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Volkswagen Touareg Performance

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg earns praise for its secure handling and comfortable ride. Auto writers also appreciate its sharp steering and strong brakes. Test drivers say the base engine produces satisfactory acceleration, but they prefer the turbodiesel engine for its ample power and better fuel economy estimates. A hybrid Touareg is also available.

  • "Like the powertrains, the Touareg's structure and suspension are unchanged from 2014, but this is not a bad thing. Consistent with other VW vehicles, the unibody is exceptionally solid, its responses eager, its steering precise, the braking performance strong and fade free. Ride quality-firm but well damped-bespeaks autobahn development, and interior noise levels are subdued." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The family-oriented VW's character tilts toward the compliant and comfortable mainstream virtues, leaving more expressive driver-oriented attributes to its VW Group platform-mates, the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne." -- Car and Driver
  • “If you're shopping this class, you're likely to shop for similarly priced models from Mercedes and BMW, let alone Acura, Lincoln and Lexus. That's stiff competition. And the thing is, the Touareg almost outdrives all of them." – Cars.com (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower. A turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 is optional and it produces 240 horsepower. A Touareg Hybrid model is also available and comes with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine and an electric motor that together make 380 horsepower. All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the gas-powered Touareg achieves 17/23 mpg city/highway, which is poor for the class. Hybrid models earn an EPA-estimated 20/24 mpg city/highway.

Critics say the Touareg’s base V6 engine delivers adequate power for getting up to highway speeds. However, some note that it’s not as powerful as the turbodiesel engine, which has more torque and earns better fuel economy estimates.

  • "Compared to both the Hybrid and the TDI, this V6 is definitely the slowest option, but even so, this volume Touareg model hardly feels lazy. Especially when using the gearbox's sport programming, I found satisfying throttle response and a pleasantly growling engine note whenever I laid into the beast." -- Autoblog
  • "The engine you'll want, however, is the optional turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6, that produces only 240 hp but a massive 406 pounds-feet of torque. This is a sweet motor, producing huge amounts of midrange torque that move the roughly 200-pound-heavier diesel SUV around with noticeable alacrity." -- Cars.com
  • "The manual mode is semi-necessary to keep the 3.6-liter FSI V-6 on the boil to propel 2.5 tons of mass. Programming for the transmission is fairly prompt to kick down when the driver pushes hard on the accelerator and smart about holding gears through a series of bends, but it's also calibrated to maximize economy on the EPA cycle." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists say the 2015 Volkswagen Touareg has compliant handling and feels comfortable, yet sturdy, over rough patches of road. Reviewers agree that the Touareg has responsive steering and strong brakes with good pedal feel. Still, a few critics caution that you shouldn’t expect the Touareg’s handling to be as nimble as that of rivals like the Porsche Cayenne. All-wheel drive is standard.

  • "An all-independent suspension composed largely of aluminum is one of the factors in the Touareg's weight loss for the latest generation, and it also contributes to the SUV's buttoned-down handling dynamics." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Touareg's steering is excellent for the class, too. We're not talking about Porsche levels of road feel or anything, but it's a nice, heavy tiller at speed, with just enough feedback to keep the driver interested." -- Autoblog
  • "Dynamically, the Touareg behaves like it always has. It's composed and solid, with a European firmness that makes it feel expensive and well-controlled, but with a softness to the ride and noticeable body roll that makes you realize it's been tamed for American tastes. Steering is still hydraulic on the V-6 and diesel models, so there's none of the numbness that can plague all-electric systems.” -- Cars.com
  • "As you'd expect, the driving character of both the gasoline FSI and diesel TDI V-6 variants carries over with good feel from the hydraulically assisted steering (only the hybrid uses electric assist), a fairly taut and responsive chassis, and a nicely firm and readily modulated brake pedal." -- Car and Driver
Review Last Updated: 1/30/15

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