2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2

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2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Review

Lux offroad crossover gets new turbodiesel.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 loses its unique V-10 diesel engine in exchange for a more fuel-efficient V-6 turbodiesel. Other than the engine swap, the midsize five-passenger crossover SUV still offers the same combination of prestige and offroad prowess. The Touareg 2’s luxuriously appointed cabin and smooth air suspension keep passengers comfortable on the road, while its standard all-wheel-drive system and standard locking center differential make navigating rough terrain a breeze.

The 2009 Touareg 2 comes in three engine-based trims: the VR6, V6 TDI, and V8. As one might expect, the VR6 comes equipped with a V-6 engine, the V6 TDI with a turbodiesel V-6, and the V8 with a V-8. All versions use a standard six-speed automatic transmission. While the car-based Touareg 2 shares its underpinnings with the upscale Porsche Cayenne, its body and design are all Volkswagen.

The Range

Body Styles: crossover SUV
Engines: 3.6-liter V-6, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6, 4.2-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Touareg 2 VR6, Volkswagen Touareg 2 V6 TDI, Volkswagen Touareg 2 V8

What's New

The most notable news for 2009 involves the replacement of the Touareg 2’s previous V-10 diesel engine with a more fuel-efficient V-6 turbodiesel. New features include a hard-drive-based navigation system, lane-change assistance, and adaptive cruise control. A few standard features have been dropped, including quad-zone climate control and heated rear seats.

Exterior

The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 features a sporty yet upscale appearance, thanks to features such as a chrome grille, a rear spoiler, and a roof rack. Other standard features on the base VR6 model include 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, speed-sensitive rain-sensing windshield wipers, an intermittent rear window wiper, a rear defogger, a power glass sunroof with remote operation, and a rear power liftgate door with a flip-up window. The V6 TDI replaces the VR6’s 3.6-liter, gasoline V-6 with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. The V8 trim gains a 4.2-liter V-8 engine, 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, and a height-adjustable air suspension.

A Lux Plus Package (available on all models) adds a keyless ignition and keyless entry, while a Technology Package provides a rear-view camera. All trims can be outfitted with an optional locking rear differential.

Interior

Like its Porsche Cayenne cousin, the 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 boasts an upscale cabin with high-quality materials. VR6 and V6 TDI models come with leatherette upholstery, alloy and leather trim, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, a split-folding rear seatback, rear ventilation ducts, a reverse-tilt passenger-side mirror, one-touch power windows with remote operation, heated power mirrors, power locks, retained accessory power, a universal remote transmitter, a cargo net, front and rear parking sensors, 12-volt power outlets, a cooled storage compartment, dual-zone climate control, a trip computer, a compass, an external temperature display, satellite radio, and a 10-speaker audio system with a single-disc CD player.

The V8 adds leather seats, real wood trim, and a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings. Many of the interior (and exterior) features on the V8 can also be added to the lower two trims. The Lux Plus Package adds a premium 10-speaker sound system to all models, while the Technology Package provides a touchscreen navigation system and an upgraded 11-speaker audio system.

One of the biggest shortcomings of the Volkswagen Touareg 2 concerns its lack of a third-row seat. Like the Cayenne, Volkswagen’s crossover SUV only seats a maximum of five people. Cargo volume totals 31 cubic feet with seats in place and just 71 cubic feet with the rear seatback folded, which falls below-average for the crossover class.

Performance & Handling

The Touareg 2 VR6 draws power from a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque; the Touareg 2 V6 TDI comes equipped with a three-liter turbodiesel V-6 making 221 horses and 407 lb-ft of torque; the Touareg 2 V8 employs a 4.2-liter V-8 good for 350 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque. All engines pair with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

With EPA ratings of 17/25 mpg city/highway, the turbodiesel serves as, by far, the most fuel-efficient option of the bunch. It also offers the swiftest acceleration. When appropriately equipped, all Touareg 2 models tow an impressive 7700 pounds. Sophisticated underpinnings and firm handling make for a balanced ride on smooth and rugged terrains.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 includes front-seat side airbags, front and rear head airbags, anti-lock brakes, emergency braking assist, hill-descent assist, brake drying, front and rear height-adjustable headrests, stability control, traction control, and a post-collision safety system. A Safety Package adds adaptive cruise control and lane-change assist, which warns of obstacles beside or behind the vehicle.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Touareg 2 VR6: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Touareg 2 V6 TDI: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Touareg 2 V8: 12/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Upscale cabin
  • Real offroad abilities
  • Comfortable ride
  • Long list of features

You Won't Like

  • High price tag
  • No third row
  • Limited cargo space
  • Subpar gas mileage

Sum Up

Lux offroad crossover gets new turbodiesel.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Acura MDX
  • Land Rover LR3
  • Infiniti FX35
  • BMW X5

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