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7.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Volkswagen Touareg Review

The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg has very good performance, but poor fuel economy ratings keep it from being a class leader.

Pros & Cons

  • Great handling
  • Surprisingly capable off-road
  • Good safety score
  • Limited cargo capacity
  • No third row
  • Poor fuel economy from gas engines
  • Underpowered base engine

2009 Volkswagen Touareg Overview

The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg is a great SUV for shoppers who need a bit more ground clearance and off-road ability than the average luxury crossover can offer. Its adjustable air suspension and standard all-wheel drive system give it better trail-rated performance than most of its competitors, but it also offers sportier handling and a smoother highway ride than many truck-based SUVs. The Touareg also has great safety scores, and its available TDI diesel engine gets excellent fuel economy for a crossover.

If you don’t plan to take your SUV off-road, there are likely better options for you than the Volkswagen Touareg. Its fuel economy is terrible with either of the available gas-powered engines, and test drivers said that the base V6 is not only thirsty, it’s also underpowered. Opting for the V8 engine cuts fuel economy even further. Reviewers also noted that the Touareg doesn’t have as much cargo space as many of its rivals, and it doesn’t offer a third-row seat. If you want a five-seat SUV that’s a good compromise between on-road sportiness and off-road capability, the Touareg is a good choice. But shoppers who prioritize fuel economy, cargo space or seating for seven will want to look elsewhere.

See the full 2009 Volkswagen Touareg specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Acura MDX combines the sportiness of the Touareg with seating for seven. Reviewers appreciated its well-designed interior and noted its fantastic handling. The MDX isn’t as capable on muddy trails as the Touareg, and it doesn’t offer a V8 engine, but if you can sacrifice some off-road ability, the MDX will likely make a more practical family SUV than the Touareg.

For a more luxurious interior, consider the 2009 Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne and the Touareg share a platform, but the Cayenne turns up the SUV’s power and handling even further, and it prompted reviewers to call it one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs on the market. 

Compare the Touareg to the MDX and Cayenne »

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