Volkswagen’s Touareg’s been around far longer than most think. It arrived almost exactly 14 years ago and has more or less lived in obscurity since. Although Volkswagens are generally touted for the common folk, the Touareg was and is aimed at a slightly richer clientele. This has limited its appeal, which makes it a semi rare sight.
Despite its higher price tag and dismal reliability record early on, the Touareg was and continues to be a good luxury SUV alternative. It is as smooth and quiet as any Infiniti, Lincoln, Cadillac or Acura, and nearly on par with Lexus. It’s roomy, impressively well put together and depending on price, very well equipped. The absence of a USB port will haunt some at Volkswagen for a long time but, all and all, the Touareg punches above its weight class.
In the road manners department, it much the same where it drives equal or better than the aforementioned. Steering is numb, but responsive, the brakes are very strong and the 8-speed autobox is efficient but hyper-slow to react unless it is set in “Sport”. The V6’s lack of real power is my greatest gripe.
So what’s the problem? It’s not as pretentious as a BMW or Audi and, well, it’s not a BMW or Audi. In VW’s line-up, it only fit when the Phaeton was on sale and the price and size gaps between it and Tiguan were too great and so consumers went elsewhere. But all that is nearly over as the Atlas has arrived for large duty and the next Tiguan will slot itself neatly below it, and above the Golf Sportwagen. In other words, the Touareg’s days are numbered, as proven by the Wolfsburg Edition.
If you want the non-pompous German, better-than-the-Japanese SUV alternative, or the other-other SUV, grab it now before it disappears.