2013 Volkswagen Touareg Review

Pros & Cons

  • High-class interior
  • powerful and fuel-efficient engines
  • high towing capacity.
  • No third-row seat
  • upper trims get costly.
List Price Range
$17,599 - $23,591

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg delivers a surprising level of luxury and makes a formidable competitor to established high-end marques.

Vehicle overview

Volkswagen doesn't usually enter into the typical consumer's discussion of luxury brands. Aside from the short-lived Phaeton executive sedan, VW remains a staunchly working-class badge. Nevertheless, the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg challenges such perceptions with a combination of power, performance and interior comfort that rivals BMW and Lexus. Take any seat in the Touareg and you are bound to ask: "This is a Volkswagen?"

The Touareg crossover SUV offers buyers a trio of engine choices, including a capable V6, a burly and economical V6 diesel and a supercharged V6 hybrid that delivers V8 power with V6 fuel economy. And as befits a model that shares its basic platform with the Porsche Cayenne, the Touareg feels solid and confident on the road.

High-quality materials, rich wood and metallic accents, and contemporary electronics and entertainment interfaces fill out the Touareg cabin, and the sliding and reclining second-row seat is pretty useful. But there's no third-row seat as in some other similarly sized crossovers, while the Touareg's cargo capacity is middling at best.

If interior room is a priority for you, both the 2013 Acura MDX and new Infiniti JX probably would be better choices. Meanwhile, the 2013 BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class display more premium badges, also offer diesel engines and are slightly more sophisticated overall. On the hybrid front, the 2013 Lexus RX 450h is a notable bargain when you compare it to the Touareg Hybrid. Fortunately for anyone shopping this segment, there's not a loser in the bunch, and the Touareg holds its ground among an impressive group of rivals thanks to its strong performance, plentiful standard features and upscale design.

2013 Volkswagen Touareg models

The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg is a five-passenger midsize crossover SUV available in Sport, Lux, Executive and Hybrid trim levels. All but the Hybrid offer either a gasoline (VR6) or turbodiesel (TDI) V6 engine.

The Sport comes with 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, foglights, roof rails, heated washer nozzles, a power liftgate, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power/heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with touchscreen control, a six-CD changer, satellite radio and iPod connection. Adding the optional navigation system also includes an 8-inch color touchscreen and a rearview camera.

The Lux bundles the Sport equipment with the navigation package and adds 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats (with power lumbar support for the driver), driver memory presets and power rear-seat releases in the trunk. Moving up to the Executive adds 20-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, different wood trim, keyless ignition/entry and a premium Dynaudio sound system.

The Hybrid takes the Executive level trim, substitutes 19-inch wheels and adds LED taillights, rear parking sensors, a power-adjustable steering column, passenger seat memory presets, power lumbar seat support and metal door-sill plates.

Options are few and include a roof spoiler, a trailer hitch, mud guards and a rubber or carpeted mat kit.

2013 Highlights

For 2013, the Volkswagen Touareg gets new wheel and trim options, while the diesel engine's output increases to 240 horsepower. The hybrid model gets LED taillights.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg comes with a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. TDI models come with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 good for 240 hp and a prodigious 406 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard across the lineup.

The Touareg Hybrid is motivated by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. The combination generates an impressive 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, enough to catapult this Touareg from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, according to Edmunds testing. The eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive also are standard.

EPA fuel economy estimates show the gasoline V6 is capable of 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined, while the TDI is rated at an impressive 20/29/23 mpg. The Hybrid -- tuned more for performance than maximum economy -- rates only slightly lower than the TDI at 20/24/21.

Properly equipped, the Touareg can tow 7,700 pounds, which is more than most competitors.

Safety

Every 2013 Volkswagen Touareg comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, hill-hold assist, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Touareg Hybrid stopped from 60 mph in an admirable 121 feet. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Touareg earned a top score of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg lacks a low-range transmission for off-road excursions, yet still provides a fair amount of trail prowess thanks to minimal front and rear overhangs, decent ground clearance and a compliant suspension. But most Touaregs will not see rigorous dirt duty, and in the urban wilds most drivers will appreciate the sharp steering response that makes the Touareg feel like a smaller vehicle.

The regular V6 engine is refined and suitably powerful, but we think the diesel V6 is worth the extra cash, considering its superior torque and fuel economy. The Hybrid is impressively quick and impressively fuel-thrifty, but given its substantial price premium, we'd certainly hope so. The diesel just makes more sense if mpg is your priority.

Regardless of engine choice, the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts with an almost imperceptible ease, and the Touareg feels confident and quiet at highway speed. Even over rough road or varied highway surfaces, the Touareg doesn't break stride, offering a solid, composed feel over bumps.

Interior

Few consider Volkswagen a luxury automaker, but the Touareg's interior transcends its humble badge and holds its own against pricier crossover SUVs. The Touareg cabin isn't as tech-forward as an Acura MDX or as refined as a BMW X5, but it is still an enveloping place to sit, surrounded by soft-touch surfaces and cushy seats.

The Touareg does not offer a third-row seat as some other midsize SUVs do, limiting occupant capacity to five. The Touareg exploits the configuration, however, with a 60/40-split rear seat that can slide 6.3 inches fore and aft and features reclining seatbacks. Second-row legroom matches up to the rest of the class at about 37 inches. Cargo capacity is 32 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 64 cubic feet when stowed.

Finally, the navigation system uses crisp graphics and an intuitive touchscreen interface, while higher trim levels feature the very nice 10-speaker Dynaudio stereo system.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2013 Touareg TDI
cambino123,10/09/2012
I purchased the Treg TDI 2 weeks ago. I was looking for a high performance machine (240HP 406lb torque) that returns high MPG. I just returned from a 400 Mile road trip and still have more than half a tank to empty. The engine makes a brilliant rumble and the turbo sounds so nice at low speeds. I have the saddle brown leather which is like a baseball glove. The dashboard wood grain is so luxurious and classy, it makes my previous Lexus GS seem like a toy. This car is very well built and the construction is solid. It stands out on the road in a sea of RX350's. This is truly a dreamy SUV. Looking forward to reviewing it again 1 year from now.
I like it better than my ML350 and Q5
tvevans1,09/24/2012
I have about 2000 miles on the vehicle and I am very pleased to date. I hope writing this review doesn't change things! I have owned numerous Audi's (A6 and Q5) and still have two Mercedes (M Class and E Class) but this is my favorite vehicle so far. Probably because it's my first diesel and I am averaging over 30mph with 70% non-highway and 30% highway driving. The power is awesome and the engine is very smooth. It is unbelievably quiet inside, no road or wind noise. It drives more like a SUV than a crossover but still has a car feel. Steering is very tight, turning radius excellent, handling outstanding. The brakes are good but have a little spongy feel. Not sure on reliability.
Best SUV Diesel in North America that provides excellent gas mileage.
flatbudget,02/01/2013
Purchased my 2013 TDI LUX a week ago. Been very pleased with the truck. Traded both my 2005 F250 Powerstroke truck and my VW JSW TDI. The torque is phenomenal and it tows my 2005 Custom Laser Boat with 496 HO mercruiser stern drive. ~5000 lbs. boat and trailer combined. I love every feature this SUV offers. Towing my boat on Sport mode keeps the RPM in its maximum torque values. Again, another german engineering at its best. The mileage per gallon either towing or around town beats any gas engines out there. Reliability and longevity of a diesel is absolutely uncontested.
Love my Tourareg Executive!
vwbmwmbguy60,03/26/2013
This is my 2nd Tourareg, my first was a 2007. I bought the overloaded Executive V6 White/Cornsilk. I love all the enhancements they have made since 07. The build quality is exceptional and I have actually used most of the gadgets it comes with. It has a nice sporty look, 20" tires and it gives you great confidence while you drive, I feel safe and sound and in great comfort at all times. It feels like a completely different vehicle from my 07, much more refined and diginified. I just came out of a 2012 BMW X5 Diesel which I loved (this is my 60th car). I also have a 13 MB C63 Coupe and 13- BMW Z4 2.8 and I find myself driving this car as my daily driver. Huge bang for the buck! $$

Features & Specs

See all Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg

Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg Overview

The Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg is offered in the following submodels: Touareg SUV, Touareg Hybrid, Touareg Diesel. Available styles include TDI Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), VR6 Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), TDI Sport 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), VR6 Sport 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (3.6L 6cyl 8A), VR6 Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), VR6 Executive 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), TDI Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), TDI Executive 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Lux is priced between $17,599 and$17,599 with odometer readings between 119160 and119160 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Lux is priced between $23,591 and$23,591 with odometer readings between 28080 and28080 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 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) 2013 Volkswagen Touareg for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2013 Touaregs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,599 and mileage as low as 28080 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 2013 Volkswagen Touareg.

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Find a used Volkswagen Touareg for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $14,646.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,600.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Touareg for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,567.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $15,162.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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.

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Check out Volkswagen Touareg lease specials