2008 Volkswagen Touareg

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2008 Volkswagen Touareg Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg was new.

The Touareg2 offers good on-road performance and surprisingly strong off-road capabilities, but suffers from a poor reliability record. It ranks in the bottom half of its class.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Three engine options to suit buyers' tastes and budgets
  • Strong on- and off-road performer
  • High-quality interior
  • Many test drivers feel the base V6 struggles to power the heavy SUV
  • Some interior electronics can be confusing to use
  • Below average reliability ratings

2008 Volkswagen Touareg Overview

When it was introduced as a 2004 model, the Volkswagen Touareg was an award winner, named Car and Driver's "Best Luxury SUV" and Motor Trend's "SUV of the Year." Renamed for 2008 as the Touareg2, the SUV is little changed from 2004, but strong competition and a less-than-stellar reliability record have made it one of the lowest-selling vehicles in its class.

New for 2008 are tweaked front and rear styling, as well as new standard safety features. For buyers, the Touareg2 offers composed on-road performance and a surprising amount of off-road power. In fact, it ranks in the top half of the class when compared to other off-road SUVs. Motor Trend says, "Volkswagen deserves applause for delivering an SUV that can just as easily climb a slippery rocky slope as it can make record time to and from the outlet malls, looking good inside and out while doing it." Many reviewers think the V6 model offers terrific value. Go for a more powerful engine, though, and the Touareg2's price quickly climbs, surpassing the cost of luxury-brand competitors in its class.

The Touareg2 shares the same platform as the more expensive Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. It comes in three trims -- the base VR6, the more powerful V8 FSI, and the diesel-powered V10 TDI.

  • "Indeed, the Touareg V-6 is one of the, if not the, most luxurious and well-equipped SUVs for its price." -- Car and Driver
  • "I appreciate that the 2008 Touareg gets high safety marks, and as any dancing queen will tell you, this boogie machine's style is right on. Somehow, though, I just wasn't overly enthusiastic about it. It costs more than many other vehicles in its class and has too much non-charming quirkiness." -- Mother Proof
  • "If you want a do-it-all SUV that is actually lives up to the 'sport utility vehicle' name, you could do much worse than the Touareg 2." -- Orland Sentinel
  • "With all of its computerized capabilities, the Touareg 2 is in the top ranks of vehicles with off-road capabilities. Whether that will be enough to buck the crossover headwind is the question." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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