The all new Touareg should be released as a 2017 model but we don’t have confirmation yet. Meanwhile VW dropped off a 2016 VW Touareg V6, which is effectively the base model. The top end model stickers at $65,610, but that is the now unavailable because it’s the TDI. We really liked the huge torque reserves in that car, 406 lb-ft of torque at just 2,000 rpm. The V6 is a different beast and feels a bit slower than its oil burning brother. The 3.6-liter gas V-6 produces 280 hp at 6,200 rpm and 266 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm.
From the outside the Touareg is still a seriously good-looking car, especially when when viewed with some of its competition. Last year there were modest updates to the nose and tail, LED headlight and taillight accents, a revised rear bumper that includes LED fog lights, as well as a new diffuser flanked by redesigned exhaust pipes. All this keeps the aging VW looking fresh.
On The Road
Dynamically, the Touareg’s behavior is composed and solid, the suspension has a firmness to it that avoids that typical SUV wallowing mid corner. The ride is smooth with some body roll dialed in, but overall the big VW feels expensive and well-controlled. Steering is still hydraulic on the V-6, so no lifeless electric system here. It communicates the road well and is quick and dare I say it almost sporty. It really makes the Touareg pleasant to drive.
Braking performance took a little getting used to as a fairly hard push was required when stopping from higher speeds approaching a stop light. On road manners are impeccably and it’s relaxed in both stop start traffic and on the highway. We found that it was better to shed more speed than not, to avoid plow on under-steer and a very heavy tiller. We had some ooh ahh moments and learned quickly. Most of the time was spent in Sport mode which holds gears longer for a quicker getaway, and unsurprisingly this didn’t help our fuel consumption which hovered around 17 mpg. As we said before you do miss the torque that the TDI has and sometimes the transmission can get caught out in mid corner and you have to stomp your right foot pretty hard to get back on the torque curve.
Inside it’s all very well screwed together, with panel fits that are impeccable. The dashboard and the majority of the door-panel surfaces are made up of a squishy, leather-grained rubber material which is also wrapped around the seats to create the faux leather. It works too, except when the outside temp gets too warm and you wish for cooled seats. Let’s just say that plastic doesn’t breathe like actual cow, so expect a sweaty back. Close your eyes though and feel around the cabin, and your brain thinks “Audi.”
We liked the 2016 VW Touareg TDI for the week we had it. It was easy to drive on any road, on mud, sand or pavement and it never put a foot wrong. It has more cargo space than the Audi Q5, with the seats up or down and of course, it’s cheaper. If you are looking for something a bit different, this is an excellent choice……..but we still really miss the TDI.
2016 VW Toureg Numbers
|Vehicle Type:||Front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV|
|Price As Tested:||$49,950|
|Engine Type:||DOHC 24-valve V-6, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection|
|Power:||280 hp @ 6200 rpm|
|Torque:||266 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm|
|Transmission:||8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode|
|Curb weight:||4,696 lb|
|Zero to 60 mph:||7.9 sec|
|Top speed (governor limited):||130 mph|
|Cargo Volume:||32.1 cu ft|
|Cargo Volume: (Rear seats flat)||64 cu ft|
|EPA city/highway driving:||17/23 mpg|
|Our Observed Fuel Economy:||17 mpg|