$17,487 - $22,540

2013 Volkswagen Touareg Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg was new.


Performance: 7.7

Reviewers think the Touareg performs admirably, with a standard gas-powered V6 that feels strong and an available V6 diesel engine with lots of torque and good fuel economy. They also like the way it handles, saying it is comfortable and composed, and that its steering provides good feedback to the driver.

  • "If on-road dynamics is more important than off-road capability, today's Volkswagen Touareg makes a great choice. A rigid structure and all-independent suspension provide the composure, while a trio of available drivetrains provides fun, function and efficiency." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's sporty and nimble for a rather healthy-size SUV." -- AutoWeek (2011)
  • "We laud Volkswagen for offering a full breadth of engine options, including diesel and hybrid powertrains. We especially like the diesel. It's so smooth, quiet, and refined that we would pass up the conventional gas version entirely." -- Consumer Guide (2011)
  • "If you're shopping this class, you're likely to shop for similarly priced models from Mercedes and BMW, let alone Acura, Lincoln and Lexus. That's stiff competition. And the thing is, the Touareg almost outdrives all of them." -- Cars.com (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The standard Touareg engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower. A 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine is optional, which produces 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are tied to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Gasoline models achieve an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway using premium fuel, which is about average for the class. Diesel models get 20/29 mpg. The EPA projects that the average driver will save about $200 annually by selecting the diesel model over the gasoline model.

Reviewers are pleased with both engines, saying the gas V6 operates smoothly and has plenty of power. They especially like the diesel engine for its torque output, which they say makes it feel very light on its feet. They also appreciate the diesel’s good fuel economy. Critics say that the eight-speed transmission shifts very smoothly and makes the most of the Touareg’s power.

  • "With the 3.6-liter VR6 the Touareg feels polished, light on its feet and plenty responsive, but by comparison, the flexibility of the turbodiesel and the ‘rush’ (there's no other description) of the Hybrid are truly remarkable." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Regardless of engine choice, the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts with an almost imperceptible ease, and the Touareg feels confident and quiet at highway speed." -- Edmunds
  • "The available diesel is a torque-rich beast that returns excellent fuel economy." -- Car and Driver (2012)
  • "The 280-horsepower V-6 is a smooth operator. That's due in part to an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the revs come on in a delicate fashion, and the cabin is so quiet it feels like this rather large SUV is gliding over the pavement." -- Cars.com (2011)

Handling and Braking

The Touareg comes standard with four-wheel drive on all models. Reviewers say that the Touareg handles reasonably well and doesn’t exhibit too much body lean in corners. They say it also feels reasonably compliant over rough road surfaces. While it isn’t an off-road SUV, one critic notes that it has a fairly high ground clearance and can hold its own when the pavement ends. Reviewers say the Touareg has good steering feel, and that it has fast responses that make it feel fairly nimble.

  • "The Touareg has communicative steering, a supple (albeit controlled) ride and strong brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg lacks a low-range transmission for off-road excursions, yet still provides a fair amount of trail prowess thanks to minimal front and rear overhangs, decent ground clearance and a compliant suspension. But most Touaregs will not see rigorous dirt duty, and in the urban wilds most drivers will appreciate the sharp steering response that makes the Touareg feel like a smaller vehicle." -- Edmunds
  • "It handles competently, with good steering feel, and well-controlled body lean in fast corners." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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