$26,691 - $37,592

2016 Volkswagen Touareg Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2016 Volkswagen Touareg has a comfortable ride, according to auto journalists. Some say the engine offers good power, but others argue that it delivers mediocre pickup at best. Critics praise the precise steering and strong brakes.

  • "The family-oriented VW's character tilts toward the compliant and comfortable mainstream virtues, leaving more expressive driver-oriented attributes to its VW Group platform-mates, the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "Like the powertrains, the Touareg's structure and suspension are unchanged from 2014, but this is not a bad thing. Consistent with other VW vehicles, the unibody is exceptionally solid, its responses eager, its steering precise, the braking performance strong and fade free. Ride quality-firm but well damped-bespeaks autobahn development, and interior noise levels are subdued." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "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 2016 Touareg features a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 280 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Touareg gets an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway, which is average for the class. The Touareg diesel model is currently unavailable in the U.S.

Some critics think that the Touareg feels responsive and fairly quick, but others argue that the engine does not seem that potent. Reviewers note that the transmission downshifts willingly when more power is needed.

  • "The standard engine … offers up smooth operation and acceptable fuel economy, but its 280 horsepower provides only adequate thrust against the Touareg's 4,700 pounds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "… this V6 is definitely the slowest option, but even so, this volume Touareg model hardly feels lazy. Especially when using the gearbox's sport programming, I found satisfying throttle response and a pleasantly growling engine note whenever I laid into the beast." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "The manual mode is semi-necessary to keep the 3.6-liter FSI V-6 on the boil to propel 2.5 tons of mass. Programming for the transmission is fairly prompt to kick down when the driver pushes hard on the accelerator and smart about holding gears through a series of bends, but it's also calibrated to maximize economy on the EPA cycle." -- Car and Driver (2015)

Handling and Braking

All-wheel drive is standard on the Volkswagen Touareg. Test drivers report that the ride is smooth and that the Touareg offers composed handling when cornering. They add that the steering is well-weighted and offers decent feedback, and the brakes are strong.

  • "The Touareg's Audi/Porsche roots serve it well, delivering a smooth and stable ride, excellent cornering and firm brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "An all-independent suspension composed largely of aluminum is one of the factors in the Touareg's weight loss for the latest generation, and it also contributes to the SUV's buttoned-down handling dynamics." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The Touareg's steering is excellent for the class, too. We're not talking about Porsche levels of road feel or anything, but it's a nice, heavy tiller at speed, with just enough feedback to keep the driver interested." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "Dynamically, the Touareg behaves like it always has. It's composed and solid, with a European firmness that makes it feel expensive and well-controlled, but with a softness to the ride and noticeable body roll that makes you realize it's been tamed for American tastes. Steering is still hydraulic on the V-6 and diesel models, so there's none of the numbness that can plague all-electric systems." -- Cars.com (2015)

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