Blessed with an epic powertrain, but still too much money for a Touareg

What is it?

Peculiar as it is that Volkswagen has brought a 335bhp 4.2-litre V8 TDI to sit above the 328bhp petrol-electric hybrid model in the UK line-up, it has done. But the good news is that the diesel makes for a substantially more cohesive and enjoyable drive.

Of course, similar as the power outputs are on the two most indulgent Touareg models, the diesel produces a monstrous 590lb ft to the hybrid’s 325lb ft, and therefore is substantially faster to 62mph at 5.8sec.

What's it like?

In practice, the immediate and potent mid-range response is more rewarding than any sprint ability. Fitted with the company’s excellent eight-speed auto ’box, the powertrain provides exactly the sort of smooth, over-indulgent experience that this car needs if it’s to come close to justifying its £60k price tag.

But while the engine is seriously good the optional air suspension’s ride quality isn’t perfect. Acceptable, certainly, but lumpy over urban roads and with some fairly unsettled body control. It smooths out on motorways, where it serves as a seriously effective tourer, but even with this ability, allied to the responsive handling and the delight of having nearly 600lb ft under your right foot, the Tourag V8 never quite feels like the £60k car it is.

This is partly down to the interior, which has an appealing sense of quality but lacks the sumptuous finish that you get in the more premium brands. But in reality the price is simply beyond what you would expect to pay for a VW Touareg.

Should I buy one?

In isolation it is thoroughly likeable, but the excellent powertrain is not enough to justify the £15k premium it holds over the equivalent 3.0 TDI V6 Touareg. Or, more notably for those after something a little bit more special, the £13k you’ll pay for this over the new Porsche Cayenne Diesel.

Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI Altitude

Price: £59,580; Top speed: 150mph; 0-62mph: 5.8sec; Economy: 31mpg; CO2: 239g/km; Kerb weight: 2297kg; Engine: V8, 4134cc, turbodiesel; Power: 335bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 590lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 8-spd auto

Join the debate

Add a comment…
289 26 September 2011

Re: VW Touareg 4.2 V8 TDI

tannedbaldhead wrote:
Ask that of a modern, plush low profile tyred 4x4 like an X5 or an ML and you realise what a pathetic excuse for an off road vehicle most modern 4x4s actually are. The reason for this is manufacturers pandering to Kings Road types wanting to be king of the road.

T-B-H- you do have a point in that a number of Manufacturers are scaling down off road ability to save cost/weight/emissions.

For example I would never consider an X5/Q5or7 etc because they dont have a transfer box (low ratio) and diff lock

I have had a string of ML's which came with the required gear box as standard and are actually very capable off road with the right tyres.

I was annoyed when they updated the ML and expected you to pay extra for off road pack...luckily I found a 2 year old example with this pack, upgraded the tyres and off we went again.

I have just noticed that this new Touareg doesnt have even the option of a low ratio gearbox, therefore, reluctantly this would be no good for my use. Hill descent clever though it is, is no substitute for crawler gears.

The previous model Touareg was equipped with a proper gearbox and I have driven a friends V10 which has All Terrain was pretty impressive off road with more ability than most drivers would have the nerve to trial.

I thought I would be buying one of these in two years time when it had lost 50% of its value.

This is really annoying.

Smurf Yeah 25 September 2011

Re: VW Touareg 4.2 V8 TDI

The front looks like a kid doing the divvy face where you put your tongue in front of you teeth. It looks like a golf doing a div face... Nice engine though...

tannedbaldhead 25 September 2011

Re: VW Touareg 4.2 V8 TDI

289 wrote:

toptidy wrote:
If you want off-road ability what is wrong with a Defender or Land Cruiser, if your missus needs to park it on the school run get a Fiesta or if you need space what is wrong with a 5 series or E class estate?

...and what happens if like quite a number of people, you need a large comfortable estate type vehicle to travel regularly 500 miles to Scotland, and then need off road ability and ground clearence to indulge your chosen sport?

Drive all the way to Scotland in a Defender?...dont think so!

Great cars though they are 5 series or E class estate off road through boggy mud and over boulders? dont think so!

You just have to accept that people need different vehicles for different purposes. If you are ever in Scotland on the A9 just drop into the House of Bruar (a populer lunching spot for travellers) and have a look around the car park....nearly all loaded up 4x4's with Huntin, Shooting, Fishin gear, Dogs and luggage. Clean on the way up, and covered in gloopy mud on the way back.

It is not realistic to judge all 4x4 owners as Chelsea Tractors just because of a few airhead rich bitches who reside in Kensington and Chelsea.

The problem is that the 4x4s are becoming so much more road orientated that the vast majority are no longer fit for purpose. I'm not a typical 4x4 hater in that with a farm labourer as a Grandfather, a dairy stock manager as an ex Father in Law, a Civil Engineer as a Brother a horse enthusiast as a Live in Partner and a career in construction I've been brought up with 4x4s and when using them as they are meant to be used ie. off road I really like them. I remember when the market was awash with cars that could "do the job" eg Isuzu Troopers, Defenders, Shoguns, rufty tufty old school Land Cruisers, Dihatsu Fourtracks etc etc.

They could deliver a bale of hay to a winter's field full of lambs haul construction plant out of pre-site quagmires pull a horse-box with two big horses out of a muddy field or access the absolute 4rse-end of knowwhere and drop off a team of beaters and their dogs. Ask that of a modern, plush low profile tyred 4x4 like an X5 or an ML and you realise what a pathetic excuse for an off road vehicle most modern 4x4s actually are. The reason for this is manufacturers pandering to Kings Road types wanting to be king of the road.