High towing capacity; confident driving dynamics; fuel efficient and powerful engine options; high class interior; impressive equipment roster.
Upper trim levels get expensive; lacks 3rd row seat; spongy brake pedal feel.
2012 Volkswagen Touareg is a larger, more spacious sport utility vehicle, which is designed and engineered to be more economical, yet lighter. Delivering a surprising level of luxury, it is a serious rival amongst more established high end brands. With the available power sliding panoramic sunroof, you can make the great outdoors an ultimate addition to your ride. You will have a gorgeous view of blue sky while you are riding or driving inside it. Whether you are driving in a downpour or a light drizzle, the rain sensing windshield wipers have you covered. Featuring a rain sensor which detects the amount of rainfall on your windshield, the wipers automatically adjust to how heavily it is raining and helps keep debris and moisture out of your line of sight, so you can keep your eyes on the road. Using just your key, you can close and open the rear liftgate with a simple press of button. So gardening supplies or loading groceries or your latest find from your favorite vintage store into the trunk just got a whole lot easier.
The Volkswagen Touareg is basically a midsize crossover sport utility vehicle produced and introduced by German automobile manufacturing company called Volkswagen since 2002. It was named after Tuareg people, a Berber speaking group in North Africa, while the Touareg V10 holds the world record for heaviest load towed by a passenger car, pulling a Boeing 747 aircraft as a part of advertising campaign. Internally called Typ 7L, it was a joint venture project created by Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen Group. The goal was to produce an off-road vehicle which could handle like a sportscar. The team with more than 300 people was led by Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, and situated in Porsche main base Weissach im Tal, Germany.
Currently, the Volkswagen Touareg is developed and designed in Bratislava, Slovakia. The manufacturing facility shares production with Touareg cousins, the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne. Due to the exchange rates of euros against US dollar and the demand, as well as different environmental policies and pricing in United States, the V8 and V6 engine variants make up most of the company’s American Touareg offering. Nevertheless, a limited number of V10 TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) diesel powerplants were offered in 2004 model year. They were brought back to America for 2006 as a “Tier I emissions concept. The first facelift of Touareg was revealed at 2006 Paris Auto Show, and introduced in North America as 2008 model. It now features shield grille from others in Volkswagen Passenger Cars lineup. The upgraded Touareg has over 2300 redesigned parts and boasts plenty of technological features.
Brighter than halogen or regular filament bulbs, the available Bi-Xenon light is created by an arc of electricity inside the bulb that’s filled with xenon gas. It’s so effective that both the low and the high beams can use the same bulb. The Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) comes standard with the Bi-Xenon headlights and actually turns the headlight up to 15 degrees around corners, helping you to effectively see into the future. The days of locking your keys in the car are essentially over thanks to the available keyless access with push-button start feature. With your keys in your pocket or purse, your door will automatically unlock as you touch the door handle. Then, once you’re inside, a simple press of the start button turns on the ignition so you can drive off on your next adventure.
The all new 2012 Volkswagen Touareg has made dynamics strides not just with regard to its powerplants, but also in its looks. The team led by Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen design head set out to offer the Touareg a drastically more stylish appearance based on new Volkswagen Design DNA. This applies as much to the new horizontally aligned front end with its unique headlamps as it does to the rear section usual of Volkswagen Touareg and its leaner, athletic body and unambiguous night-time rear light design. This has resulted in a sport utility vehicle, which has a sustainable visual effect, timeless styling which makes a qualitative statement, showing dynamic presence and proportions, yet remaining reserved in its stylish and elegance.
With the introduction of today’s Scirocco, the company launched its new Design DNA and at the same time a new concept for the “face” of models in wide variety of vehicle segments. Key elements here are the high gloss black trim of upper radiator grille with its continuous chrome trim strips, the middle level of bumper painted in car color, lower air and U-shaped inlet framed almost completely in chrome trim as a 3rd level and the headlamps, which are always visually incorporated in these lines. Every class and every model, however, shows its own distinctive visual character – unmistakably.
Underneath the middle section of bumper which is painted in body color are the lower air intakes. In the case of 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid as well as Touareg V8 TDI, the middle intake is designed with another U-shaped frame and chrome fins. Situated in bumper’s lowermost segment are front foglamps and radar sensors of optional ACC (adaptive cruise control system plus Front Assist). With its short overhangs, lower body height, the clear sculpting of its surfaces and a dynamic line of side windows, in contrast to other sport utility vehicle, this vehicle’s side profile doesn’t in the least have a massive appearance.
Like the front end, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg’s rear is marked by horizontal lines. On the top, the tailgate features a spoiler which was styled to aerodynamic criteria that at the same time extends the roof section visually. The large rear window extends into D pillars. It can tackle the most rugged of terrain yet cruise down the highway in luxurious comfort. And a properly equipped Touareg is rated to tow up to 7,700 pounds. With a range of powerful engines, an interior that rivals those of its German brethren and a driving feel, which instills confidence, the Touareg shares some of its underbody structure with more upmarket Porsche Cayenne.
Like other luxury sport utility vehicles, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg offers a variety of choices for prospective shoppers. Beneath the hood, you can choose between a burly yet economical TDI diesel, a Hybrid model which delivers on its promise of V8-like performance with V6 fuel economy or a plenty-capable gasoline V6 engine. On the inside, even base-model VW Touareg has interiors that are on par with those from established luxury makes such as Lexus and BMW. You will find abundance of metallic accents, high quality materials and rich wood along with plethora of entertainment features and up-to-date electronics. Of course, if you must have a vehicle with a luxury badge, you will perhaps want to check out the redesigned Mercedes Benz M-Class and the BMW X5. Both provide diesel engine options, like the Touareg. On hybrid front, the Lexus RX450h is a notable bargain when you consider the $60,000 price tag of Touareg Hybrid.
Variants, Body Types and Options
The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is a midsize sport utility vehicle that offers comfortable seating capacity for five passengers. It is offered in 4 main trims: Lux, Sport, Hybrid and Executive. All but the Hybrid can be had with either turbodiesel (“TDI”) V6 power or gasoline V6 (“VR6″).
Standard on Sport trim include bi-xenon headlights, 18-inch wheels, roof rails, foglights, cruise control, a power liftgate, eight-way power and heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, touchscreen control, iPod integration and satellite radio and leatherette upholstery. Adding the optional navigation system also integrates a rearview camera.
Opting for Lux will get you all the above equipments plus a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, walnut cabin accents, heated sideview mirrors, 12-way power front seats with power lumbar support for driver, leather upholstery, power rear seat releases in trunk and driver memory presets. Stepping up to Executive adds a heated steering wheel, 20-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, a Dynaudio premium sound system and heated rear seats.
The Hybrid comes loaded with all the abovementioned features and equipments, plus rear parking sensors, a power adjustable steering column, passenger power lumbar seat support, metal door sill plates and passenger seat memory presets. Options are few and include carpeted floor mats, the Protection package (that comprises of a rubber cargo area mat, mud guards and rubber floor mats) and a Towing package.
What’s Beneath the Hood of 2012 Volkswagen Touareg?
All trim levels of 2012 Volkswagen Touareg come standard with four-wheel drive system and eight-speed automatic transmission. Motivation for the VR6 variants comes from a gasoline 3.6 liter V6 engine, which is good for pulsating 280 horsepower with 265 pound feet of torque. Powering the TDI versions is a turbodiesel 3.0 liter V6 engine with maximum output of 225 horsepower with prodigious 406 pound feet of torque. The Hybrid model is powered by a direct injection supercharged V6 gasoline 3.0 liter engine mated to electric generator; both combine for generating an impressive 428 pound feet of torque with 380 horsepower, enough for catapulting this Touareg from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds.
The estimated fuel economy for VR6 is 23 mpg highway, 16 mpg city and 19 mpg in combined driving, while for TDI is 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg in combined driving. The Hybrid is tuned more for performance unlike maximum economy, rates only slightly lower than TDI at 20/24/21. Once properly equipped, it provide up to 7,700 pounds of towing capacity that’s more than most rivals.
Safety & Reliability
Standard safety features on 2012 Volkswagen Touareg include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags, full length side curtain airbags and hill hold assist. In brake testing, the Hybrid came to a stop in an admirable 121 feet from 60 miles per hour. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Touareg its top score of “Good” in side impact, roof strength and frontal offset tests.
Special Features and Cockpit Design
There is very little not to like about the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg’s accommodations and creature comforts. For those days when a little customization is in order, the company gave Touareg rear reclining seats, which slide back and forward with an option of heating them, so your passengers can relax and stretch out, or you can put a little extra cargo in back. One touch of available supple Nappa leather seating surfaces and you will never go back. Some things were just meant to be. When you climb behind the wheel, driver and front passenger can fine-tune the available power front 12-way seats exactly the way you like them, and then have the option of letting the Touareg remember the settings for you.
Go ahead; grip the multifunction steering column that comes with incorporated controls for easy access to your Bluetooth connection and the entertainment system. It is your connection to your car, the road and so much more. You would think that regulating temperature would be simple. But at times you are too cold and your passenger’s too warm, which is precisely the company has included dual-zone climate control on all Touareg models, as comfort is personal. On hybrid Touareg, the navigation system comes with an onscreen display of hybrid system information which enables you to monitor your driving range, battery percentage and energy usage. So you can help minimize your trips to the gas station or maximize your power.
In spite of lacking a low range transmission for off-road excursions, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg offers a fair amount of trail prowess with its decent ground clearance, compliant suspension and minimal front/rear overhangs. The 3.6 liter V6 is one of the most powerful engines and comes standard on Touareg with 8-speed automatic transmission. With 265 lbs/ft of torque and 280 hp, fused with double wishbone front, a rear independent steel spring suspension and 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, the V6 turns the gas pedal into a gift that keeps on giving. With all-wheel drive on your side, the Touareg will help you navigate almost any type of terrain with ease. That’s because it knows when to punch up the power and when to ease up on each individual wheel. It is an ultimate kind of teamwork, and you enjoy all the benefits without even having to lift a finger.