Volkswagen Touareg (2010 – 2018) Review

Volkswagen Touareg (2010 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If a high driving position, comfortable ride and space for five adults are your priorities, the Volkswagen Touareg should be on your shortlist.

+As comfortable and imperious as a Range Rover, spacious cabin and boot, classy and understated image.

-Not available with seven seats, isn't cheap to run, hybrid and V8 versions best avoided.

Insurance Groups are between 35–46
On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure

If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Volkswagen Touareg review

Launched in 2010, the Volkswagen Touareg is a large SUV that’s able to rub shoulders with the likes of the Range Rover, BMW X5 and Audi Q7. When viewed in the context of its luxury rivals, the relatively high prices start to make more sense, especially if you opt for the improved facelifted version, introduced in 2014. Most versions are powered by a punchy and efficient 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine, while all models get four-wheel-drive as standard. 

The second-generation Volkswagen Touareg is a luxury SUV for those who don’t require a ‘luxury’ badge. Launched in 2010, it picked up where its predecessor left off, building on its strengths and eliminating some of its flaws. It shares a platform with the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, so there’s no doubting its pedigree. It’s also large enough and sufficiently luxurious to rival a Range Rover.

Opt for a facelifted version, launched in 2014, and the Volkswagen Touareg still looks contemporary today. Understated, almost elegant and certainly less aggressive than some of its rivals with more premium badges. The cabin is rich in quality and loaded with neat details, feeling a step up from other Volkswagen models.

Unlike some SUVs of this size, the Touareg doesn’t offer the option of seven seats. But while this limits its appeal in terms of family buyers, the result is an SUV that offers seating for five adults, with ample space in the boot for their luggage. Regardless of where you’re sitting, you’ll find plenty of room for your heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Other children’s songs are available.

In the front, the driver and passenger will enjoy a commanding view of the road ahead, a dashboard that’s finished in premium materials, and supremely comfortable seats. The 580-litre boot is vast, while folding the rear seats – which can be operated via a control panel in the boot – gives the Touareg enough space to rival a large estate car.

On the road, the Touareg prioritises comfort over agility. All models come with 4Motion four-wheel drive, which provides reassurance in all weathers. Air suspension is an option, taking the already excellent ride quality to another level. The way it deals with corners and potholes is impressive, with the overall effect falling between a Cayenne and a Q7. The best of both worlds, if you like.

Most buyers opted for the 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine, which offers a terrific blend of acceleration, torque and economy. There are three versions: 204PS, 245PS and 262PS, all paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Regardless of the output, the 3.0 V6 TDI is the engine of choice in the Touareg.

The 4.2-litre V8 TDI is amusing but rare, while the 3.0-litre V6 TSI Hybrid, while quick, doesn’t offer the fuel economy you’d expect and demand from a hybrid powertrain. Both are best avoided when buying a used Touareg.

You could argue that the Volkswagen Touareg is stuck between a rock and a hard place in the large SUV segment. It lacks the premium badge desired by many buyers, but isn’t cheap enough to rival the more mainstream players in the sector. Your neighbours might think you’ve bought a fat Volkswagen Tiguan.

Maybe that’s its biggest strength. For buyers who aren’t fussed about having the ‘right’ badge, but would like a touch more luxury than the mainstream models can offer, the Touareg is an obvious choice. It’s a Range Rover for people who don’t want a Range Rover (or to venture too far off-road).

Ask Honest John

Is all AdBlue the same?

"I have a 2016 VW Touareg Escape with an Ad Blue tank. When I bought the car I had no experience of this AdBlue stuff. There is no way to check the tank other than push a dry stick in. It appeared to be rather low so I added some. The car was serviced in February locally, since then I've done about 5 or 6 thousand miles. Yesterday I had a notice spring up to say the ad blue is low. I have now put about 12 pints in. I have two questions re this, 1. Approximately how far can \ expect the car to go after this message? and 2., there are so many places selling Ad Blue at fantastically different prices are they all of a similar standard? Thanks for your help,"
The amount of AdBlue required by your vehicle will depend on how the car is driven, but also the size of the tank fitted to your vehicle as both 12-litre and 24-litre AdBlue tanks were available when new. The harder the engine is working, the more AdBlue that will be consumed in order to reduce exhaust emissions, so city driving or towing will result in greater consumption, while steady motorway driving will result in lower consumption. You should expect to travel between 5,000 and 10,000 miles depending on driving style and the size of the AdBlue tank. When purchasing AdBlue it is important to use a reputable retailer and ensure it carries the registered trademark symbol, indicating it is the correct formulation for use in passenger vehicles.
Answered by David Ross

Do I need to get my car serviced even thouhg it's only done 1,500 miles in the last year?

"My car was last serviced in February 2022 (Full Service) and since then I have done just 1500 miles. Your opinion: do I really need to have a small service / oil change service every 12 months as VW keep reminding me?"
Although your car has covered very few miles since its last service, if it were our car we would still have it serviced annually for complete peace of mind. In addition, it will help your car to retain its value if it is serviced on time regardless of mileage.
Answered by David Ross

Should I use Shell V-Power for 2016 Volkswagen Touareg?

"I am purchasing a 2016 Volkswagen Touareg R Line. Is there any benefit in using Shell V-Power diesel with this car? Also, at the end of each journey will the turbo engine need to idle before being switching off?"
We'd recommend using the odd tank of V-Power diesel on older models as it contains detergents that help remove carbon buildup in the fuel system. For such a new car it's unlikely to make a huge difference - but you may see slightly increased performance and fuel economy by using it. It can be a good idea to let the engine idle for 10-20 seconds before switching off as it'll help cool and lubricate the turbocharger for longevity.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Is buying an older hybrid a bad choice?

"Partly because I love the model and partly because I think they (presently) fly under the ULEZ radar, I was contemplating buying a petrol or hybrid Volkswagen Touareg Mk2. The one I have seen and fancy has about 50,000 on the clock, air suspension, adaptive cruise control; the lot really. It's a 2011 model for £16,000. Would this be a crazy buy in your view or a decent deal? The car has relatively old technology now and the battery may be a bit rubbish. Is that something I could swap over to a newer one? I have had 3.0-litre diesel versions of this model and they are superb. I do not like the new version but felt this could be a decent cost-effective compromise. Many thanks."
The Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid sold in small numbers when it was new. It was expensive and - at the time - there were fewer incentives to buy a hybrid over a diesel. Today, they make more sense but, as used examples are rare, they tend to attract strong money. I'd say that £16k is at the upper end of what this car is worth, but the low mileage and high specification probably contributes to that. I'd be a little bit worried about the long-term reliability of such a complex SUV. As an alternative, have you considered a Lexus RX 450h? There are more on the market, Lexus has more experience with hybrid technology, and owners are generally extremely satisfied.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen Touareg (2010 – 2018) cost?