2016 Volkswagen Touareg Review

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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Powerful and fuel-efficient engines
  • confident handling
  • high towing capacity
  • classy interior
  • respectable off-road capability.
  • Luxury price, non-luxury badge
  • no standard USB port or third-row seat available.

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg is an impressive midsize luxury SUV with strong engines, a refined nature and stout towing capability. Its high price and/or non-luxury badge may be a tough pill to swallow, however.

Vehicle overview

It's been on sale for more than a decade and we still have to think twice about how to properly spell Touareg. Is that right? Yep: At least spell check thinks so. We'd also guess that for more than a decade many people have equally struggled to classify the Volkswagen Touareg itself. It has the features, interior ambience, driving experience and price tag of a luxury midsize SUV, yet it has the same Volkswagen badge as humble Golfs, Jettas and Beetles.

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg exhibits excellent on-road manners and is surprisingly capable off-road.

p>Not much has changed for the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg. It is clearly a step up from midsize crossovers like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, offering a degree of refinement and capability that they cannot match, especially in regard to its cabin quality and stout towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. It's also a clear step up from those humble family members, with higher-end cabin materials and a quieter, more refined driving experience. Not all Volkswagens are created equal.

Of course, the Edmunds "B"-rated 2016 Volkswagen Touareg does have a much higher price point, bringing it more in line with (though still below) midsize luxury SUVs like the Lexus RX and even the Porsche Cayenne. But its luxurious cabin and sophisticated driving experience prove that it's certainly not out of its league. If you want three rows of seating, however, the Touareg can't help you, so models like the Acura MDX or BMW X5 may be more appealing. Finally, if it's off-road capability you're after, you might consider a well-equipped version of the midsize Jeep Grand Cherokee. It, too, has a premium cabin, strong towing capacity, a refined driving experience and an available diesel engine. It's also easier to spell.

2016 Volkswagen Touareg models

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg is a midsize, five-passenger SUV available in Sport, Lux and Executive trim levels. The names "VR6" and "TDI" refer to the engine.

The base Sport comes standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, foglights, cornering lights, LED running lights, LED taillights, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, heated mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated eight-way power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, "V-Tex" premium vinyl upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, and an eight-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, a CD player and a media player interface.

The Technology Driver Assistance package (optional VR6, standard TDI) adds a trailer hitch, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision warning system and autonomous emergency braking, a lane-departure warning system, keyless ignition and entry, hands-free power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen and a navigation system.

The Lux trim includes the Technology Driver Assistance package and adds 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding and driver-side-auto-dimming mirrors, ventilated front seats with additional adjustments and driver memory functions, leather upholstery and a power-folding rear seat.

The top-down camera system included on the Executive trim is invaluable for precision parking.

The Executive trim adds 20-inch wheels, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated rear seats, manual rear side sunshades, an overhead-view parking camera and a 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system.

The only factory option is 21-inch wheels on the Lux and Executive.

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2016 Highlights

For 2016, the Volkswagen Touareg is essentially unchanged. The slow-selling Touareg Hybrid has been discontinued. Regarding the diesel-powered Touareg TDI, please see Edmunds' full coverage of the VW diesel situation.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 models come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine good for 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and "4Motion" all-wheel drive are standard. In Edmunds testing, a Touareg VR6 accelerated to 60 mph in an unremarkable 7.7 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway).

The Touareg TDI has a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel-fueled V6 that produces 240 hp and a stout 406 lb-ft of torque. It, too, has an eight-speed automatic and 4Motion standard. In Edmunds performance testing, the TDI engine brought the Touareg from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds -- quite rapid for the segment, especially for one with a diesel engine. Fuel economy is excellent at an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway).

Regardless of powertrain, the Touareg can tow 7,716 pounds when properly equipped, which is a considerable amount for a midsize crossover.


Every 2016 Volkswagen Touareg comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and post-collision automatic braking to ensure it remains in place following a crash. The Technology Driver Assistance package standard on all but the base VR6 Sport adds a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a lane-departure warning system, a frontal collision warning system and automatic emergency braking. Volkswagen's Car-Net emergency communications system is not available on the Touareg.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Touareg Hybrid stopped from 60 mph in a solid 121 feet, while a TDI, at 123 feet, nearly matched that effort. A Touareg VR6 was the best of the bunch at just 114 feet, an excellent showing.


There's a sense of substance and purpose in the way the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg goes down the road, but it's not so large that it ever feels unwieldy. In fact, thanks to its exceptionally responsive 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 sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, the 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 Touareg's interior lacks the glitz and glamour of traditional luxury-brand SUVs, but there's a strong vibe of quality and craftsmanship nonetheless that is even higher than the lofty Volkswagen norm. The materials are rich-feeling and pleasing to the eye, especially the chrome and wood accents. The 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.

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg's cabin is pleasing, but not as jaw-dropping as similarly priced luxury SUVs.

Although the Touareg doesn't have a fancy infotainment system with a fancy name (nor the latest touchscreen interfaces found in other VWs), 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. Unfortunately, all Touaregs have Volkswagen's older proprietary media player interface plug, which isn't nearly as versatile as a regular USB port.

The Touareg is strictly a two-row, five-passenger SUV, but its rear seat is roomy, 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. Both are about average for a midsize SUV on paper, but the relatively square space is often more useful than competitors with more slanted roof lines.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
Best Kept Secret in the SUV Universe -
TDI Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
Driving the amazing VW Touareg TDI is like no other driving experience I've ever had. Prior to the Touareg, I drove Audi A6 bi-turbo and A4 for nearly 11 years. Eventually, I decided that I wanted something that would allow me to enjoy the sporty ride of the Audi's, but give me capable off-roadability. Well, I found this in spades with the VW Touareg. (Confession: I was so absorbed in the Audi universe, the Touareg was completely off my radar.) When I decided to acquire an off-road capable SUV, I looked at all the usual suspects, but after driving Audi sport sedans for so long, nothing in the SUV market really grabbed me. I did test drive the gorgeous Audi Q5, but found it too cramped inside. I test drove the Q7 and although it was plenty spacious and a beautiful vehicle, it was just much more vehicle than I needed and didn't smack of the off-road prowess I was seeking. At one point in my search for my next ride, I saw an Ad for a VW Touareg TDI turbo diesel. Hmmmmm . . . I thought to myself - wondering what this is about? So off to the VW dealer for a test drive. My first impression was extremely positive as I checked out the exterior lines and the interior accoutrements. So, pulling out of the dealer's lot and onto the highway, I'm pushed back into my very comfy seat as the turbo diesel with it 407 lb. feet of torque accelerates like my Audi A6 and instantly, I can sense a creation of huge smile sneaking-up on my face combined with thoughts of 'WTF', this thing is amazing! The ride was incredibly quiet, smooth and planted. The torky TDI provides instant power delivery to the wheels with absolutely no hesitation or lag. The test drive route the sales person guided me through consisted of stop-and-go traffic, open highway and a section of twisty county road. All I could think about is how slot-car like planted, precise and fun to drive the Touareg was. Serious Wow factor to be found here (Akin to a huge Audi A6). Later that day, I went on YouTube and reviewed the numerous videos of the Touareg performing off-road and I was sold! I now have 62,000 miles on my Touareg TDI Lux trim and I plan on driving it until the wheels fall off. It's just that good! As for problems, I've replace 2 light bulbs and had a problem that had nothing to do with the vehicle, but everything to do with the outdated urea the dealer sold me. But problem was fixed and that has been the extent of the issues.
5 out of 5 stars
TDI Sport w/Technology 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
Owner of a (new) 2016 TDI sport, I now have close to 5 000 miles on it, I get an average of 28 MPG @ 75 mph, the ride is quiet and smooth with what seems to be endless power/torque, 750 mile range per tank, very comfortable, one minor downside is the bottom seat cushion is very long. The acceleration is good, cornering feels solid like a good car, definitely not like a 2 1/2 ton suv. Repairs and maintenance up to par with Benz and BMW prices, understand that "This Is Not a Cheap Car". Truly a pleasure to drive, especially on long range trips, I do not mind the fact that you don't see that many Touareg on the road. **Update 1/24/20** ONE major issue with this vehicle is the lack of knowledge from VW technicians at the dealership, NO training on TOUAREG, regular VW techs have a tendency of screwing up working on it, it might become an issue for future repairs, that said I'm keeping this vehicle as long as I can, no other SUV comes close to the T-REG, unless you're willing to spend $$$$$$ on BMW or Range Rover (if you can find diesel). 9 000+ miles now, had 1st oil change, no mechanical or electronics issues or problems so far with "Das Auto" (still under factory warranty). *8/25/21 update* 3 years of ownership, 3 oil changes, still love the car, factory warranty about to expire, no problem with anything so far, still enjoy the ride every time I drive it.
5 out of 5 stars
my third one!
TDI Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
I am a big fan of the TDI Touaregs. Just traded my 2014 with 85k and zero problems for a 2016 with 4k miles on it - This is my third TDI and I have put over 80k on each of the others with zero problems. Sad to see them leave the marketplace. I can easily get 30mpg on the highway and tow my 21' Boston Whaler with ease (22 mpg). I love the new safety features on the 2016 - plus AC seats! - update - I now have 17000 miles on the Touareg - I love the TDI, great torque, effortless cruising. The only thing I have done is change the tires to Vredestein Quatrac 5's. The stock tires were too noisy for me.
5 out of 5 stars
Love our Touareg
Scot Greeno,03/15/2016
VR6 Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
Moved down in size from a series of Ford Expeditions and an Infiniti QX56, but this was an absolute upgrade in all the aspects that count to me now. With no more kids in the house, I don't need the huge vehicle with a third-row seat anymore. This vehicle has far more luxury, solidity, precision, and safety than any previous vehicle I've owned, and compares well to my past Audis and BMW's but at a price point that belies its luxury and performance. With a sticker of $55K, we paid around $43K with discounts and incentives. What a steal; I'm very happy to have downsized to a much better commuter vehicle in all respects, while still being able to tow my 5000 lb boat with towing capacity to spare.


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

More about the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg

Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg Overview

The Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg is offered in the following submodels: Touareg SUV, Touareg Diesel. Available styles include VR6 Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), VR6 Sport w/Technology 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), TDI Lux 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), TDI Sport w/Technology 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), VR6 Executive 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A), TDI Executive 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and VR6 Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A). Pre-owned Volkswagen Touareg models are available with a 3.6 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter diesel engine, with output up to 280 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Lux is priced between $41,000 and$44,255 with odometer readings between 46833 and63840 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Sport w/Technology is priced between $22,217 and$22,217 with odometer readings between 70141 and70141 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 2016 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) 2016 Volkswagen Touareg for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2016 Touaregs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $22,217 and mileage as low as 46833 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 2016 Volkswagen Touareg.

Can't find a used 2016 Volkswagen Touaregs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Touareg for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $11,996.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $23,121.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Touareg for sale - 3 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,906.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $8,206.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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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