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2016 Volkswagen Touareg Review

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg has great safety scores, a pleasant ride, and a spacious cabin. However, a weak engine and a so-so reliability rating keep the Touareg in the middle of the luxury midsize SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Balanced handling
  • Roomy, premium interior
  • Strained V6 engine




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.9
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Overview

Is the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg a Good Used SUV?

Don’t be put off by the VW badge if you’re shopping for a luxury midsize SUV. The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg has the balanced handling, advanced safety features, and posh interior expected of vehicles in this class. However, the five-seat Touareg lacks the practicality of other SUVs with 3 rows, and its strained V6 engine leaves much to be desired.

Why You Can Trust Us

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 49 professional evaluations for this 2016 Volkswagen Touareg review to help you make an informed buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg?

Based on the more than 175 listings for used 2016 Volkswagen Touaregs on our site, you can expect to pay between $29,700 and $52,000. The average list price is $38,500. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg Cost to Own?

Estimated five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Touareg are around $30,500. That’s about average for a luxury midsize SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Touareg?

Volkswagen discontinued the Touareg after the 2017 model year. If you want a new vehicle but your budget is limited to the 2016 Touareg’s price point, you’ll need to drop down a class. Still, there are some good options. The 2018 Acura RDX (MSRP $36,000) ranks high on our list of luxury compact SUVs for its ample seating space, quiet cabin, comfortable ride, and excellent crash test results. It also has a long list of standard features. We named it our 2018 Best Luxury Compact SUV for the Money.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg?

The 2016 Touareg has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s average for the industry as a whole. However, competitors like the 2016 Lexus RX 350, the 2016 RX Hybrid, the 2016 Lexus GX, and the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class have higher reliability ratings.

Read more about Touareg reliability »

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 Touareg has two recalls. One corrects a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system calibration. Another involves a missing brake clip. Make sure these recalls are addressed before purchasing this vehicle to avoid problems like underinflated tires and a loss of braking.

See more information on Volkswagen Touareg safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Touareg Is Best?

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg is part of a generation that launched in the 2011 model year. It’s best to avoid the 2013 and 2014 Touaregs. They lack many of the safety features of 2015 and later models, and they have slightly different exterior styling. The 2015 and 2016 models are essentially identical, but the 2015 saves you an average of $4,600 over the 2016. Go with the 2017 only if you want loads of active safety features. It comes standard with a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning with brake assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and adaptive headlights.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Touareg »

Which Used Volkswagen Touareg Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Touareg SUV comes in three trim levels: Sport, Lux, and Executive. The Touareg Sport has a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a cooling glove box, a power tailgate, and adaptive pivoting headlights. The base trim is a fine option, but the Technology and Driver Assistance packages give you infotainment and convenience upgrades like an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, proximity keyless entry, and a hands-free tailgate.

If you need even more features, consider the Lux and Executive trims. The Touareg Lux adds leather upholstery and ventilated front seats. The Touareg Executive trim adds heated rear seats, rear side window shades, and a 10-speaker sound system.

See 2016 Volkswagen Touareg trims and specs »

What Does Volkswagen's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volkswagen offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles seven years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. You receive the balance of the new-car warranty when you purchase a CPO model. Depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired or on the sale date of the CPO VW vehicle. For 2018 and newer VWs, the limited comprehensive warranty is good for one year or 12,000 miles. The length of the warranty increases to two years or 24,000 miles for 2017-and-older gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Finally, 2016 and older TDI vehicles get a two-year/unlimited miles warranty.

VW CPO vehicles must pass a 100-plus-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, a Carfax vehicle history report, a three-month SiriusXM All-Access satellite radio trial subscription, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Volkswagen’s CPO program is the least robust of all auto manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Touareg?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg the highest rating of Good in all areas evaluated.

The Touareg is available with a large suite of advanced safety features. Volkswagen’s Technology and Driver Assistance packages add a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with brake assist. These features are available in Touareg Sport models and standard in Lux and Executive trims. The top-level Touareg Executive trim adds a 360-degree parking camera.

See Touareg safety scores »

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Volkswagen Touareg or 2016 Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 SUV has a similar price point to the Touareg. Both SUVS have upscale interiors with plenty of space and seating for five. The Q5 is the sportier option, boasting a range of punchier engines and higher fuel economy. It’s also 6 inches shorter than the VW. However, the Touareg is a more practical option. It offers a smoother ride, a higher reliability rating, and superior safety features.

Which Is Better: 2016 Volkswagen Touareg or 2016 Porsche Cayenne?

The Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg share the same vehicle platform and a few other attributes. Both sport posh interiors, the same advanced safety features, and capable all-wheel-drive systems. The Cayenne’s handling and performance are much better than the Touareg’s, even rivaling many sports cars. It also has a higher reliability rating and offers luxuries like heated and ventilated seats in both rows. That said, used Cayenne models are typically much more expensive. The Touareg offers comparable SUV practicality without breaking the bank.

Which Is Better: 2016 Volkswagen Touareg or 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The VW Touareg tops the Jeep Grand Cherokee in reliability. Count on either SUV for a quality interior, a smooth ride, and a long list of safety features. Both offer comparable cabin and cargo space, making either a good daily driver. However, the Grand Cherokee’s outstanding off-road ability makes it better suited for hitting the trails. The Jeep also has stronger engines, a fuel-efficient diesel V6, and a lower average price.

Compare the Touareg, Q5, and Cayenne »

2016 Touareg Performance

How Does the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg Drive?

The 2016 Touareg offers a smooth ride and composed handling, with well-weighted steering that provides decent feedback. The standard 280-horsepower V6 engine is smooth, but it could use more horsepower to handle the Touareg’s weight. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.

Touareg TDI models come with a 240-horsepower turbodiesel V6, but these models were affected by VW’s diesel emissions scandal. They require modifications to meet EPA standards. Make sure these alterations have been made before you buy a Touareg TDI, and keep in mind that those changes could alter performance and fuel economy.

Does the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2016 VW Touareg gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, which is average for the class. A Touareg with a V6 diesel engine has a rating of 21/28 mpg city/highway.

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Towing Capacity

The 2016 Touareg has a towing capacity of 7,716 pounds with either engine.

Read more about Touareg performance »

2016 Touareg Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Touareg Seat?

The five-seat 2016 Volkswagen Touareg has a spacious cabin with comfortable and supportive front seats. The driving position is excellent, with good front and side visibility. The reclining rear seats are also roomy and seats two adults comfortably, but three can fit in a pinch. Leatherette upholstery and heated front seats are standard; genuine leather, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg?

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats.

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Features

The base model Touareg Sport has a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. The infotainment system is user-friendly and features redundant buttons and knobs for radio, phone, and other functions. Available features include a larger 8-inch touch screen with satellite navigation and a 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system.

See 2016 Volkswagen Touareg specs »

Read more about Touareg interior »

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Dimensions

Volkswagen Touareg Cargo Space

Although the 2016 Touareg’s cabin has plenty of small-item storage, the SUV’s cargo space is only average for the class. It offers 32.1 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 64 with them folded down. A remote-opening liftgate is standard, and hands-free power liftgate is available.

2016 Touareg Length and Weight

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg is 15.7 feet long. The gas-engine Touareg has a curb weight of 4,696 pounds and a gross vehicle weight rating of 6,173 pounds. The TDI model has a curb weight of 4,919 pounds and a GVWR of 6,305 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg Built?

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg was built in Slovakia.

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