The US market deems the Volkswagen Atlas to be the flagship VW SUV, but in reality, the Touareg tops it in almost every way. The Touareg was first introduced in the early 2000s as a more affordable, but equally desirable version of the 1st gen Porsche Cayenne, but is Volkswagen Touareg a good car?
As such, the 1st gen Touareg was a bit questionable due to lackluster reliability, the 2nd generation Touareg is a lot better while the 3rd gen Touareg is easily the best one of the bunch and is indeed a really good SUV overall. Engines on offer are powerful, but not necessarily efficient, at least not for earlier models.
The Touareg looks commanding with its high ground clearance, large wheels, and plenty of high-end materials. The inside of the Touareg is cavernous and packed with high-end materials as well. The Touareg is unable to match the Cayenne for luxury, but given the price difference, the Touareg is more than nice.
Reliability-wise, the Touareg struggles as far as earlier models are concerned, while later models are a lot better. Value is acceptable as used, but questionable from new because the Touareg suffers stronger depreciation than the Cayenne or the Q7.
VW Touareg – The powerplant
The VW Touareg engine lineup starts with 6-cylinder engines, more specifically, either a 3.0L V6 or a 3.6L V6 for the older model. These offer between 280hp and 380hp and are the most popular gas engines for the Touareg. The Touareg is also famous for its capable diesel engines, and the most notable one is the 3.0L TDI with 231hp.
All Touareg models are permanently four-wheel driven and are mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox. The 1st gen Touareg is also available with a 6.0L W12 engine with 450hp which is one of the weirdest, yet most exciting Touareg engines of all time.
You can expect a maximum of about 25-30MPG from the gasoline engines while the diesel engines are able to deliver up to 36MPG. All of these engines are strong throughout the range which means that the Touareg drives effortlessly no matter the environment.
VW Touareg – Design and chassis
The 1st gen Touareg now looks dated, the second generation is a really popular car on the 2nd hand market while the 3rd gen Touareg arguably looks better than the Audi Q7. On the inside, the 1st gen Touareg is as dated as it is from the outside while the 2nd generation bridges the gap between old-looking interiors and contemporary ones.
The 3rd gen Touareg looks best both from inside and out which makes it perfectly in line with the very newest luxury SUVs on the market. As far as the driving experience is concerned, the Touareg is large and you can definitely feel it. The suspension and chassis tuning is focused on comfort, but the Touareg is able to hold its own on the beaten path as well.
VW Touareg – Reliability and common issues
As stated in the intro, the 1st gen Touareg is the most troubled one of the lot, both because it is old and because it was not the best-built SUV to begin with. The 2nd generation of the Touareg is a lot better, especially the post-facelift models which could very well be the most reliable Touareg models on the current market.
The most common Touareg issues are associated with the engine timing system, the ignition coils, the water pump, the steering system clock spring, and the gearbox. Most of these can be proactively solved with timely and thorough maintenance, but given the fact that it costs quite a bit of money to maintain these, not too many people do it properly.
VW Touareg – Value and practicality
You can find the 2nd generation Touareg for as low as $15,000 for higher mileage models while the 1st gen Touareg can be found for $10,000. The third generation of the Touareg is really expensive while also suffering stark depreciation, so it would be best if you just wait before the car reaches a few years of age before you buy it.
Practicality-wise, the Touareg is as good as all mid-size luxury SUVs are which means that there is plenty of space on offer for up to five adult passengers. The cargo space is also more than generous which makes the Touareg a great pick for those who value space.
Is the VW Touareg a safe car?
All generations of the VW Touareg are safe, but the 3rd gen Touareg is by far the safest one of the lot. The 1st gen Touareg is now a 20-year old car which means that it does not come with all the modern safety systems, no matter the model. The 2nd generation model is available with lots of software safety features but is also not class-leading.
The Touareg is, like any other VW, extremely dependent on the options you go for which means that you can get almost everything for the Touareg, but you need a lot of money to be able to do that.
How long can the VW Touareg last?
According to multiple online sources, the VW Touareg is one of the longest-lasting VW cars ever which means that it should easily last more than 200,000-miles if you maintain it properly. There are many instances in which people are more than happy driving 300,000-mile Touaregs, but it begs the question if it makes sense to spend a lot of maintenance money on a car with 300k miles.
Either way, the Touareg is a quality-made SUV that should serve you a long time, but only if you maintain it.
Is the VW Touareg better than the VW Atlas?
The VW Touareg is indeed a better SUV because it is newer, better equipped, looks better, and is available with better engines. The design of both the exterior and the interior of the Touareg is a lot better which makes it a more premium-feeling car.
The Atlas is not a bad car, but it’s can’t match the Touareg. The only aspect in which the Atlas takes it is the fact that it is available with seven seats.