$31,280 - $37,963

2017 Volkswagen Touareg Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Volkswagen Touareg was new.


Performance: 8.1

Overall, the 2017 Volkswagen Touareg is fun to drive. With standard all-wheel drive, handling is secure, though body roll is evident around corners. The ride is both quiet and smooth, and the compliant suspension smooths over most bumps in the road. A drawback is the V6 engine’s lack of power. However, the Touareg’s towing capacity is impressive compared to most others in the class.

  • "In general, the 2017 Volkswagen Touareg is pretty enjoyable to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

All Touareg models come with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It earns 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, which are slightly below-average numbers compared to other V6-powered luxury midsize SUVs.

Because of the Touareg’s 4,696-pound curb weight, even 280 horsepower isn’t enough to keep the Volkswagen from feeling taxed during brisk acceleration. The eight-speed automatic makes the best use of available power and shifts smoothly, but you may need to use the manual mode and downshift on your own to help compensate for the engine’s lack of power.

  • "The 2017 Volkswagen Touareg's V6 engine can feel strained during hard acceleration, and many rival crossovers are notably quicker. On the bright side, the eight-speed automatic transmission provides almost imperceptible upshifts along with responsive downshifts on demand." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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

Driving the Touareg feels like driving a premium SUV, thanks to its impressive agility and smooth ride. Although there’s a bit of body lean when taking turns, handling is impressive overall. The Touareg’s smooth ride soaks up most roadway imperfections with ease.

Not only is it quite capable on the road, but this VW can handle some light off-roading as well. With standard all-wheel drive and a 7.9-inch ground clearance, the Touareg can tackle rough, uneven, or mucky surfaces with ease.

  • "The Touareg is similarly competent off-road thanks to a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. That system makes up for most of the capability gap with competitors that have traditional low-range gearing. With a respectable amount of ground clearance and a compliant suspension, the Touareg powers over washboard roads and light-duty trails without breaking a sweat." -- Edmunds
  • "The Touareg's Audi/Porsche roots serve it well, delivering a smooth and stable ride, excellent cornering and firm brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "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." -- Cars.com (2015)

Towing and Hauling

With an above-average towing capacity of 7,716 pounds, you can haul a decent-size trailer with no problem. The Touareg’s limit matches that of its mechanical siblings, the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.

  • "… high towing capacity could be useful for large trailers." -- Edmunds

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