Volkswagen Touareg 2 Review

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Despite a name that sounds like a sequel, which implies an entirely new creation, the Volkswagen Touareg 2 was essentially a slight refreshing of the original Touareg midsize SUV. It's the equivalent of calling the "Star Wars" re-release from the 1990s a sequel, but instead of a digitally rendered Jabba the Hutt, there are restyled headlights and a couple new features. And yet like so many sequels, it was quickly forgotten, as Volkswagen dropped the "2" for 2010, making it just Touareg again.

The Touareg 2 may not have been much of a sequel, but it's at least a pretty solid sport-utility vehicle. Engineered to blend on-road comfort with genuine off-road capability, this Volkswagen followed an SUV formula more in line with the Range Rover than the growing number of soft-roader crossovers. This was (and pretty much still is, sans the 2) a vehicle that can go practically anywhere while providing good handling and a well-sorted ride, all made possible by a rock-solid platform co-developed with Porsche.

Unfortunately, even a used Touareg 2 remains costlier than its humble "people's car" badge would suggest, while offering less space, fewer features and generally weaker performance than many rivals.

Used Volkswagen Touareg 2 Models

The Volkswagen Touareg 2 was produced from 2008-'09. It featured a number of engine choices, with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive standard on all models. The base engine was a 3.6-liter V6 that made 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, while the high-end 4.2-liter V8 produced 350 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. For 2008, the turbodiesel was a 5.0-liter V10 (sold only in non-California-emissions states) that produced 310 hp and a colossal 553 lb-ft of torque. Even with the diesel engine, fuel economy was relatively poor for this class of vehicle. This was replaced for 2009 with a V6 turbodiesel that produced 221 hp and a still robust 407 lb-ft of torque.

For more information, please visit our VW Touareg review page.

Standard equipment on the base VR6 trim includes a power liftgate, automatic wipers, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, heated power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and satellite radio. The V6 TDI shares this equipment roster but with the turbodiesel V6 under the hood. The V8 includes an adjustable air suspension, xenon headlights, real wood trim, leather upholstery and driver memory function. Most of these are available on the lower trims. Options include adaptive cruise control, lane-change assist and a touchscreen hard-drive-based navigation system with multimedia inputs. The 2008 Touareg 2 made do with a non-touchscreen navigation system that wasn't hard-drive-based, and it lacked the adaptive cruise control and lane-change assist options.

In our reviews, we've found that the Volkswagen Touareg 2, like its predecessor, is a well-designed SUV that offers commendable driving dynamics and -- thanks to its solid German construction (read: hefty curb weight) -- a feeling of indestructibility. Unlike the original Touareg, the current model's range of engines provides ample power, but the Touareg 2's subpar fuel economy (except for the TDI) is difficult to ignore. So are its mediocre backseat and cargo space. Given these shortcomings, it's hard to give the VW Touareg 2 a hearty endorsement with so many other capable luxury midsize crossovers currently on the market.

Note that the VW Touareg 2 was preceded by the very similar Touareg. This model debuted in the 2004 model year and reappeared for 2010.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Volkswagen Touareg 2 page.

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