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Old 03-27-2012, 05:40 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI is a fine $52,355 luxury SUV that raises the question:





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The * * * 2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI is a fine $52,355 luxury SUV that raises the question: Why on Earth is Volkswagen selling a $52,355 SUV?

That's less of a head-scratcher in Europe than America. Many Europeans -- especially Germans -- think of VW as a premium brand, a clear step up from the likes of Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.
By contrast, most Americans expect Volkswagens to be inexpensive, if not downright cheap. That's why the company just introduced less-expensive versions of its Jetta and Passat sedans here.

The Touareg team at VW HQ in Germany must not have gotten the memo about cutting costs, slashing prices and competing with Chevy, Ford, Honda and Toyota. The diesel Touareg TDI Lux I tested was clearly developed, built and equipped to compete with luxury SUVs like the BMW X3, Cadillac SRX, Infiniti FX, Lexus RX, Lincoln MKX and Mercedes-Benz ML.
The Touareg is a very nice vehicle, but pitting the VW badge against the BMW roundel, Cadillac wreath and crest or Mercedes star is bringing a knife to a gunfight.\

Moreover, VW already has a luxury brand: Audi. The Q5 is a terrific small luxury SUV. It'd be even better with the Touareg TDI's powerful and fuel-efficient 3.0-liter V6 diesel.

Despite that, the Touareg TDI has some strong selling points. Its 7,710-pound towing capacity is more than double what the X3, SRX, Terrain, FX, RX and MKX offer.

The Touareg has more passenger and cargo space than the Audi, BMW, Cadillac, GMC and Infiniti. Its EPA fuel economy rating of 19 m.p.g. in the city, 28 on the highway and 22 in combined driving beats all but the Mercedes ML350 Bluetec diesel.

If you can get your head around paying Mercedes-level money for a Volkswagen, there's plenty to like about the Touareg TDI: fuel economy, looks, interior fit and finish and handling.

The 2012 Touareg is all new. It's lighter and sportier than its predecessor, which was VW's first real SUV. For the second generation, VW dispensed with the gear required for extreme off-roading. The Touareg shed up to 350 pounds, depending on the model.

The 2012 Touareg is bigger and has more interior room than its predecessor. All Touaregs have full-time all-wheel drive.
Prices for the 2012 Touareg start at $43,375 for a base model with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission.
Diesel models have a turbocharged 225-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and the same gearbox. Prices start at $46,875.

VW also is offering a hybrid Touareg for the first time. It has a 380-horsepower powertrain that combines a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, nickel-metal hydride batteries and an electric motor.

The hybrid system is essentially the one in the Porsche Panamera luxury car and Cayenne SUV. Porsche developed the hybrid system for itself, VW and Audi. That helps explain the Touareg hybrid's eye-watering $61,110 base price. All prices exclude destination charges.

I tested a Touareg TDI Lux that cost $52,355. Its features included a touch screen to control the navigation, audio and other systems and good voice-recognition for Bluetooth hands-free phones. It lacked blind spot alert and a backup camera, features you might expect above $50K.

The Touareg has a wide stance and sleek profile. The new model's longer wheelbase provides good legroom and a useful 32.1 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seat. The interior is quiet and trimmed in attractive materials.

The electrically assisted power steering is precise and provides good feedback. The suspension cushions rough surfaces and holds the Touareg secure on winding roads. The SUV is maneuverable and fun to drive, though less sporty than the X3 or Q5.

The turbodiesel generates 406 pound-feet of torque from just 1,750 r.p.m. for prompt acceleration. The diesel is only slightly louder than a gasoline engine. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly.

The 2012 is a huge improvement from its overweight, over-priced predecessor, and an able competitor to several midsize luxury SUVs.
Whether that makes it an under-the-radar stealth fighter or the right product from the wrong brand may depend on what you think the VW badge is worth.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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I love my TDI Touareg (yes, it is a 2012... traded in my 2010 TDI for the new model) The question about why build it (as Audi already have the Q5)

Well... what the article is missing/wrong about is that the Q5 does not come with the 3.0 TDI (it comes with a smaller 2.0) and the Q7 that comes with this engine is huge... So the Touareg to me comes right between these two! It splits the dif!

I get close to 30mpg highway with the thing, 24-26mpg local and 20mpg towing an 18ft open trailer with car!

The thing is awesome!
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:41 AM   #3
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I'd like to note for the record that the Toureag is the most unreliable of VW's lineup, iirc. That's no mean feat! (Same goes for the Cayenne.)
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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I'd like to note for the record that the Toureag is the most unreliable of VW's lineup, iirc. That's no mean feat! (Same goes for the Cayenne.)
I like to note... where do you get this information?

I have owned two TDI Touaregs... not once have I had an issue.

I actually am not against your statement, as I know the first gen had a lot of issue. (also all if not the majority of those where the gas models)
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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i'd love to have one of those (if i make more $$ ..., alot more )
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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I love the TDI Touareg.

Nick
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by WHAT
I like to note... where do you get this information?

I have owned two TDI Touaregs... not once have I had an issue.

I actually am not against your statement, as I know the first gen had a lot of issue. (also all if not the majority of those where the gas models)
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...es-compare.htm

Link may not work without login. It has been updated since I last looked. VW's worst model is now not it's fault, as it's the Touran. Porsche's Cayenne still is its worst. I had posted last year's data both here and on Google+ but I can't find that resisted image at the moment.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WHAT View Post
I like to note... where do you get this information?

I have owned two TDI Touaregs... not once have I had an issue.

I actually am not against your statement, as I know the first gen had a lot of issue. (also all if not the majority of those where the gas models)

I am glad you have had no issues with yours. My sister's Touareg went to the dealership for repairs more than all of their cars combined. The repairs ranged from buttons peeling off, certain buttons and panel popping off, weird electrical issues, the car not driving straight as the dealership said they are suppose to drive that way. It was comical to hear the dealership's response as to why the certain things were breaking and how the cars was suppose to pulls to the right. They sold the car for cheap to just get rid of it.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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Why would brand ever have anything to do with a purchase decision? It's like wanting to have something in common with a-holes LOL. Sadly, though, I guess that is our society.

I also love the idea of the Touareg and looked at it, an Exec TDi. Felt very cheap inside, from plastic door panels to plasticky-feeling leather. An X5 diesel is on another level in terms of fit, finish, and comfort. The X5 also felt stronger power-wise, even with a 6-speed vs the 8-speed in the VW.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...es-compare.htm


Link may not work without login. It has been updated since I last looked. VW's worst model is now not it's fault, as it's the Touran. Porsche's Cayenne still is its worst. I had posted last year's data both here and on Google+ but I can't find that resisted image at the moment.
Link does not work (you are right). Was the worst model the TDI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Imprezha View Post
I am glad you have had no issues with yours. My sister's Touareg went to the dealership for repairs more than all of their cars combined. The repairs ranged from buttons peeling off, certain buttons and panel popping off, weird electrical issues, the car not driving straight as the dealership said they are suppose to drive that way. It was comical to hear the dealership's response as to why the certain things were breaking and how the cars was suppose to pulls to the right. They sold the car for cheap to just get rid of it.
Maybe she had a lemon? I still stick with what I said, not one issue at all! Guess it is a good thing that is has a 100K warranty on the drivetrain and 60K on the rest? Hopefull I continue my luck with it.

The 2010 I had was only 14 months old when I traded in for the 2012. They called to offer me the trade. I put 30K miles on the 2010 in those 14 months. I just could not pass up on the offer they gave and the 0%.

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Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
I also love the idea of the Touareg and looked at it, an Exec TDi. Felt very cheap inside, from plastic door panels to plasticky-feeling leather. An X5 diesel is on another level in terms of fit, finish, and comfort. The X5 also felt stronger power-wise, even with a 6-speed vs the 8-speed in the VW.
There are parts of the 2012 that I feel do have the "cheap feel" to it. Parts of the door panel I was not overly excited about, the center area as well. But the seats... are you sure you looked at an Exec and not a Sport? I know the Sport seats are horrible and cheap plastic feel. The Exec and Lux are pretty nice. Yes, they are not as nice as my M3s leather, but they are not plasticky at all. The towing is what really sold me to be honest!

The BMW X5d is nice. But is also about $15K more (configured to what I would want - got a great price on the TDI and no it is not the Sport version).

The BMW is rated 265hp to the VWs 224hp (so no surprise you found it stronger). Tow rating is 1700lbs less than the Touareg. I am not against the BMW (I own two) just was not what I wanted to spend.

Regardless, just wanted to add my thoughts. I like mine... that is what matters. It does what I want, when I want! I like the look, the mpg, the towing, etc. Would I buy the X5d (yes)
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
Why would brand ever have anything to do with a purchase decision? It's like wanting to have something in common with a-holes LOL. Sadly, though, I guess that is our society.
Well, when your brand's name is quite litterally, "People's Car" in reference to something the common people of Germany could afford..

... questions like, "Why on Earth is Volkswagen selling a $52,355 SUV?" are relevant.


Particularly when Volkswagen owns Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, and Skoda...

If there was an American company called "Inexpensive Motors" putting out $50k cars, you'd wonder about that too.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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are you sure you looked at an Exec and not a Sport?

The BMW X5d is nice. But is also about $15K more
Didn't mean to disparage anyone who bought one. Yep, looked at the Exec - I would say the leather is close to the Dakota leather from BMW, but definitely not the Merino (M only) or the Nappa. Yes, I spec'd out the X5 to 75K as well (with Nappa), so about 15K more, but I would have bought a stripper X5d over the Exec TDi if price was important. I ended up buying neither, as neither have seats that fold flat (needed for my dog), and they are both very carlike inside (space) and with relatively low floor to ceiling space for a vehicle that sits so high. The only small luxury SUV I've found with a decent box in the back that has seats that fold flat is the ML. As with many good comparable choices, it depends on your needs and desires...
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
Didn't mean to disparage anyone who bought one. Yep, looked at the Exec - I would say the leather is close to the Dakota leather from BMW, but definitely not the Merino (M only) or the Nappa. Yes, I spec'd out the X5 to 75K as well (with Nappa), so about 15K more, but I would have bought a stripper X5d over the Exec TDi if price was important. I ended up buying neither, as neither have seats that fold flat (needed for my dog), and they are both very carlike inside (space) and with relatively low floor to ceiling space for a vehicle that sits so high. The only small luxury SUV I've found with a decent box in the back that has seats that fold flat is the ML. As with many good comparable choices, it depends on your needs and desires...
Well, no disparage to me. I am good with mine. Just shocked at your thoughts on the leather? Maybe mine is nice and warn in? haha... I do have the Nappa in my M and it is NICE and you are right, the Touareg is nowhere near that.

Price wise I was close to $65k on the BMW X5d build... I paided $50K for my Lux TDI. So I think for that price it is a good deal. Now if I was looking at the Exec (which if I remember was closer to $60K) then the X5d would make me think twice.

But again... towing is an issue. Hell, I don't even see a tow package listed on the BMW site (option?)
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