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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Volkswagen Touareg V6 Sport include 3.6L V-6 280hp engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, Climatronic automatic air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, distance pacing, ABS and driveline traction control.
Starting at: $49,495
Lease a 2017 Touareg 3.6L VR6 Sport with Nav and automatic transmission for $659* a month. 36-month lease, $2,999 due at signing. Excludes tax, title, license, registration, options and dealer fees. No security deposit required. For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit.
*Closed end lease financing available through March 31, 2017 for a new, unused 2017 Touareg 3.6L VR6 Sport with Nav and automatic transmission, on approved credit by Volkswagen Credit through participating dealers. Monthly lease payment based on MSRP of $50,405 and destination charges, excluding title, tax, options, accessories, and dealer fees. Amount due at signing includes first month’s payment, capitalized cost reduction, and acquisition fee of $625. Monthly payments total $23,724. Your payment will vary based on dealer contribution and the final negotiated price. Lessee responsible for insurance, maintenance and repairs. At lease end, lessee responsible for disposition fee of $350, $.20/mile over 30,000 miles and excessive wear and tear. Purchase option at lease end for $23,690.00 excludes taxes, title and other government fees. Offer not valid in Puerto Rico. See your Volkswagen dealer for details or, for general product information, call 1-800-Drive-VW. © 2017 Volkswagen of America, Inc.
The V6 engine makes 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, less than rivals, but enough to move the nearly 4700-pound Touareg reasonably well. And the 8-speed automatic makes the most of the power.
The Touareg handles better than might be expected for its weight. The steering is tuned more for cruising than cornering, but it’s nicely weighted and helps the vehicle feel relaxed. The Executive, with its 21-inch wheels and lower profile tires, rides stiffer.
There are no offroad modes, nor adjustable air suspension, but there are 7.9 inches of ground clearance, so there’s a modicum of unpaved road ability.
Consistent with Volkswagen design, the Touareg is mature while being sophisticated for its simplicity. The body doesn’t say anything other than SUV, although thin pillars and a low beltline mitigate the heavy appearance.
The cabin design is reminiscent of the Volkswagen Passat though with nicer materials and more features. The fit and finish far exceed the Volkswagens built in America and Mexico, as they should for the price. Still, we expect more of a high-end feel. The quality doesn’t match BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Range Rover, or Infiniti, but it’s close enough to be competitive.
Not surprisingly for VW, the position and function of the controls is clean and intuitive. No nonsense, and we appreciate the time and confusion it saves us. So too should drivers who don’t like distraction.
Curiously, the infotainment system doesn’t include Volkswagen’s CarNet system, which is similar to GM’s OnStar and offers diagnostic and convenience features through a smartphone app.
The front seats are excellent, with a high seating position offering good visibility through the windshield; thin roof pillars and low beltline add an airy feel to the cabin. However the tall and wide center console tends to make the front feel cramped, despite the good room in front.
There’s good room for three passengers in the rear, as the rear bench slides six inches. There’s no third-row seat like in the Audi Q7.
Cargo space is quite good, with a power-folding arrangement that yields a fully flat load floor. With the second row raised, there’s 64 cubic feet, a bit less than most rivals.
The Touareg Sport model has lots of shiny silver and gray plastic trim. The Wolfsburg Edition has brushed aluminum, and the Executive glossy wood. As for seating surfaces, the Sport has reasonably convincing leatherette, while the Wolfsburg and Executive have soft leather.
The Touareg is stylish and thoughtfully engineered, but it’s slow and thirsty compared to rivals, and expensive. It’s also in its sixth year without a redesign.
Sam Moses contributed to this report.
The 2017 Volkswagen Touareg Sport ($49,495) includes the leatherette upholstery with heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system, power-adjustable front seats, rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon adaptive front lighting, LED taillights. The Technology Package comes standard on the Sport and includes navigation, power tailgate, and safety equipment including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and a blind spot monitor. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $910 destination charge.)
The 2017 Touareg Wolfsburg Edition ($52,795) adds brushed aluminum interior inlays, stainless steel door sills and pedals, a black headliner, two-tone ventilated leather seats, gray door inserts, contrast stitching, and 20-inch wheels in silver or black.
Touareg Executive ($60,195) includes 21-inch wheels, power adjustable steering column, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system.