional 25.6 mpg. A Hybrid averaged 20.2 mpg. Conventional V6 and Hybrid models require premium-grade gas. The TDI employs a urea-based exhaust-treatment system that requires periodic dealer maintenance.

Suspension tuning is similar across the Touareg lineup. Differences in ride quality are largely the result of tire/wheel size. Sport models got 18-inch wheels; Lux and Hybrid used 19s; and Executives rode on 20s. Any Touareg has a stable, controlled ride. Sharp bumps intrude only on versions equipped with the 20-inch wheels. The Hybrid’s extra weight helps keep down the impact of road imperfections.

Unlike its Porsche Cayenne sibling, a Touareg is no excitement machine. Still, it handles competently, with good steering feel and well-controlled body lean in fast corners. Braking control is solid, with the Hybrid having especially good pedal feel for a gas/electric vehicle.

Most sources of noise are well squelched. All engines are smooth and refined, including the diesel.

Climate controls are simple to operate and logically arranged. All models have a standard navigation system, which absorbs (and complicates) some audio functions. The previous-generation Touareg’s classy interior appointments carried over into this new model. All versions have a classy interior befitting their premium nature. Padded surfaces abound, and the woodgrain trim looks very nice. Sport versions have “leatherette” seating surfaces that don’t quite match the genuine leather found in the Lux, Executive, and Hybrid for feel and appearance.

Front-seat space is good all around. The panoramic sunroof on Lux, Executive, and Hybrid models steals some headroom, which tall occupants will find bothersome. Seats are designed for long-haul comfort rather than sporty bolstering, and they work well in this regard. A tilt/telescopic steering wheel has been standard, but power operation was offered only on the Hybrid. Entry and exit are easy. Visibility is decent in all directions, though views to the rear corners are pinched by thick roof pillars. A rearview camera was standard on all but the base Sport model, but blind-spot alert was not offered, which is a curious omission on a redesigned premium-class SUV.

Touareg’s rear bench seat slides fore and aft up to 6 inches to expand either passenger or cargo space. Depending on where the bench and front seat are in relation to each other, rear room ranges from decent to excellent. The seat itself is generally comfortable, if a bit flat for best support. Narrow door openings hinder entry and exit.

Cargo capacity over the previous-generation Touareg dropped by 4.5 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks raised, and 7 cubic feet with backs lowered. Overall room is class-competitive, though the rear seatbacks don’t fold flat. The glovebox has decent capacity, but the center console and door pockets are generously sized.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Sport V6

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 - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 63

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.9 188.8 76.4 68.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
64 26.4 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 38.9 41.4 36.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A Not tested 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

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

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

Trouble Spots

Engine misfire
Description: The engine may run rough after a cold start requiring a software update to the engine control module. (2011)
Audio system
Description: After pairing a cell phone with the radio, the directory may show empty if any original entries in the cell phone’s address book do not contain a telephone number. (2011)
Sunroof/moonroof
Description: The sunroof may quit working if the switch is pulled down and held for a few seconds or if the switch is held in the open position for too long requiring reiinitialization of the system. (2011)
Electrical problem
Description: The Homelink garage door remote may not work and may not program to the vehicle which may require a software update to the vehicle’s body control module. (2011)
Electrical problem
Description: Sporadic or no Bluetooth operation with iPhone, iPad unless it is updated to iOS 4.1.X or higher. (2011)

Recall History

2011 Volkswagen Touareg
Description: On certain vehicles made from July 2, 2010, through Feb. 3, 2011, certification labels contain incorrect tire-pressure information.

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.