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2012 Volkswagen Touareg Review

The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg offers a fuel-efficient diesel model, a serene ride and a luxurious cabin, test drivers said, but it isn't especially fun to drive and doesn't have as much cargo space as some rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy with diesel engine
  • Straightforward climate, audio and navigation controls
  • Limited cargo space for class




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Volkswagen Touareg Overview

Test drivers said the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg’s base V6 engine produces ample power. However, many preferred the available turbodiesel V6, which they said makes the Touareg feel quick off the line. All models come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The gas-powered 2012 Touareg gets an EPA-estimated 16/23 mpg city/highway, which is class-competitive. The diesel model gets an outstanding 19/28 mpg. The Touareg has composed handling around turns, auto writers said, but they pointed out that rival SUVs are more fun to drive, with snappier handling and sharper steering. The Touareg’s ride is tuned for comfort, they added.   

The automotive press was impressed with the five-seat 2012 Touareg’s first-rate cabin materials and craftsmanship. The front seats are incredibly comfortable, even on long drives, reviewers noted, and added that the back seat offers ample head- and legroom for adults. Maximum cargo space is slightly lower than that of rival two-row SUVs, at 64 cubic feet. The 2012 Touareg comes standard with a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, a touch-screen audio display, satellite radio and an iPod connection. Available features include navigation, a rearview camera, parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and a premium audio system. Reviewers liked that the Touareg's climate and navigation controls are intuitive.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers liked the 2012 Acura ZDX’s rich leather surfaces and handsome interior design. The ZDX has car-like road manners and a potent V6 engine, they added. It also comes standard with a rearview camera and has an excellent safety score for the class.

The 2012 Infiniti FX has athletic handling and is available with a V8 engine that is incredibly powerful, test drivers said. Unlike the Touareg, the FX is available with a rear-seat entertainment system, and reviewers liked the high-end materials that line its interior.

Compare the Touareg, ZDX and FX »

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