2011 Volkswagen Touareg Review

Pros & Cons

  • Confident driving dynamics
  • high-class interior
  • impressive equipment roster
  • powerful and fuel-efficient powertrain options
  • high towing capacity.
  • No third-row seat
  • middling cargo capacity
  • spongy brake pedal feel
  • upper trims get costly.
List Price Range
$7,900 - $16,900

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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.

2011 Volkswagen Touareg models

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.


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.


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.


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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

been 'lookin for a year
11/7/10 - For the last three months I have been test driving every mid size SUV from Toyota to Porsche. I test drove the new Touareg last Thursday and drove it home that afternoon! It's like you know when it's " right ".... and it was. It's everything that I have been looking for and more. Luxurious appointments, comfortable, and a perfect vehicle for the mountains and city driving. I bought the Lux TDI in Gallapogos Gray with black interior. It's awesome.
A Best Kept Secret
I've had my 2011 T-Reg Lux for several months now and I am blown away by this vehicle. It meets all the expectations of a luxury SUV. I traded in my 2004 T-Reg V8 for the V6 and had some concerns with the power and some of the previous glitches, however this is one amazing SUV. Well worth the high 40's one pays in comparison. The Nav/Media system is smart and easy to use; The comforts are endless.The back seating is far better than most comps. For those that take it off road and on the beach it eases through the sand beautifully. (Always air down to about 20lbs) A simply knob turn to off road. So much easier than the 2004.
Our first VeeDub
Our Touareg was our first VW, but not our first SUV. Previously we had a Ford Explorer and a Toyota Highlander. When looking for our new car, we looked and drove several, including the 4runner, Q5 and X5. The Touareg, hands-down trounced our previous suv's when it came to handling, performance and comfort. Our '06 Highlander drove like a minivan compared to the tight feel and zippy performance from the T-reg. When it came time to choose, the VW experience, and price/feature ratio won out over our other options. 4runner - too much like a truck, and the price point when compared to Audi/BMW was perfect. Overall, this vehicle is fun to drive and gets good mpg for its class.
The Best SUV for your $$$
I was a Lexus RX owner for the past 10 year. Drove 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 & 2009 models and HATED them for as long as I had them all. I wanted a change.... When passing by VW dealer I saw this Beauty on the front lot I took if for a test drive that moment. It was Sport V6. It was OH MY... after just 5 minutes of driving I test drove MDX, RX350, X5, Mazda9 and 2011 Grand Cherokee. Non of these came close (money vs what you get) I picked up my Touareg Sport V6 for more then 6K off MSRP ($39200) on 12/22/10 For all folks on the market for 5 pass. SUV MAKE YOURSELF A HUGE FAVOR PLEASE CHECK IT OUT AND TAKE IT FOR A DRIVE!!!! THATS ALL :-))) Good Luck & All The BEST!!!!

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 Overview

The Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg is offered in the following submodels: Touareg SUV, Touareg Hybrid, Touareg Diesel. Available styles include VR6 Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), VR6 Lux 4dr SUV 4WD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), TDI Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), TDI Lux 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), VR6 Executive 4dr SUV 4WD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), TDI Executive 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and Hybrid 4dr SUV 4WD (3.0L 6cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Executive is priced between $13,075 and$13,075 with odometer readings between 142721 and142721 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Lux is priced between $16,900 and$16,900 with odometer readings between 110708 and110708 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Sport is priced between $15,227 and$15,227 with odometer readings between 83410 and83410 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Lux is priced between $7,900 and$7,900 with odometer readings between 116205 and116205 miles.

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Which used 2011 Volkswagen Touaregs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Volkswagen Touareg for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2011 Touaregs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,900 and mileage as low as 83410 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Volkswagen Touareg.

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Find a used Volkswagen Touareg for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,026.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Volkswagen Touareg?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Touareg lease specials