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2008 Volkswagen Touareg2   V6 Bookmark

The Good :)  Standard power liftgate, parking sensors, better ABS system, new ESP system.  No gray color scheme anymore.  New headlights and roof rack. 

The Bad :(  No leather standard.  No wood trim standard.  No chrome instrument gauges standard.  No powered front passenger seat.  No servotronic steering on V6.  Low gas mileage – needs hydrogen gas injection.  

Engine 6Cyl 3.6 Liter

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Output 280 hp / 265 lb-ft
Top Speed 122 mph
0-60 mph 8.5 sec (est.)
Weight 5,086 lbs
Price As Tested $40,000

     For 2008 VW launches a restyled Touareg 2.  While we would have thought that the V6 Touareg in its restyled version would mean that the vehicle would get better, we were disappointed to see how the car’s interior has gotten worse.  What is a engineering masterpiece under the body has in fact gotten better, but the value that was the Touareg has diminished.  This may be in part due to the falling dollar which is causing car makers to offer better interior’s as a option package. 

    VW’s history in America goes back to 1955 where it was officially launched in the states.  Today with headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the largest European car maker, offers a host of its vehicles in the states and soon will offer its many diesel models as well. 

    The Touareg 2 builds on the legacy of the original Touareg, as a stand-out off-road vehicle that delivers the comfort of a luxury sedan and the dynamic driving experience of a sports car.  After its introduction in 2003, the Touareg quickly garnered accolades ranging from "4x4 of the Year" to "Best SUV."  For 2008 the Touareg 2 offers more power, and safety, in the V6 engine range.

    On the exterior a redesigned front bumper with new headlights offers a sleeker more contemporary look.  The chrome grille is smoother and flows better into the Touareg’s front hood.  Small changes to the rearview mirrors and a new roof rack which looks quite nice moves your eyes rearward.  A sleek rear spoiler and darkened tail lamps provide a modern appearance.  LED brake lights are not offered on the Touareg and this is a mistake in this price range.  New wheels in 17 inch width are standard on the V6 model.  

    Many of the great things about a Touareg are now optional.  Perhaps Porsche buying a large stake in the company is having a effect.  Porsche is known for its plain cars which must be optioned up for anything truly beautiful.  Here VW has ripped out the beautiful wood and aluminum trim.  The chrome accented instrument cluster which looked like a Rolex watch is gone.  Leather seats are optional as well.  The front passenger seat is manual in all directions which just does not fit with the overall feel that the Touareg had in the past.  Even the tail pipes are normal looking now.  What was special and glamorous about the Touareg is now gone.  In this super competitive market we do not think VW can afford to ruin the Touareg. 

    Once you add all that has been removed by way of a luxury package the price starts to climb fast.  A luxury plus package adds a keyless access and four zones for heating and cooling and a premium audio system.  Lots of new technologies are available as options such as Bi-Xenon lights which turn with the steering wheel.  Keyless start and stop with the touch of a button.  A new multicolor instrument cluster display is available as an option.  We think this looks much better than the standard one in our test car and you should get this option if you are buying this vehicle.  A input jack for a iPod is still optional and inside the Technology package.  Bluetooth is not available and that is a big no-no in 2008.  What has VW put into the car that is not optional?  A standard powered rear lift gate was a good item to add but it did not work perfectly for us.  It was not quick enough and not handy enough as you approached the car.  This could be made better.  On the stereo system Sirius satellite radio is now standard.  A moonroof is also standard. Parking distance sensors are now standard on the Touareg making life easier in urban areas. 

    The climate control system is great as in all VW’s.  The automatic system allows for 2 individual settings of temperature and it does its job amazingly well.  In rainy and cold mornings it was easy to see how this system could defog everything so quickly.  On the climate control system a rest button allows you to use engine heat on cold days to keep you warm without starting your car, for up to 45 minutes.  This is a great feature found on many German vehicles.  When going into a store for a short trip, push this button and your car will be warm when you get back in.  The windshield wipers offer a rain sensor to provide better operation.  Outside rear view mirrors are also heated which helps a lot in rainy days.    The new 3.6 Liter VR6 FSI engine is rated at 280 horsepower and 265 lbs.-ft. of torque.  All the torque comes on starting at 2,500 rpm which is a great benefit of German makes in general which remember to offer power at a very low rpm and carry that onward to higher rpm’s.  The engine is strong and powerful with a great exhaust note as well.  Gear shifts are very fluid for a almost unnoticeable change when in regular ‘D’ mode.  You can also shift manually by moving the shift lever to the right and there is a optional ‘S’ sport mode for keeping your engine at higher rpm’s when you want additional fun. 

    Thank god that the penny pinchers have not destroyed the Touareg’s amazing road manners.  The Touareg still drives and feels like a solid piece of machinery.  While more input to the steering wheel would be great, you will have to move up to a Porsche Cayenne or BMW M5 for that.  For everyday driving the Touareg delivers a quiet and firm ride that is a driving pleasure from most US makes.  Everything is smooth.  Parts feel heavy and solid making each day you live with the Touareg enjoyable.  Parts hopefully will wear well over time as they have always done.  The new suspension is softer than the previous models’ however we still thought that in curves and with rapid braking and acceleration the vehicle did not tilt or lean very much.  On bumpy roads the Touareg also feels great and the driver always feels in control. 

    VW’s 4xMotion four wheel drive system is always engaged.  Power is sent to the wheel that slips automatically and in normal driving all four wheels get power equally.  A center differential lock allows you to make sure there is equal power distribution between the front and rear axle.  Should you get stuck and only one wheel in the rear is offering traction, you can send power to that one wheel by using the rear differential lock. 

    The Touareg is also great at water fording with a maximum depth of 22.8 inches with the optional air suspension.  This is why we highly recommend you get a Touareg with the air suspension option even if it will bring your MSRP close to $50,000.  

    What else can this SUV do?  It can drive sideways on a 35 degree incline.  On downward hills more than 20 degrees the vehicle can automatically take over without any pedal input from you.  It will maintain a constant 4 mph. 

    The Servotronic steering system is only available on the V8 and V10 model.  We are not sure why VW choose to leave this out of the V6 even as a option.  This system gives you more precise steering control at low and high speeds. 

    VW offers the Touareg in a V6, a V8 and a V10 diesel engine.  While all 3 get low gas mileage, we wonder why a diesel fuel saving technology would be put in a almost double the size engine.  Why not make a v6 diesel and let people drive with 30 miles per gallon?  It seems as if there is a plan to lower the fuel economy of our cars.  What we all want when gas prices are so high, is a car that can go without gas at all.  The hydrogen powered internal combustion engine is the key and it would emit only water vapor.  We should all look up cars that run on water on sites such as YouTube and see how everyday Americans are making their internal combustion engines, the engines in every car and truck in America, run on hydrogen gas made from a little electricity and water.  There would be no fuel problems, no refilling problems, and best of all it would be clean and free to everyone.  It is time to speak out on this technology and get all our cars converted to run on hydrogen gas.

    More has been added to increase safety in the Touareg and we did like that.  A new tire pressure monitor works faster.  Electronic Brake Force Distribution applies brakes more intelligently to each wheel.  Brake Assist applies full pressure to the brakes in a emergency.  There is also electronic differential locking to keep a individual wheel from spinning.  ESP check where you are going and steering and makes sure everything is fine.  Engine Braking Assist keeps wheels from locking up in sharp stops.  There are a host of airbags as well with front and rear side curtain airbags for maximum protection. 

    All new Volkswagen automobiles come with 24-hour Roadside Assistance for four years/50,000 miles (whichever occurs first) and new vehicle warranties, including:
• Five-year/60,000 mile (whichever occurs first)  Powertrain Limited Warranty
• Four-year/50,000 mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty with wear and tear items and adjustments excluded after the initial 12 months/12,000 miles
• 12 year unlimited distance Limited Warranty against corrosion perforation.  You can see more crash videos on www.vw.com

    Our test car starts off at $39,320.  No options were added and so a $680 destination charge only applies.  Bringing our total to a even $40,000.  60% of parts come from Germany.  The final assembly point is Bratislava, Slovakia with the engine coming from Germany and the transmission coming from Japan.  Emissions are cleaner than most other vehicles with a smog index of .49.  The window sticker shows a fuel economy rating of 14 mpg city and 19 mpg on the highway.  We really need to get that number much higher.  View the Touareg 2 at vw.com  which is a great web site by the way for building options and seeing them on the car as you add them.  Also look at our video below and our large photos.


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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$36,202

$39,320

Destination

$625

$625

Lux Package
Includes Walnut wood interior trim on the center console, Cricket leather seating surfaces, 12-way power passenger seat, power adjustable front seat lumbar support and bi-xenon headlights with auto-leveling, headlight washers and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS II). AFS II swivels the headlights in the direction the vehicle is being steered.

$2,561

$2,900

Lux Plus Package
Includes Walnut wood interior trim on the center console, Cricket leather seating surfaces, 12-way power passenger seat, power adjustable front seat lumbar support, bi-xenon headlights with auto-leveling, headlight washers and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS II), keyless vehicle access with keyless engine start/stop, Dynaudio 600-watt audio system, 4-zone Climatronic automatic climate control and heated rear seats. AFS II swivels the headlights in the direction the vehicle is being steered.

$5,563

$6,300

Technologie Package
Includes a DVD-based navigation system, upgraded Delta VI 300-watt audio system with RDS, a single DVD player, an auxiliary audio input jack, 11 speakers and a 6-disc CD changer located in the cargo area, a rearview camera.

$2,959

$3,350

4-Corner Air Suspension w/Continuous Damping Control
Includes 4-Corner Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control. 4-Corner Air Suspension is a 4-wheel pneumatically controlled suspension with 6 different height selections. Continuous Damping Control is a driver adjustable suspension damping (firmness) system. The driver can select from 3 levels of suspension firmness. REQUIRES Lux Package.

$2,429

$2,750

19" Alloy Wheels w/All-Season Tires
Includes 19" x 9" "Terra" design alloy wheels with 275/45VR19 all-season tires.

$1,060

$1,200

Rear Differential Lock

$618

$700

 

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COMPARISONS 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2
VR6 FSI 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Mazda CX-9
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Hyundai Veracruz
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 6A)
2007 GMC Acadia
SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Dodge Durango
Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
MSRP $39,320 $33,875 $34,005 $37,370 $36,530
Invoice $36,202 $31,322 $31,534 $34,941 $33,226
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. Unlimited yr. / Unlimited mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 7 yr. / Unlimited mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 V6 V6 V6 V8
Base Engine Displacement 3.6 liters 3.5 liters 3.8 liters 3.6 liters 4.7 liters
Valvetrain 24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
Horsepower 280 hp @ 6200 rpm 263 hp @ 6250 rpm 260 hp @ 6000 rpm 275 hp @ 6600 rpm 235 hp @ 4600 rpm
Torque 265 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm 249 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 257 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 251 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 300 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm
Descent Control Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Being Researched
Tires 255/60R17 H
all season
P245/50R20 V
all season
P245/60R18
all season
P255/65R18
all season
P265/60R18
all terrain
Sunroof power glass power glass - Optional power glass power glass - Optional power glass - Optional
Front Wipers speed sensitive and rain sensing variable intermittent rain sensing variable intermittent variable intermittent variable intermittent
Rear Door Type power liftgate liftgate power liftgate power liftgate power liftgate
Total Seating Capacity 5 7 7 7 7
Upholstery Type leatherette leather leather leather leather
Passenger Seat Power Adjustable 12 - Optional 4 4 4 4
Passenger Seat Height Adjustable Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Power Steering power steering speed-proportional power steering speed-proportional power steering speed-proportional power steering power steering
Air Filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration Not Available Not Available
Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror electrochromatic electrochromatic - Optional electrochromatic electrochromatic electrochromatic
Xenon Headlights Optional Standard Not Available Optional Not Available
Satellite Radio Sirius Sirius - Optional XM XM Sirius
TV Not Available Optional Optional Optional Optional
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional Not Available DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional
Handling Touareg 2 CX-9 Veracruz Acadia Durango
Turning Circle 38.1 ft. 37.4 ft. 36.7 ft. 40.4 ft. 39.9 ft.
Max. Towing Capacity 7716 lbs. 3500 lbs. 3500 lbs. 4500 lbs. 8650 lbs.
City 14 mpg. 16 mpg. 17 mpg. 17 mpg. 14 mpg.
Highway 19 mpg. 22 mpg. 24 mpg. 24 mpg. 18 mpg.
Length 187.2 in. 199.6 in. 190.6 in. 200.7 in. 200.8 in.
Width 75.9 in. 76.2 in. 76.6 in. 78.2 in. 76 in.
Weight 5086 lbs. 4546 lbs. Being Researched 4936 lbs. 5106 lbs.
Wheel Base 112.4 in. 113.2 in. 110.4 in. 118.9 in. 119.2 in.
Ground Clearance 8.3 in. 8.1 in. 8.1 in. 7.4 in. 8.7 in.
Interior Touareg 2 CX-9 Veracruz Acadia Durango
Front Headroom 38.7 in. 39.6 in. 40.3 in. 40.4 in. 40.8 in.
Rear Headroom 38.3 in. 38.8 in. 39.9 in. 39.3 in. 39.3 in.
Front Shoulder Room 57.7 in. 59.4 in. 60.6 in. 61.9 in. 59.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 57.4 in. 58.7 in. 60.2 in. 61.1 in. 59.6 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 40.9 in. 42.6 in. 41.3 in. 41.4 in.
Rear Leg Room 35.6 in. 39.8 in. 38.4 in. 36.9 in. 37.4 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 31 cu.ft. 17.2 cu.ft. Being Researched 19.7 cu.ft. 20.1 cu.ft.

 

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