Last post on Jan 01, 2012 at 8:42 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Touareg
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Volkswagen Touareg, SUV
#843 of 2219 Touareg/xc90/allroad/X5
Aug 12, 2003 (12:20 am)
Iíve been looking for a wagon/SUV to replace my A6 2.8 for about 6 weeks. Except for a brief (18 month) stint with a lovely but extremely uncomfortable Jag S-type V8, I have driven nothing but VW and Audi products since 1981. I had been following the Touareg since the beginning in the European car magazines, and was certain it would be the perfect vehicle for me, especially in V10 form.
When the Touareg was finally released on June 30, it was quite a shock. The local dealer marked it up and wouldnít let me drive it Ė (he almost wouldnít let me sit in it). I finally drove one and really liked it, especially the engine, the fit & finish, the design and styling. I was turned off by the smallish back seat and the excess weight and unnecessary (for my needs) off-road equipment. I was also turned off by the expensive and heavy options that drove the price up to $49K and the curb weight to 5600 lbs.
I expanded my search to the 2004 Touareg, a 2003 allroad 2.7T, a certified 2001 X5 4.4, V8 and a 2004 Volvo XC90 T6. They are all priced in the $42 - $45K range.
The allroad is terrific, except for a slight turbo lag and tiptronic hesitation off the line. It is beautiful, impeccably built and finished, and fast. But its engine left me cold, it sounds unrefined and strained under load. No comparison to a BMW I6, or any V8. The 2004 4.2 s are available but beyond my target price. In the end I had to eliminate the allroad because it does not meet the 6000 lb. gvwr I need for the section 179 tax break.
The Volvo was compellingly practical and straightforward. I could make a great case for buying it just based on the clean-cut interior and third row seat. I like the looks. It looked perfect on paper. I seriously considered European delivery at the end of December. But after driving the BMW and VW V8s and coming back to the twin turbo I6, I was totally underwhelmed. For the money, it lacks personality and a decent engine/tranny.
The X5 was impressive, its power almost brutish. The ride was choppy and hard, it felt like the wheelbase was too short. The finish materials and interior design are inferior to both the Volvo and the VW. The engine is set so far back in the chassis (I assume to achieve the vaunted 50-50 weight distribution) that it robbed space from my right leg, making it somewhat uncomfortable to drive longer distances. The dash was odd and angled up, and I could never see the radio and clock display (with and without nav) in daylight. The car had more wind and road noise than the other three. But that engine was so sweet and flexible, it almost made all these objections irrelevant. In the end, I eliminated the X5 because I intend to keep the car for at least 6 years. After 3 years, the X5 will be six years old and have run close to 90000 miles. Because of pricing, I never considered a new model.
I drove the Treg again, right after the X5, with the wife and 3 kids. This time, it was a ďbare bonesĒ V8, and I couldnít find anything I didnít like about it. The steering, handling and engine were right up there with the X5, although it felt a smidgen more ponderous and less loose. The ride and road noise were better. The cabin is impeccable, the front seat is very roomy, and the styling is classy and elegant (more than I can say for the X5). I am not hung up on brand names and labels, and Iíve always liked the low-key nature and image of VWs and Audis compared to the BMW or MB. Iíve had three trouble-free Passats and two Jettas and my A6 has been perfect, so Iím not concerned about reliability.
And finally, for $42K, I can have a lovely V8, a gorgeous interior with good-quality leather and wood, heated seats, and even rain-sensing wipers. For thousands less than even a 3.0 X5.
One local dealer has quoted me $2000 over invoice (best I can tell about $1400 below MSRP), and another, $1000 below MSRP. I am checking with several other local dealers before I place an order.
In my view, this car is an incredible value. The same V8 in the Audi is about $10K more, and the BMW V8 is $14K more. You just canít beat it. Especially if I can get an even better discount.
Aug 12, 2003 (3:05 am)
Sambuca, I couldn't agree more. My V8 has only the NAV option - who needs those complicated air shocks/suspension? "Cricket" leather looks like it will wear better than Nappa, too.
The V8, with standard equipment, is one helluva bargain!
#845 of 2219 Diesel
Aug 12, 2003 (3:39 am)
Can anyone comment on this, the article says the Touareg V10 TDI will be available in a few months, I have kept up with the development of the V10 since the very beginning and I for once would like to have one of this powerful modern diesels.
Aug 12, 2003 (5:55 am)
Should probably be available by the end of Q1 2004 for 45 States...Ca./NE excluded for emissions. And, with any luck in all 50 States by Q4 2004 as a 2005...
Aug 12, 2003 (6:26 am)
There are really 3 completely different allroad's available in the US. If you test drive an allroad 2.7T w/tiptronic you are getting, IMHO, the LEAST desirable model. Drive the allroad 2.7T with a 6spd and the car is totally transformed.
If you MUST have a tiptronic, the only one to go with would be the allroad 4.2.
Be aware, however, that "tip lag" is still a feature of this transmission. The turbo lag sometimes mentioned is possible but not all that probable, as the engine reaches full torque below 2000 rpm -- most folks find the differences between the two cars (2.7T versions that is) with the two transmissions is like night and day.
Moreover, the 0 -62MPH time of the 6spd is 6.8 seconds; the V8 can only muster 6.9 seconds and the 2.7T is 7.3 seconds (tip version saps the power).
The allroad with EVERY POSSIBLE option (except solar sunroof and auto transmission) plus the "factory" phone is just south of $50K -- and is usually discounted decently.
The air suspension of the allroad gives it nearly Jeep Grand off road capabilities and it can tow 3,300 pounds if that is important.
The only problem with the allroad right off the truck is that the OEM tires -- kindly said -- ain't worth a damn, they suck! So, truth be told you'll need another $400 - $500 for all new rubber from the get go. My dealer immediately took the factory rubber off and put on Pilot Sport A/S and even plus sized them for me. I decided to keep the stock rubber so when I turn the car in I can put back the new tires and it will be back to "normal."
For what it is worth, the 2.7T allroad w/6spd is among the quickest if not THE quickest almost SUV out there; it is more off road capable than the BMW and less off road capable than the Touareg.
The main point, worth repeating, is to test the allroad in both tip and 6spd form before you form any impression.
Of course I would offer the same advice on the Touareg -- try both engine versions.
#848 of 2219 V8/standard eqpt
Aug 12, 2003 (7:09 am)
C5lover, I think that's the trick. The V8 is so well equipped that none of the options are needed.
I looked at the Teak interior in both Nappa and cricket, and actually prefer the look of the cricket. The premium plus package seems over the top. The air suspension seems great, but it adds weight, complexity and cost - and I for one don't intend to use the Treg off road. I'm more concerned about performance and fuel (in)efficiency and cost. The standard V8 is an X5 beater as is.
Aug 12, 2003 (7:39 am)
Markcincinnati, I drove the allroad after reading some of your many posts on the car. I had previously written it off because on previous drives, I felt the tiptronic didn't bring out the best in the 2.7T- the combination didn't quite feel right, either in the A6 or the allroad.
Unfortunately the 6-speed isn't an option for me since I commute in bumper to bumper traffic and am always on my cell phone. (Also, my wife has to drive my car some three times a year and can't drive a stick).
The V8 allroad was terrific. It is a class act and is superior to the S6 as a package IMO. I would have bought it if not for the tax break (I have to finance and not lease, so anything over the low $40s gets really expensive, and the car has to weigh more than 6000 lb gvwr).
The allroad v8 is lighter, more stylish and less imposing than the Treg V8, but a few thousands more expensive. The 2.7T 6-spd is all the above but faster and cheaper.
In the end, I agree with you that you have to drive all the versions, and decide which one is best for you based on your parameters, like the section 179 tax break.
#850 of 2219 Sambuca - Section 179 break
Aug 12, 2003 (8:58 am)
We're in the same situation. My review of these vehicles (X5, Touareg) is nearly identical to yours. In the end we've just about settled on a XC90 T6 or Executive (waiting to see what the price will be) and we'll add a chip for $1k to make up the difference with the V8 SUVs for power. In our case we decided that occasional third row usage was dictated which ruled out the Touareg (the X5 was long scratched due to ride quality and price for the 4.4 in addition to age since its about to be replaced.) Now I've just got to wait until January when the Mrs' lease expires...
Aug 12, 2003 (11:19 am)
Please send in a Feedback Form about that factory thing. An editor may not see your post in here. They may go by the final assembly plant as noted by Dieselbreath though.
#852 of 2219 Sambuca Discount
Aug 12, 2003 (12:22 pm)
Sambuca, where can you get a discount on a Touareg V8? One dealer quotes full sticker and as I understand another dealer wants $2000 over sticker.