I visited my dealer in early December to look at a 2011 left over. After driving a Midnight Blue 2012 I decided to trade-in my 2009 Tiguan for the 2012 Touareg.
I have previously owned other "high line" vehicles from Acura, Lexus, and Infinity ... but none come close to the new Touareg - yes it IS a "high line" vehicle (and I bought the Sport version!).
Build quality is amazing, design is amazing, materials are amazing, ride is amazing.
This is one well built vehicle.
Our new 2012 is a great vehicle in many ways. The build quality, ride,handling, comfort and handling are one of the best. It also has many items that come standard that are options on other vehicles in this catagory.
What it falls short in is the lack of available safety options that are available on similar level vehicles. No Blis system, adaptive cruise, surround cameras. All of which are available on the Touareg's European models.
I read where VW execs. said USA buyers would not want to pay extra for these options.
I own the Sport with Nav, and I think the car is great. Very good handling for an SUV, outstanding exterior and interior although there are some shiny, glaring surfaces in the cockpit. Entrance and exit can be challenging for tall people. Gas mileage was a pleasant surprise; I get about 2 mpg more than the EPA estimate. The Bluetooth can be confusing, but Nav is great. Overall, a very solid, great-handling, good looking and reasonably economical SUV to drive, with outstanding towing ability.
4/13/16 Update: I still like mine! I would add that it's best to have VW do oil changes; my local Jiffy Lube did not have the correct oil filter.
Also, a word on towing: I have towed up to 5,200 pounds with the V6 with no problem. (My understanding is that towing capacity is 7,700 pounds with any of the offered engines.) Although I was generally able to manage 50-55 in the right lane up small mountains in New Hampshire with 5,200 pounds, I imagine you might be going closer to 40-45, or slower, anywhere near the 7,700 pound limit with the V6 up a steep grade. The Hybrid, and especially the diesel, would be much better choices for that kind of towing.
10/13/16 update: My Touareg is still running great, no mechanical or other problems at over 50k miles. I put a new set of tires on at about 46k miles. If I could do one thing to this car to increase it from great to outstanding, I would increase the torque from 265 to 285-300. I would be willing to give up a little mpg for a little more low-end power. The other engine choices, the diesel and the hybrid, both have more torque but the additional cost is a deal-breaker. Still, a great car!
I've had my SUV 1 month and I've already added about 1000 miles because it's fun to drive plus I commute 100 miles a day 2 days a week. It took awhile to find one with fairly low miles that was less that $20k. I like sitting high after coming out of a mini. I haven't had the car serviced yet. The ride is smooth and it takes off. I don't like that the setting for the seats change every time I get out of the car or that it doesn't have parking sensors/backup camera on a 2012. My 2008 mini has parking sensors. Considering the original cost of this SUV it should be standard even in the lowest level model. I've checked around to have sensor or the camera installed and VW doesn't offer a replacement at the dealership and I don't want to retrofit something else. I'm glad I bought the SUV so far. Still getting use to the features. The manual isn't helpful since it covers all models. I read the reviews before I settled on this car and they were helpful.
Do NOT buy this SUV if you live where the wind blows!
written on 04-11-2013
VR6 Lux 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 10/11 (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
I have had my beautiful Touareg for a little over a year.
The colour is lovely, I love the leather seats and the basic layout.
The car gets good gas mileage and has loads of get up and go.
BUT, if you live anywhere that the wind blows do not buy this car.
It does not hold the road in the wind and is so light you feel like it is going to blow off the road.
I am trading it in for a good old heavy SUV this weekend!