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2004 Volkswagen Touareg Review
Rugged luxury without compromise.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2004 Volkswagen Touareg starts as a new model co-designed by Volkswagen and Porsche. The same technology used in the Volkswagen Touareg forms the basis for the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. The Touareg serves as a luxury SUV that retains the powerful off-road capabilities that this type of vehicle aimed to handle. The Touareg serves drivers who feel disappointed with the often underpowered luxury SUVs available from many of Volkswagen’s competitors.
The Volkswagen Touareg takes advantage of the best of both worlds of SUVs. From the luxury SUV market, the Touareg gets an attractive body design, a smooth drive on the pavement, and luxurious interior features. From the off-road SUV market, the Touareg gets a rugged build quality, a powerful engine, and off-road driving systems installed as standard features. The Touareg satisfies both types of SUV drivers, in addition to people looking for a compromise between the two.
Perhaps the only real downside to the Volkswagen Touareg concerns the rather small niche of drivers it aims to please. Most luxury SUV drivers never drive offroad, which limits the value of the more powerful, rugged Touareg. The more powerful engine gives the Touareg better acceleration, but provides a relatively minor benefit in the eyes of many drivers. However, the Volkswagen Touareg does not really compromise, trying to appeal to both markets. It has the same power and luxury as its competitors in both markets.
Engines: 3.2-liter six-cylinder, 4.2-liter eight-cylinder, 4.9-liter ten-cylinder diesel
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Touareg, Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI
The 2004 Volkswagen Touareg marks the first release of a new line of vehicles.
The Volkswagen Touareg has an elegant, carlike body design that makes it more attractive than many of its competitors. The powerful, rugged design of the Touareg does not compromise the overall aesthetics. As a result, the 2004 Volkswagen Touareg has the best of both worlds. From a luxury SUV perspective, it makes for an attractive vehicle that does not look out of place driving around cities or the suburbs. For an off-road SUV, the Touareg looks solidly built to take whatever gets thrown at it. The Volkswagen Touareg avoids making compromises in this regard.
The interior of the Volkswagen Touareg looks luxurious and well-equipped. The Touareg only seats five, making it smaller than similar SUVs, but it gives more room to each passenger as a result. The rear seats can be folded down to increase the available cargo room. Luxury features such as dual-zone climate control, power seats, and a CD player with 10 speakers comprise standard features. In some respects, the Touareg seems to have been influenced by the Volkswagen Phaeton, especially in regards to luxury comfort.
Performance & Handling
Performance marks one of the major selling points of the 2004 Volkswagen Touareg. Even the slightly underperforming six-cylinder engine still gives it better acceleration than many of its competitors. The eight-cylinder engine and ten-cylinder diesel engine give the Touareg enough power to rival SUVs designed exclusively for off-road usage.
Performance on paved roads seems somewhat limited. Overall, the Touareg handles better than most off-road SUVs, but doesn’t offer anything particularly amazing in that regard. It does not perform quite as well as the car-based crossover models, but offers a fairly easy drive in spite of that. Off-road driving shows where the Touareg stands out. It has the power and grace to navigate off-road trails with ease. For a luxury SUV, this off-road performance provides a pleasant surprise.
Standard safety features on the 2004 Volkswagen Touareg include dual front airbags, side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control. Compared to most luxury SUVs, this assortment of features seems slightly above average. Compared to most performance-oriented, off-road SUVs, the Volkswagen Touareg has an excellent array of standard safety features, many of which do not even come as options in competing models.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen Touareg eight-cylinder: 12/17 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Touareg ten-cylinder diesel: 15/22 mpg city/highway
- Luxurious interior
- Amazing off-road performance
- Well-priced for what it offers
- Rugged build
- Excellent safety features
You Won't Like
- Weak fuel economy
- Limited appeal
- Smaller interior than some competitors
- Slightly overpriced for drivers who don’t need a luxury SUV and off-road capability
Rugged luxury without compromise.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi Q7
- Porsche Cayenne