Used 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

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2015 Volkswagen Touareg
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2015 Volkswagen Touareg

Pros

  • Powerful and fuel-efficient engines
  • confident handling
  • high towing capacity
  • classy interior
  • respectable off-road capability.

Cons

  • No third-row seat
  • hybrid model's questionable value.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Changes to the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg are subtle, but help keep this midsize crossover SUV competitive. The Touareg retains its satisfying performance and luxury in an unpretentious package.

vehicle overview

Outside of the automotive industry, it's a little-known fact that the Volkswagen Touareg is the product of a joint venture with Audi and Porsche, so it has a more regal pedigree than just about anything else in this price range. In fact, it shares two of its three available powertrains with the highly regarded (and highly priced) Porsche Cayenne. In a way, you could view this midsize Touareg as a real bargain.

The Touareg seats only five, but does so in quiet and classy comfort. This year's exterior and interior freshening do improve the impression of luxury, while the utility it already had is enhanced with more standard features for 2015. The addition of a suite of available electronic safety systems brings the Touareg in line with others in this aspirational segment.

In terms of performance, the all-wheel-drive Touareg is amply powered by a standard and stout V6, an optional and very efficient diesel engine or a high-performance hybrid power plant that blends a supercharged V6 engine and an electric motor for a total of almost 400 horsepower; the latter two are identical to those found in the Porsche. The Touareg's responsive steering, supple ride and flawless high-speed composure make it a perfect companion for road trips.

If you're shopping for a crossover SUV in this price range, there are some great choices. If it's something family-friendly that you're after, the similarly priced but much roomier three-row 2015 Acura MDX would be a better way to go. The 2015 BMW X5 bests the Touareg in curb appeal and performance, though it is more expensive. On the opposite end of the price spectrum, we'd recommend the sharp-looking 2015 Ford Edge and the multitalented 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Still, if you're looking for equal parts performance and luxury in an unpretentious package, there aren't many midsize luxury SUVs that put it all together as well as the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg does.

2015 Volkswagen Touareg configurations

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg is a midsize five-passenger luxury SUV offered in base Sport, Sport with Technology, Lux, Executive and Hybrid trim levels. All but the base Sport and Hybrid offer either a gasoline (VR6) or diesel (TDI) V6 engine.

The Sport starts with 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic wipers, foglights, roof rails, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with manual lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with 6.5-inch color touchscreen control, a six-CD changer, HD and satellite radio with iPod integration.

The Sport with Technology trim, which comes standard with the TDI engine, adds keyless entry and ignition, a navigation system with an 8-inch color touchscreen, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, a trailer hitch and a hands-free power liftgate that you can open by waving your foot under the rear bumper.

The Lux starts with the Sport with Technology equipment and adds 19-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding exterior mirrors (auto-dimming on the driver's side), leather upholstery, wood trim, front-seat power lumbar adjustment, driver memory functions and power rear-seat releases in the cargo area.

The Executive has all of the Lux's features, and adds distinctive 20-inch wheels, a top-view parking display with four cameras, upgraded trim, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear sunshades and a premium 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system.

A Driver Assistance package is available on the Lux and Executive trims. This includes lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and front-collision warning with brake intervention.

Although the Hybrid is the most expensive Touareg, it downgrades to 19-inch wheels and the midlevel audio/navigation system (versus the Dynaudio setup). Otherwise, the Hybrid is equipped similarly to the Executive, and it also adds the Driver Assistance package, a power-adjustable steering column and passenger-seat memory settings.

2015 Highlights

For 2015, the entire Volkswagen Touareg lineup enjoys mild styling changes and gains xenon headlights and LED taillights. A new suite of standard and available driver-assistance safety features debut as well, including blind-spot and lane-keeping warnings and adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and brake intervention.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg's engine lineup starts with a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 that generates 280 hp and 265 pound-feet of torque. The TDI models boast a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 rated at 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard either way. During Edmunds testing, a Touareg TDI ran from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, which is about the same as a gas-powered V6 midsize SUV and pretty quick for a diesel.

The Hybrid model has its own thing going on, and it's the most powerful Touareg you can get. Featuring a supercharged 3.0-liter gasoline V6 paired with an electric motor, the combination cranks out a whopping 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. At the Edmunds test track, the Hybrid sprinted from zero to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, making it one of the quickest SUVs in its class regardless of powertrain. Also, in certain conditions at cruising speeds, the gasoline engine shuts off and the transmission disengages, allowing the Touareg to essentially coast. Finally, the Touareg Hybrid can cruise at speeds up to 31 mph on electric power alone. The eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive are also standard here, as is automatic engine stop-start to help save fuel at stoplights.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the base gasoline V6 version stand at 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway), while the TDI V6 rates a remarkable 23 mpg combined (20/29). The Hybrid splits the two, checking in at 21 mpg combined (20/24).

Regardless of powertrain and when properly equipped, the Touareg can tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is more than many competitors.

Safety

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, hill hold assist, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and post-collision automatic braking to ensure the vehicle remains in place.

Sport with Technology (and above trims) also comes with blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera, while an upgraded top-view camera is standard on Executive and Hybrid models. On Lux and Executive, lane-keeping assist, frontal collision warning and frontal collision mitigation with automatic braking is optional, but they're standard on the Hybrid.

Note that VW's Car-Net telematics system is not offered on the 2015 Touareg.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Touareg Hybrid stopped from 60 mph in an impressive 121 feet, while a TDI, at 123 feet, nearly matched that effort.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2015 Touareg its top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact test and the side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Touareg's seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

There's a sense of substance and purpose in the way the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg goes down the road, but it's not so large that it ever feels unwieldy. In fact, thanks to its exceptionally responsive hydraulic-assisted steering (the Hybrid has electric-assisted power steering), the Touareg can be genuinely fun to drive, and it offers more road feel than some others in its class. It also excels on the highway, where low noise levels and exemplary stability at speed give it a cool, confident demeanor that's instantly likable.

Thanks to a permanent, mechanical center differential dictating front/rear power delivery and adaptive side-to-side torque distribution, the all-wheel-drive Touareg remains composed on loose off-road surfaces despite its lack of low-range gearing. With a respectable amount of ground clearance and a compliant suspension, it powers over washboard roads, and through light snow and light-duty trails without breaking a sweat.

The Touareg's regular V6 engine is smooth and powerful, and the eight-speed automatic transmission provides almost imperceptible upshifts along with responsive downshifts on demand. But the torque-rich TDI V6 is the one to get if you want both performance and fuel efficiency, not to mention superior driving range. From inside the quiet cabin, most people would never know there's a diesel engine powering the SUV, and it's just as quick as a typical gasoline engine.

The Hybrid, however, is the head-scratcher: Yes, it's quick, but it's well off the TDI's fuel efficiency, and its eye-watering price makes it a questionable value. If you think of the Hybrid as a performance-enhanced variant (rather than a fuel-saving one), then both of these aspects make perfect sense.

Interior

The Touareg's interior lacks the glitz and glamour of traditional luxury-brand SUVs, but there's a strong vibe of quality and craftsmanship nonetheless. The materials are rich-feeling and pleasing to the eye, especially the new chrome and wood accents. The restyled knobs and buttons move with robust precision, and white LED ambient lighting bathes the cabin. Its handsome and highly legible gauge cluster is supplemented with a crisp graphic display that allows customization and illustration of the Driver Assistance package, if so equipped.

Although the Touareg doesn't have a fancy infotainment system with a fancy name, it does give you a standard touchscreen interface with a large screen and sharp graphics. Even better, it's easy to use. The Executive model's punchy Dynaudio sound system is one of our favorites; it's a shame you can't get it on lower trim levels.

The Touareg is strictly a two-row, five-passenger SUV, but its rear seat is quite versatile, offering reclining seatbacks and 6.3 inches of fore/aft seat travel. Rear-seat legroom is competitive for a midsize SUV, while the seat bottom is high enough to give rear passengers both solid thigh support and a nice view out.

Cargo capacity measures 32.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 64 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seatbacks stowed. The Hybrid model's battery pack is located in such a way that cargo capacity is unaffected, which isn't always the case with a hybrid.


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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Hybrid
380 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid 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
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg
More About This Model

Quick Summary
Though not always on the tips of the tongues of luxury SUV buyers (it might take you a few times to pronounce Touareg correctly), the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg is angling for attention this year with a fresh new look both inside and out. And while its appearance might have been updated, the Touareg still combines excellent road manners with competent off-road ability in a refreshingly subtle package.

What Is It?
The 2015 Touareg is a midsize SUV with some good bones, as it shares its chassis with the highly regarded Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. Like the Cayenne, the Touareg seats only five, but while the Cayenne is tuned to deliver high performance, the Touareg is dialed back and strikes a solid balance between on-road comfort and agility, and off-road capability.

Though available with three different engine options, our tester was equipped with the base 3.6-liter V6 that makes 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of engine choice, power is managed through an eight-speed automatic and is then routed through Volkswagen's standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

In a crowded and competitive class of midsize luxury SUVs, the Touareg makes a strong statement by really not making much of a statement at all. The exterior aesthetic is fresh and modern, but remains subtle, something that can also be said about the interior, which is free of clutter and confusing buttons. But the sophisticated looks shouldn't fool you, as all Touaregs are capable of towing more than 7,700 pounds.

What Trim Levels Are Available?
There are four levels of trim: Sport, Sport with Technology, Lux and Executive. The Sport trim level is available only with the base V6, while the other trims can be had with either the base V6 or the optional 3.0-liter diesel V6. The diesel option will set you back roughly $3,500 over and above the gasoline V6 but is EPA rated to return 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway). During our time with the base V6 we saw 17.3 mpg in combined driving. On our highway-heavy evaluation loop we managed 21.6 mpg. The EPA rates the 3.6 V6 at 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway).

The third engine option is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 hybrid, available in the aptly named Hybrid trim level. With a combined system output of 380 hp (333 hp from gas power) and 428 lb-ft of torque, it certainly earns its spot at the top of the trim levels. All that power does come at the expense of fuel economy, however, as the hybrid powertrain barely outdoes the standard 3.6 V6, earning 21 mpg combined (20 city/24 highway) from the EPA.

How Does It Drive?
Driving the Touareg reminds you just how good any vehicle can be when the chassis is well sorted from the get-go. It exhibits better road manners than anything else in its class, and with quick and well-weighted steering, the Touareg is surprisingly capable at both tighter, twistier roads as well as vast stretches of open highway. Some of the credit goes to our tester's 18-inch wheels wrapped with 255/55 Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires. They shrugged off road irregularities that would otherwise upset a larger set of wheels with lower-profile, higher-performance tires.

Power from the 3.6-liter V6 isn't abundant, especially for a vehicle that weighs in at nearly 4,800 pounds. To its credit, the V6 does respond smoothly and snarls its way all the way up to a 6,400-rpm redline. The eight-speed automatic, though not a particularly quick-shifting transmission, is smooth and befitting of the nature of the Touareg. Our instrumented testing showed runs from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, or 7.5 seconds with one foot of rollout as on a drag strip. And while the brakes work fine during regular driving, testing revealed some fade during hard stops. Our first attempt yielded a solid distance of just 114 feet, but our fifth and final stop was quite a bit longer at 126 feet.

Off-road, the Touareg surprises with confidence and a fair amount of ability. Ground clearance is ample, and on our modest off-road excursion, approach and departure angles were good enough to not result in any scratched bodywork. Credit, too, goes to Volkswagen's 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive. Its Torsen limited slip was never out of sorts for long, even when the Touareg had one of its wheels well and truly off the ground. It's by no means a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it has considerably more off-road credibility than an Acura MDX or a Lexus RX 350.

What's the Interior Like?
The interior echoes the exterior's subtle sophistication, with a clean, clutter-free design and good materials. The menus and various controls are uncomplicated and the lack of buttons is refreshing. Volkswagen really does do steering wheels well, and the one in the Touareg is no different. There are controls for the audio system as well as the multifunction display in the instrument panel, and they never get in the way, even during spirited or off-road driving.

Our tester came with Volkswagen's V-Tex leatherette and eight-way power-adjustable and heated front seats. The seats are very well designed and can accommodate a wide range of body types. The backseats, too, are accommodating for many physiques and offer genuinely comfortable seating for two adults and a child. As with its sister, the Porsche Cayenne, there is no third-row seating available.

How Much Does It Cost?
With all this praise for the Touareg's ride, handling, clean styling and general solidity you'd think there wasn't a downside. Well, there is and it's the price. Although the Sport package with the 3.6 V6 isn't too difficult to swallow at just under $45K, it doesn't come with standard luxury features such as a back-up camera, a sunroof, keyless entry or a navigation system. And while the Lux and Executive packages offer those features, they flirt with the upper reaches of $50K.

If you'd like to add the solid 3.0 diesel to either of those packages, you'll find yourself dangerously close to $60K, or a few thousand over that. That's Land Rover LR4 or Mercedes-Benz ML money, both of which offer a more traditional luxury interior as well as more off-road capability and brand cachet, respectively.

The Touareg Hybrid pegs the dial at nearly $67K, and while it does offer 380 hp and a trendy hybrid powertrain, it's not much more efficient that the base 3.6 V6, which can be had for about $25K less. You might have to convince people into believing you paid that much money for a Volkswagen.

What Competing Models Should You Also Consider?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is nearly identical in dimensions, both inside and out, and while the Volkswagen may offer a higher level of refinement, the Grand Cherokee can be had with many of the same luxury features, and more, for a more competitive price. Plus, you have a choice of three engine options (a similarly powerful 3.6 V6, a very good 3.0 diesel as well as a 5.7-liter V8) and Jeep's highly regarded off-road ability.

If technology and on-road performance are more appealing, the 2016 Acura MDX is a strong competitor. Packed with standard features, it can be had in front-wheel drive or Acura's very capable SH-AWD system. There is only one engine available (a 3.5-liter V6) but it's mated to a nine-speed automatic and makes more power and is rated to return better fuel economy numbers than the 3.6 V6 in the Touareg. It also has a third row of seats for seven-passenger capacity.

The Land Rover LR4 might not seem an obvious competitor, but in base trim it can be had for a little over $50K. And that's strong money for a 340-hp supercharged V6 engine, a much more traditionally luxurious interior, with dual sunroofs and Land Rover's legendary off-road prowess.

Why Should You Consider This Car?
You fancy a bit of adventure but without wanting to compromise an ounce of good behavior on your way to work. You value competency and solidity, but dislike showing off the amount of money you spend on your vehicle. Above all, you appreciate good design, subtlety and a vehicle that can do it all, pretty well, right out of the box.

Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
It doesn't seat seven people, it lacks many standard luxury features, it isn't particularly flashy or plush and it lacks a luxury badge that some people find important in the price range.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Overview

The Used 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid is offered in the following styles: V6 Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid?

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 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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