Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel

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2011 Volkswagen Touareg
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Pros

  • Confident driving dynamics
  • high-class interior
  • impressive equipment roster
  • powerful and fuel-efficient powertrain options
  • high towing capacity.

Cons

  • No third-row seat
  • middling cargo capacity
  • spongy brake pedal feel
  • upper trims get costly.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The newest VW Touareg offers an available gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain and more passenger room, greater performance and higher fuel economy than its precursor. If you don't need three rows of seats or class-leading cargo capacity, the Volkswagen Touareg deserves a look.

vehicle overview

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg represents the luxury SUV's first full redesign since it debuted a decade ago. In a nod to the on-road preferences of most crossover SUV owners, VW did away with the heavy and complex dual-range transfer case for off-roading. This contributes to a weight loss this year of nearly 400 pounds, which along with the new structure's increased rigidity notably sharpens on-pavement performance.

Under the hood, the new VW Touareg offers a choice of three engines. Two are carry-over: V6 gas and V6 turbodiesel. But rather than a gas-guzzling V8 at the top of the ranks, there is now a hybrid model sporting a supercharged V6 along with a battery-powered electric motor. This powertrain has been developed in conjunction with Porsche, and indeed it is the same hybrid powertrain that powers the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid.

Volkswagen's first-ever hybrid is as close as you'll get to a "cake and eat it" experience, as it provides the performance of a V8 but with better fuel economy than a V6. Along with a net output of nearly 400 horsepower that allows the Touareg Hybrid to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in just 6.2 seconds according to Edmunds testing, the hybrid powertrain provides a combined fuel economy estimate of 21 mpg. That's 40 percent higher than the 15 mpg combined the V8 version offered a few years ago. A new eight-speed automatic (standard for all trim levels) also helps improve the fuel economy of both the V6 gas and turbodiesel models.

The 2011 Touareg's exterior styling is taut and crisp, with more pronounced character lines and wheel arches. Up front is VW's new corporate face, while out back there are distinctive LED taillights. The Touareg is still a midsize crossover with seating for five, but those in back are particularly well served now, with more rear legroom and a backrest that reclines to three different positions. With rich wood, metallic accents and high-quality materials throughout, the Touareg's cabin gives nothing away in terms of luxury ambience to more prestigious nameplates.

All things considered, the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg lineup not only compares favorably in terms of luxury and performance against respected rivals like the Acura MDX and BMW X5, but also has what it takes to compete against cutting-edge hybrid rivals like the Lexus RX 450h and Mercedes ML450 Hybrid.

trim levels & features

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg is a five-passenger midsize SUV that's available in four main trim levels: Sport, Lux, Executive and Hybrid. All but the Hybrid can be had with either gasoline V6 ("VR6") or turbodiesel ("TDI") V6 power.

The Sport comes well equipped with 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, power tailgate, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power/heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a navigation system, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio and iPod integration.

The Lux adds 19-inch wheels, a huge "panoramic" power sunroof, heated sideview mirrors, walnut cabin accents, leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats (with power lumbar support for the driver), driver memory presets and power rear seat releases.

Moving up to the Executive adds a corner office (just kidding), 20-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, keyless ignition/entry, rear park assist and a Dynaudio premium sound system.

The Hybrid comes loaded with all the aforementioned along with a power-adjustable steering column, passenger memory presets, passenger power lumbar seat support and metal door-sill plates.

Options are few and include a Towing package, carpeted floor mats and the Protection package (which consists of rubber floor mats, a rubber cargo area mat and mud guards).

2011 Highlights

For 2011 the Volkswagen Touareg is redesigned and boasts notable improvements in performance, fuel economy and rear passenger space.

performance & mpg

An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard on every 2011 Volkswagen Touareg. The VR6 versions have a narrow-angle 3.6-liter gasoline V6 that makes 280 hp and 265 pound-feet of torque. The TDI versions feature a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 good for 225 hp and a whopping 406 lb-ft of torque. The Hybrid features a supercharged, direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. The two combine to generate an impressive 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, enough to catapult this Touareg from a standstill to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds according to Edmunds testing.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the VR6 stand at 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined, while the TDI is rated at an impressive 19 city/28 highway and 22 combined. These represent improvements of 2-4 mpg over the previous Touareg VR6 and TDI. The Hybrid rates 20 city/24 highway and 21 combined.

Properly equipped, the Touareg (any trim level) can tow 7,700 pounds, which is more than most competitors.

safety

Every Volkswagen Touareg comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, hill hold assist (to prevent roll-back when you stop on a steep incline), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Touareg earned the agency's "Top Safety Pick" award by acing all of the tests, including frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength.

driving

Although the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg does without the formerly standard low-range transmission feature for driving off-road, this utility vehicle still has a fair measure of ability in the dirt thanks to its minimal front/rear overhangs, decent ground clearance and compliant suspension. But even if you never venture off the beaten path, this is one satisfying SUV from behind the wheel. Steering response is particularly sharp, though the effort level is perhaps too light for some tastes.

The VR6 engine is refined and adequately powerful, but the V6 TDI diesel is well worth the extra cash, providing superior torque and fuel economy. The Hybrid is impressively quick while returning good fuel economy, though its $60K price tag is rather dear. Regardless of engine choice, the eight-speed automatic transmission's shifts are barely noticeable. At speed, the Touareg feels unflappable, devouring highway miles while cosseting its passengers in a cocoon of quiet luxury.

The Touareg's handling and ride dynamics are similarly refined, with a solid, composed feel in the corners and over the bumps. Though the brake pedal feels somewhat mushy with its long stroke, under hard braking, the brakes themselves are powerful enough. We recorded a good 121-foot stopping distance with the heaviest Touareg, the Hybrid.

interior

The only real difference between the Touareg's cabin and, say, the BMW X5's is the big VW badge on the steering wheel. Most surfaces in the Touareg's interior are soft-touch, and the hard surfaces feel smooth and substantial. The navigation system boasts crisp graphics and an intuitive touchscreen interface. At higher trim levels the Touareg is decked out like a Range Rover, what with the Dynaudio stereo and the upgraded styling cues and interior materials.

While many other midsize SUVs offer a third-row seat, the Touareg does not, limiting passenger capacity to only five. However, the second row is roomy enough, with a higher seat cushion than you'll find in the X5. Cargo capacity is 32 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71 cubic feet when they're folded. Sure, that's useful but not particularly impressive given that a humble Honda CR-V has more maximum storage space.


Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg.

Value with Style
stcamp, 8/31/2011
Was in the market for another SUV, yet wanted something different, not cumbersome nor boxy. Previously had an 07 BMW X5 - liked the car, yet did not like performance. With gas prices fluctuating high/low, I considered the diesel. Drove the BMW diesel, yet it was $9k more than the VW. My car is new <300 miles, yet in town I avg 19.5 and Hwy 26 mpg. As the car engine breaks in and I get my foot off the pedal, I know mileage will improve. Seats are very comfortable, interior is well designed and Navigation interface works very well. The LED headlights are distinctive and the back end of the Touareg is in my opinion...nicer than Porsche
WOW!!!
carguy114, 9/5/2011
My familiy and I have owned our 2011 VW Touareg TDI Lux for 5 months now and all I can say is what an incredible car. First off, we were OK with the 19 MPG city rating, and because we live in the hills, we were expecting less. BUT, we are actually averaging 23 miles per gallon without any highway driving. I would not be surprised if somone who's commute consists of 35-65 mph flat roads could average over 50 mpg. This really is an incredible machine. The overall build quality is very solid, you always feel safe! The interior has ablselutely no flaws and the panoramic sunroof is incredible. If you ane in anyway remotely considering the Touareg, you will not be let down. We love our Touareg TDI
'11 Touareg TDI hits almost all targets
tdifor, 1/4/2011
We took delivery of our new '11 TDI Lux on 12/9/10, and my wife and son want to drive it more than their own cars ('08 GTI and '02 525i wagon). It's quiet, comfortable, beautiful inside and out (what a sunroof!), has a great nav system and electronics package, great power (can't wait 'til summer to tow our boat), and is getting 25+ mpg! It passed its snow test with flying colors, and the handling is fantastic. The only negatives are price ($55K) and lack of cargo space, but we knew what we were getting into there. Five adults and all their stuff plus some food gets pretty tight, but if you don't mind a car-top carrier it would be a great answer. Check it out if looking for a new small SUV!
New 2011 Touareg
Michael, 11/18/2010
My last 3 trucks were two Land Rover Discoveries and then the LR3. I was ready to trade in after five years and surveyed the landscape of real trucks - LR4, Sport, Armada, Infinit - you name it. I drove the Touareg and decided to go for it. It has good truck sensibilities, but drives like the Cayenne. It is comfortable and more economic than the 11 mph LR4.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Diesel
225 hp @ 3500 rpm
MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Diesel
225 hp @ 3500 rpm
MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Diesel
225 hp @ 3500 rpm
See all Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel features & specs
More about the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg
More About This Model

Luxury vehicles are supposed to be our buffers from certain harsh realities, and the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid has a heft and gravitas that indicate it's more than up for this task. It has a broad, handsome exterior that bears a passing resemblance to a slab of granite hoisted wholesale from the darkest corner of the Black Forest. The doors feel reassuringly heavy, more castle fortress than SUV, and the Touareg sails over gaping potholes with a battleship's smug confidence. Looks and feel are so traditional and so classic that we find it hard to believe it's a hybrid.

But a hybrid it is, and from a performance perspective, the Touareg is one of the more impressive examples of hybrid technology that you can buy. With the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg, VW's engineering wizards set out to stir up an SUV that combines V8 performance with V6 fuel economy, and we think their time spent toiling over that bubbling cauldron has met with success. The Touareg Hybrid has adjustable drive modes, and in Sport mode, the SUV vaults from a standstill with the bracing eagerness of a V8, without the same crippling showing at the fuel pump.

So yes, the Touareg Hybrid accelerates as if there's a V8 rumbling under the hood, but the downside is it's priced accordingly. The MSRP of $60,565 resembles that of the V8-equipped model it replaces in the lineup, which makes the hybrid model costly in comparison to its competition.

Relative to its two most direct rivals, the Lexus RX 450h and Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid, the Volkswagen feels more organic, tap-dancing between its gas and electric motors with Savion Glover's seamless grace. It also offers far more towing capacity than both of these picks, making the Touareg a stellar choice for those who don't mind paying a little extra for brute force that wears a polished and relatively frugal face.

Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel Overview

The Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Diesel is offered in the following styles: TDI Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), TDI Lux 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and TDI Executive 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A).

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