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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - September 20, 2016

2017 Volkswagen Touareg OVERVIEW

As the largest model in Volkswagen's lineup, the Touareg SUV offers luxury amenities combined with practical off-road ability. This model also shows off VW's craftsmanship capabilities, vibrant body lines and useful tech-savvy hardware.

What's New for 2017

A new Wolfsburg Edition replaces the previous Lux trim level. A Driver Assistance Package, Auto Hold, and Park Distance Control now are standard on all trim levels. Active-safety features have been added to the Sport with Technology trim level, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-change assist, along with a heatable steering wheel. The Executive model now rolls on 21-inch alloy wheels.

Volkswagen Touareg

Choosing Your Volkswagen Touareg

With a premium price backed by a comparable level of style, the Touareg has served as Volkswagen’s attempt to become a major player in the luxury SUV market.

The first thing you’re likely to notice when behind the wheel of this SUV is power. The standard 280-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine, developing 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, gives this relatively lightweight SUV excellent (7,716-pound) towing capacity. An eight-speed automatic transmission and smooth-acting 4Motion all-wheel drive maintain easy drivability, even after the pavement ends and rough surfaces lie ahead. Fuel economy is hardly frugal, estimated at 17 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway (19 mpg combined).

We've been fans of the performance and economy supplied by the Touareg’s optional diesel engine, but no longer. Volkswagen’s emissions-testing scandal, which erupted during 2015 and remains unsettled as the 2017 season begins, means diesel power is no longer available in the U.S. market.

Cargo space is comparatively modest at 32.1 cubic feet, but a Touareg provides 64 cubic feet with rear seats folded. That should be sizable enough to handle the hauling needs of most buyers.

Three Touareg trim levels are offered:

Sport with Technology Package

Starting at $49,495, the basic Touareg starts with standard 4Motion all-wheel drive, bi-xenon automatic headlights, LED taillights and daytime running lights, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment/navigation system. Also standard are a rearview camera, a hands-free liftgate, foglamps, parking sensors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless access, leatherette seating surfaces, power front seats, eight-speaker audio with satellite radio, and the new group of active-safety features.

Wolfsburg Edition

For an additional $3,300, the new Wolfsburg Edition gets a number of distinctive design features. They include stainless steel door sills and pedals, brushed aluminum trim, a black headliner, two-tone leather seating surfaces, 14-way power heated/ventilated front seats with power lumbar support, and contrast stitching. An all-black interior is available. Diamond-turned finish 20-inch wheels are standard, but blacked-out wheels are an option. Standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof.


Topping the trio at $60,195, the Executive model adds power-folding, heated mirrors with memory (including for the driver’s seat); an overhead-view camera system; rear sunshades; heated rear seats; and a Dynaudio 10-speaker premium sound system.

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Read our review on the Volkswagen Touareg »

CarsDirect Tip

In the past, we would have recommended the TDI engine for its greater efficiency and torque output. Not anymore, in view of the scandal that erupted when Volkswagen was charged with installing a defeat device on diesel engines, causing their emission-control systems to operate properly only when the car was undergoing testing. On the road, VW diesels were spouting vastly greater emissions than claimed. As a result, the future of diesel for the U.S. market is bleak at best. All Touaregs now have gasoline engines. Best values lie in the lower-end trim levels; the Executive gets pretty pricey.

Volkswagen Touareg

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