2016 Volkswagen Touareg Review

  • Performance
    4.1 of 5.0
  • Cost of Ownership
    3.9 of 5.0
  • Interior
    4.0 of 5.0
  • Reliability
    3.0 of 5.0
26 Jan 2016

The crossover Volkswagen Touareg will be relaunched in 2016. Some minor and major changes have been made, and the hybrid version will be phased out. Nonetheless, expect some cosmetic changes to bring the small SUV in line with current trends. In addition, the interior has been slightly modified in terms of software options and user-friendliness.  Best of all, the price will be reduced.

Exterior design

The front and rear fascias have been slightly updated. The air vents on the lower part of the fascia used to look like the car was smiling in a friendly way, but they don’t anymore. The smile has been “turned upside down” and the higher air vent has doubled in size. What’s also bigger are the headlights, fitting nicely into the line of the larger front air vent. Every 2016 Volkswagen Touareg will be produced with bi-xenon lamps for headlights.

The sides of the car have not been altered, but the back has. The taillamps and foglights have been shaped differently, and the foglights will have bi-xenon lamps as well. The bumper and diffuser are redesigned to be more prominent, where the latter also has reshaped exhausts, fitting snugly into the whole.

Finally, the wheel designs are renewed and available in 18 and 20 inch sizes. Completely new for the 2016 Touareg is the option for 21 inch sized wheels.

Interior design

The next noteable changes are the ones made in the interior of the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg. Overall, the 2016 Touareg looks internally the same as its predecessor. Only minor changes have been made to improve user-friendliness. A new rotating button can now control things like running gear, Climatronic, navigation, mirror adjustments and air suspension.

The centre control has been expanded with a display bar and push button. More chrome has been added to some details around the centre console. Sapelli Mahagoni and Engineered Ebony are new wood trim options for 2016.  The choice of Vienna leather has been expanded with a fourth colour, Bonanza Brown. Nappa leather is also available in a new light sand color called St. Tropez.

The seats in the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg are also new in the Lux and Executive (Exclusive) models.  These are air-ventilated and electrically adjustable to 14 different positions. The Executive (Exclusive) model also offers a power adjustable steering column, so all drivers can enjoy a neck-, arm- and backpainfree ride in the Touareg.

Engine specs

As mentioned before, the 3-0 liter supercharged V6 engined hybrid Touareg will be discontinued in all markets for 2016. The reasons for this decision have not been made clear by Volkswagen, although the main reason can be guessed. The 2011 hybrid Touareg was nearly $15,000 more expensive than the base diesel engined version and $22,000 more expensive than the base gas V6 engined version.  However, the emission of the hybrid Touareg’s highway figure was only 4 mpg lower than the gas Touareg, and even higher than the diesel’s. The story goes that Volkswagen only released the hybrid Touareg for marketing purposes, to prove they are taking sustainability seriously.

Maybe VW will reissue the hybrid model at a later stage. For now, we hope VW is trying to improve the hybrid’s emission numbers and just wants to take some time to perfect it.

Back to what 2016 does offer for the 2016 Volkswagen Touareg. First off, there’s the 3.6-liter gasoline V6 engine, which is able to make 280 horsepower. The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine produces up to 240 horsepower.  All 2016 Touaregs come with a standard 8-gear automatic transmission.

Tech specs

Technology on the Executive (Exclusive) Touareg features Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

The Sport and Tech models now also feature the extra Park Distance Control (Park Pilot).


Prices range from $42,700 to $58,000.