By on June 20, 2008

tdi5.jpgThe VW Phaeton was the answer to a question no one asked: who wants to buy a $70k Volkswagen? Marketing mishegos aside, "Piech's folly" is a superb car: relatively quick, preposterously quiet and completely comfortable. Lest we forget, VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech is something of a master engineer. He was directly responsible for Porsche's 917; a race car so dominant they canceled the entire race series. Piech also willed the Bugatti Veyron into existence. The Touareg V10 TDI was born from the same world-crushing crucible as the Phaeton and the Veyron. So, how does the uber-oil burner measure up?

NASA's Saturn V rocket burns fuel at the rate of 20 tons per second. The V10 Touareg isn't far behind. Volkswagen laughably lists the 5,825 lbs. SUV's city mileage at 15 mpg. But there's a real time fuel economy meter informing the pilot that even gentle acceleration results in a wallet-draining 3.6 mpg. Get this: it won't display any lower.

tdi10.jpgThe trade off for such irresponsible fuel consumption: power: endless bucketfuls of forward momentum. The Touareg sports a 5.0-liter, 90-degree diesel V10 with an 18:1 compression ratio fed by twin turbochargers. The diesel-fed mega-mill is capable of an impressive-for-a-diesel 310 horsepower. Pfffft. The oil-burning Touareg stumps-up a mind-numbing 553 ft.-lbs. of torque at 2000 rpm.

In any gear, on any incline, on any surface capable of providing what's laughably called "traction," a gentle toe flick sends the Touareg TDI hurtling forward as if it's strapped to the back of a pulling NFL guard. The big VW may not be as quick as the (slightly) lighter Lotus Elise– the TDI Touareg hits 60 mph in 7.5 seconds– but the feeling is equally thrilling. Breaking Newtonian laws always is. And if you're interested, the SUV tops out at 144 mph.

I can read your mind: here we are again in Muscle Car Land. In other words, "stick a monster engine in a Sub-Zero and it'll go like Hell– and handle like a refrigerator." Before 2006– when VW redesigned their off-roader with some 2500 parts– you would have been right. When Farago drove the pre-'06 Touareg TDI, he called it The Mother of All Nose-Heavy Pigs.

tdi4.jpgI have no clue how the lesser new Touaregs handle, but the big diesel is shockingly competent. True, the steering, brakes, air suspension (and engine) are all over-boosted. There's an artificial numbness to the driving experience that's about as far away from "driver's car" as Lincoln Town Car. That said, I was bombing down curvy roads at 80 to 90 mph in absolute control. Roads that challenge my Subaru WRX at similar speeds.

Much of this surefootedness comes from the mammoth 275/45/R19 tires and the uber-trick AWD (now called 4XMotion) system. But the aforementioned air suspension also deserves maximum credit.

Switching between modes in a car with adjustable suspension is normally an unclothed emperor endeavor. When a professional driver screaming around a test track tells you there's a big difference, you tend to believe them. Not so with the Touareg. Twisting a knob gives you access to six levels of ride height as well as Sport, Auto and Comfort modes.

tdi6.jpgSelect Sport mode and the Touareg hunkers down and amps-up the road feel (to the point where there is some). Comfort raises the car up a few inches. The ride quality goes from pavement-pounding to hydro-cushioned Citroen. Pushing the three-ton hulk over some of North Eastern Los Angeles's worst pavement was surreal. Short of a hovercraft, no vehicle should be that smooth on such crap.

Oh, I almost forgot. When it came time to craft the Touareg's interior, VW's accountants were bound, gagged and stuffed in a broom closet. It's fabulous. From the Porsche-quality leather and stitching to elegant dash materials to the stout switchgear, not a single corner had been cut. Even the glovebox is impressive. Not only is it spacious and air conditioned, but there's a separate compartment for the eight-pound owner's manual.

I can't overemphasize this SUV's all-encompassing solidity. The parking brake pedal sports a re-enforcing piston. Should the trailer hitch fail, I have no doubt the luggage tie downs could substitute.

In sum, the redone Touareg isn't much of a looker, sucks pricey diesel like poets chug wine and (our tester) retails for an astounding, irrecoverable $79,650.

tdi2.jpgObviously, the Touareg V10 TDI is a ridiculous anachronism. And yet, aesthetics, badge, environmental responsibility and price aside, it's the finest all around car I've ever driven. Every trip is a special occasion– even if most of them end-up next to a trucker pumping diesel. The pudgy Volksie retains a sense of nobility that comes directly from the hand of Piech. I'm honestly sad that because of gas prices, we'll never see the uncompromising likes of the uber Touareg again. At least until next time.

(Volkswagen furnished the test vehicle, gas and insurance.) 

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79 Comments on “2008 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI Review...”


  • avatar
    USAFMech

    I prefer the previous Piech folly. This would do nicely in its stead, and has the “Q” factor, but as an SUV it has lost some luster.

    But is it better than a convertible?

  • avatar
    Dan8000rpm

    You liked that? Imagine what the R50 goes like! Even more power and Torque. Like the original Quattro, the 917, the Veyron and this it’s obvious Piech never met a Newton meter he didn’t like. (sorry ft-lbs)

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    This is so much sexier than any froggy non-Turbo Cayenne. I’m drooling just looking at it. This is the car I’d get if I won the lottery. This is absolute power, uncompromised luxury. I want it!!

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    these are neat trucks but it’s funny that they get worse fuel mileage than a much heavier, more powerful and more capable Cummins-powered Dodge Ram. Then again, the Cummins ISB is the be-all and end-all of awesome engines.

  • avatar
    onthercks07

    Mr Lieberman, I’ve always loved your reviews b/c they have always flied in the face of reason. S6′s, AMG’s, and now this Tourag prove that you are a die-hard petrolhead willing to throw caution (and $$$, at least theoretically) to the wind no matter the circumstances (i.e. oil price). However, I believe that your subject matter is now on an egg-timer, in ten years time you may no longer be just a voice in the wilderness, but as extinct as your subject matter will be. You will be missed!

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    You know, if the mileage wasn’t an issue (a free unlimited supply of diesel fuel (what?), you know) I would totally drive this beast all over the deserts and stuff. That would be sooooooo much fun…

    But yeah.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    So, what does the looks and fuel-efficiency of an Escalade for the price of two with highly dubious reliability thrown in for good measure amount to? 5 stars apparently.

    I can’t even imagine the comments if GM produced something like that.

  • avatar
    tom

    I can’t even imagine the comments if GM produced something like that.

    We’ll never know, because they just can’t.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    What kind of Escalade can you get fully loaded for $40k?

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    Dubious reliability? In 2006 3,2 per 1000 Touaregs in Germany broke down on the road, the figure for the RAV4 is 3,1. Before 2006, the Touareg was more reliable than the RAV4 and the RAV4 was about as bad as the Mercedes ML. You can’t really compare this to an Escalade.

  • avatar
    JJ

    I do like the face-lifted Touareg, especially since they really did correct some of the flaws of the first one, like the interior quality.

    However, this engine is rediculous and only fun in theory…

    First of all, there is the Touareg V6 TDI (I don’t know if it’s offered in the US though). A more modern engine that offers about 70% of the performance of this V10, which is more than enough in the Touareg, but at the same time gets very decent mileage to the point that it’s feasible to drive one regularly and on top of that is infinitely cheaper to buy, even if on that one the air suspension is an option. In my opinion the V10 is not smooth sounding at all by the way, which figures because it’s an old school VAG diesel.

    Secondly, as a halo car (engine)…Audi has a 4.2 TDI V8 that gets better figures (326HP) than this one, sounds way better and gets better mileage, so you’re getting old technology with you’re V10. Not their is the matter of the Q7 V12 TDI.

    I like this though from the VW US site:

    Trailer Hitch$ 500
    Tow extra camping equipment, kayaks, bikes, a jumbo jet. Whatever.

  • avatar

    And in Europe these are not the only high performance diesel machines (as you might know).

    And if you liked it so much, you should definitely try a BMW X3 3.0sd (or any BMW sd for that matter) which is the perfect all around vehicle in my opinion.

    It corners almost like my Z4 but it smoothens the worst Hungarian roads like a flying carpet (thanks mainly to the non run-flats tires).

    And the engine is perfect. It is the diesel equivalent of the twin-turbo three liter BMW petrol ones, it has 286 horses, a torque of 580 and accelerates the vehicle to 100 km/h in just 6.4 secs with a top-speed of (an electronically limited) 240 km/h.

    And when pushed hard it has an mpg of 17 in the city (13.8 liters / 100 km) and about 19 on the freeway.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    A diesel with poor fuel economy? Perish the thought!

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Y’know, back in the day when the first Touareg V10 TDI was introduced, 550lb-ft of torque was really something. I mean, who needs a Phaeton when you’ve got a rig with this much power and prestige carrying the VW logo? But then, as Farago put it, nose heavy and dynamically challenged. The improvements made to the new model are extensive and Piech should give himself a pat on the back for bringing this oil burner to the States.

    Now you’ve got Audi installing V6 and (hopefully) V12 TDIs in their Q7 and Porsche considering diesels in the Cayenne. Where does the Touareg fit in all this if it’s going to cost as much as either of the other two?This sounds like a European case of “Lambda identity crisis”.

    As nice as the V10 TDI is (and who doesn’t like stump-pulling power like that?) I’ll go with Audi’s Q7 V8 TDI.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Ah, the “Last Great Act of Defiance”…
    Well done, VW.
    I’ll be looking around the ‘ritzy’ section of the ‘burbs for one of these, and hopefully find one in its element, pulling out oak stumps, or hauling a 40ft yacht down to the river.

    Or, more likely, traveling between the Tai Qwan Do and the Target.

  • avatar
    JJ

    (hopefully) V12 TDIs in their Q7

    They already do for some time, you can buy one in Europe.

  • avatar
    Gforce

    Not sure I would wonder into a VW dealership to spend anything close to $70k.

  • avatar
    SWA737

    This will be a great 3 year old off lease used car purchase.

  • avatar
    bolhuijo

    3.6 indicated mpg on acceleration? I wonder why it bottoms out there? Suppose Gunther the on-board fuel computer system programmer (working in metric of course) decided to store the fuel consumption values in milliliters per 100km, and he used a 16-bit integer value. What’s the largest number the thing can handle: 2^16 or 65,535 ml/100km. Translate to US units: 3.6 mpg. Hey, at least it doesn’t crash with an overflow.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I think the vast majority of people looking to spend $80K for an SUV are looking for more of a prestige brand. This just won’t fly with a VW logo out front, regardless of how nice it is.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    I don’t care who ever build it. I never like TDI it sounds like a bank that was involved on a sub-prime rate contract.

    It is still a gas guzzler and wallet crusher. you need another 6,000 a year for gas budget if you buy this car. 5 star is about quality,economically and reliability.

    The Interior is nice lots of push buttons to mingle around while doing 65 mph or faster and those buttons are worth $70,000 or VW is catching up with payments for the person who design the car.

    If this famous designer thought about building a super hybrid car or Electric car I will have more respect for him but this one is just a show of German perverted engineering. Another product that will never reach the Mass market or what we call typical consumer except for the very rich.

    too bad VW is great but not this product.

  • avatar
    waterfrolic

    Mr. J — Always enjoy reading your writing, and this review is no exception. If I understand correctly, we should soon be able to get the T-rex with a V-6 diesel for about 1/2 as much money, and with mileage in the upper teens city and mid-20s hwy. To be sure, the smaller diesel might not be able to pull stumps off the ground, but hopefully, it will be just as smooth. IMHO, the T-rex with the V-6 TDI may become a much more persuasive offering for those of us without a trust fund.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    bolhuijo: that was amazing.

  • avatar
    Accurate_to_the_Vector

    In the end, it’s really just fuel sucking SUV that most people would never be able to afford to buy, or even to feed, and the people that can, would perfer something that looks nicer, that’s heavier, that’s fancier, more reliable, a hybrid, or from a luxury brand. In the end, anyone who could ever afford a vehicle like this, isn’t too damn likely to even look at it.

  • avatar
    Accurate_to_the_Vector

    SWA737 :
    June 20th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    “This will be a great 3 year old off lease used car purchase.”

    Yeah right, let’s what the price of gas is in 3 years.

  • avatar

    geggamoya,

    In general, few fairly new vehicles actually break down these days.

    But I also suspect that the figures you cite (ADAC?) are, well, suspect. I believe they’re based on roadside assistance provided by a AAA-like auto club in Germany. If the manufacturer provides its own roadside assistance as part of the warranty, are such figures distorted?

    TrueDelta’s August results might include the 2004 Touareg, and November might include the 2005. They don’t seem to have sold many since then.

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar

    I last drove a Touareg back in 2004. Actually, two of them, a V6 with the air suspension and a V8 without it. Or maybe the other way around. Anyway, the conventional suspension didn’t ride as well or provide as insulated an experience, but provided better road feel.

  • avatar
    brettc

    The local VW dealer here had a 2006 T-reg TDI for $59000 recently. Still a little too pricey for me. Having one of those would be great, but I don’t think I could afford to keep it hydrated with diesel unless I sold my house and lived in it.

  • avatar
    BuckD

    I like this vehicle, but I can’t get past the pathetic mileage. At the VW UK site they offer a 2.5 liter and V6 diesel. A shame those options aren’t available to us Yanks.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Damn Jonny, first a Miata and now this? You’re going to have to change your middle name to ‘Cybil’ if this keeps up.

    All kidding aside, this and the Cayenne S Turbo are absolutely phenomenal machines. But I’m not altogether sure if a V10 TDI version of this vehicle really hits it’s target market very well.

    For starters, this version is rated to tow about 7700 pounds. That’s actually excellent for an SUV, but this vehicle will also have to do battle with trucks and larger SUV’s that will likely be sold for half the price, offer a very comfortable ride and interior, and do a much better job with towing in the higher weight ranges. As a personal example, a lot of the dealers in my work would really like to have a vehicle that could haul a nice sized boat, or at least two cars on a steel trailer (10,000 lbs minimum). If VW could offer an option that would increase the towing rate to the 10,000 pound range, it would add an awful lot of value into the equation for those that truly want a vehicle that could do it all, and do it better.

    Minor quibbles I have with the Touraeg is that the center console is busy with too many buttons and dials (steering wheel is as well), folding the rear seats is a major pain, and the space in the rear isn’t particularly large. I still would LOVE to have this vehicle as a road trip car, and I even enjoy the Q-Ship factor of having something that doesn’t easily get noticed. To me it’s a four star vehicle. But if you were using this as a sports SUV while having small to medium sized hauling needs, I could see this as a 5-star vehicle.

    One other thing… you may want to drive an ML320 CDI and see how that stacks up to the VW. That particular vehicle gets about 20% better fuel economy and has a similar tow rating (7200 lbs.) for about $10,000 less in the real world.

    Has anyone here realized that this is the first time ever that you could compare and contrast a VW diesel with a Mercedes diesel in North America? That’s quite an achievement, but not altogether surprising that the SUV is responsible for it.

  • avatar
    miked

    @bolhuijo – I did the same calculation myself when Jonny mentioned the 3.6 bottom out. I feel better knowing someone else did that too.

  • avatar
    doctorv8


    There’s an artificial numbness to the driving experience that’s about as far away from “driver’s car” as Lincoln Town Car……..And yet, aesthetics, badge, environmental responsibility and price aside, it’s the finest all around car I’ve ever driven.

    Jonny….for someone who prizes handling as much as you do, calling this truck the “finest all around car [you\'ve] ever driven” is perhaps the pinnacle of hyperbole that I’ve read in your articles.

    Hell, if you’re excusing price and environmental responsibility, it’s not even the finest car on this chassis (Cayenne Turbo).

  • avatar
    Ralph SS

    And I’m happy for those that can afford one and the deisel to use this wonderful machine to scamper around town. Really. I am.

    Well, I’m trying.

    (submitting while I mumble something about accountability)

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    No sense in a diesel car like this. What is the real world average mpg number? 9, maybe 10. I’d pay 10K extra and get the Cayenne Turbo.

    Cayenne Turbo
    500hp
    516 lb.-ft. @ 2250-4500 rpm
    0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) 4.9 sec
    Top Track Speed 171 mph (275 km/h)
    Estimated Fuel Consumption (City) (MPG) 12 mpg
    Estimated Fuel Consumption (Highway) (MPG) 19 mpg

    Touareg V10 TDI
    310hp
    553 lb.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm (up to not specified, but very narrow torqueband compared to Cayenne T)
    0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) 7.5 seconds
    Estimated Fuel Consumption (City) (MPG) 14 mpg
    Estimated Fuel Consumption (Highway) (MPG) 19 mpg

    As you can see torquey Touareg only feels fast, Cayenne T really is fast.

  • avatar
    NickR

    If I put my mind to it, I could probably think of a more pointless vehicle. Or not, actually.

    From VWs perspective, I assume they’ve done the math and figured that there are enough rich poseurs and Fountain owning playboys to turn a profit on this. I can’t wait to see one of these lumbering around Toronto with some kept-wife bimbo behind the wheel…on her phone.

    From any other perspective this is a ridiculous vehicle, accomplishing the amazing feat of running on diesel and getting appalling mileage. Sorry, but to buy one of these in today’s environment, you’ve got to have your head lodged firmly up your colon.

    RE: VWs reliability…I know it’s anecdotal, but the friends I have unfortunate enough to buy a VW are treated to a cornocupia of electrical problems.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Great review!

    I kept thinking one thing as I read it, though: Passat W8. Remeber this? $40k for an 8 cylinder Passat with spotty reliability. Great idea, questionable execution.

    The Toureg looks to correct the W8 sins, but priced to swing for the fences…. just like the other Phat VW. And we know how that turned out.

    Still, if GM or Ford were headed by an engineer, you gotta wonder how COOOOOL the Malibu might be.

    We’ll never know.

  • avatar
    brownie

    In 2003, the Touareg won the official Brownie Award for Most Effective Advertisement in Automotive History for it’s billboard over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It said simply, “New York, New York: Named twice, paved once.” And it had a picture of a Touareg. Anyone who has ever driven the BQE will understand why the ad almost got me to trade in my spine-crushing Prelude that very day.

    Anyway, I disagree that this kind of vehicle has no point. It just doesn’t have much of a point outside of New York City (the closest 99% of us will ever get to offroading).

  • avatar
    marc

    Big, heavy, slow, thirsty, incredibly expensive Volkswagen. 5 stars…Woo Hoo. Bring on the rest of the diesels!!!

  • avatar
    marc

    Did I mention dirty, cuz this is not one of the so-called cleaner diesels.

  • avatar
    tsgtsfitz

    5 stars for this. Really? The rating system here is the worse.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    marc:

    That’s very true. The V10 TDI isn’t actually legal to drive in California. In fact, it’s only 43-state compliant.

    Which just added to the joy.

    Breaking the law, breaking the law!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Hello? Is this mic on???

    You can get an ML320 CDI for about $10,000 to $15,000 less with far better fuel economy, similar towing capacity, and a far better record of durability.

    Did I mention the 48-state compliant engine and the track record Mercedes has for making diesels? Hmmm… I still see a head-to-head comparison in the works.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    14/19 MPG!
    WTF is the point of a diesel in this thing?

    Come on Johnny, this is a stupid automobile designed and marketed to stupid people!
    Harsh, maybe but in all actuality the Cayenne with any of its engine options makes more sense than this $70,000 VW. Lets say it again, it is an $70,000 VW that is meant to compete with a comparable priced Prosche and Audi. It’s extremely complicated diesel engine get no better mileage than a more powerful gasoline engine.
    553 ft lbs and it can ONLY pull 7700lbs!

    At least the Cayenne does manage to serve its purpose as the “brand named high performance SUV” (with the on and off-road performance to match its image). What does this diesel guzzling VW do so well and why would you buy it over the equally expensive Prosche V8 if the mileage of that v10 can’t beat it!

    Before you can give a vehicle like this 5 stars you guys really should be able to successfully define what the purpose of the vehicle is!

    So tell us what exactly the Toureg does well other than accelerate reasonably well for an over-weight diesel powered SUV?

    How is the Toureg superior to a ML, GL, G, Range Rover, Land Crusier/ LX570, Forerunner v8/ GX470, Pathfinder, Tahoe, Explorer, etc? I can point out many serious attributes for these types of vehicles were all of the above will out-perform any Toureg model.

    The joke is I have seen Cayennes pulling trailers but have never seen a Toureg even with dirt on it!

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Ahhh…now this makes sense.

    This is the older, dirtier diesel V10.

    Now that that has been clarified, why would a well off person buy this little oddity when there’s a perfectly 50 state legal Audi Q7 diesel just down the road? And might I add, far better looking?

  • avatar
    BEAT

    By the way being a self thought Tuner. the VW is very pain in the behind to fix. I think I need a master’s degree in Auto Tech just to fix German cars.

    They all very expensive to fix. your wallet should be ready all the time.

  • avatar
    quasimondo


    553 ft lbs and it can ONLY pull 7700lbs!

    The Achilles’ heel of unibodied SUV’s.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Hello? Is this mic on???

    You can get an ML320 CDI for about $10,000 to $15,000 less with far better fuel economy, similar towing capacity, and a far better record of durability.

    Although probably a better option as this Touareg V10 TDI, the Merc is not a great car, nor has it a great record for reliability. In fact if you count the previous generation it has a really poor record for reliability. The Mercedes diesel is nice but not better than VAG’s own V6TDI neither BMW’s 3.0d, not to mention the BMW 3.0 biturbo diesel. However I don’t know if they will all be available in the US shortly as the ML320CDI apparently will.

    Apart from that, I’d have a Touareg/X5/Cayenne/Q7 or Infinity FX (if it will be available in Europe) over an ML any day.

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    Michael Karesh,

    Yeah those were ADAC figures. I didn’t think of them much further to be honest, but im not so sure about how skewed they really are, it depends. I work for a company which handles a majority of all roadside service in Finland. As far as i know all manufacturer provided roadside assistance is outsourced, and most of them are handled by us. Just a bunch of different lines which all come to the same call center. I would imagine ADAC handles most of them in Germany, but i haven’t looked into it so i might be wrong. So if ADAC does handle most of them, i would say they are pretty accurate. But if not, then i would have to agree the results might be skewed.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    That V10 is wasted in this POS.

    The V10 TDI in an A8 – yummie.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    whatdoiknow1 :

    14/19 MPG!
    WTF is the point of a diesel in this thing?

    I averaged 13.6 mpg.

    And when I was on the highway I was getting about 22 mpg.

    Feel free to do the math.

    Oh, and the point? Undiluted elegance.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    Jonny Lieberman wrote:
    Undiluted elegance

    From a VW Touareg? Isn’t that below acceptable class? Or is that dictated solely by the sticker price? ;)

  • avatar
    davey49

    14/19 MPG is still good because an equivalent gas engine would likely get 9/14
    The Touareg is one of the nicest cars I’ve ever been in.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Johnny love your articles, but this??

    - Undiluted elegance – again I ask, in this??

    VW, diesel, dirty diesel, SUV, wannabee.

    My reaction:

    yawn

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Trailer Hitch$ 500
    Tow extra camping equipment, kayaks, bikes, a jumbo jet.

    If u have more money than brain, then 5 bills is not a lot of money at all.

    a hitch for 5 bills better have a lot of towing capacity, at least a class 3 or 4.
    Hope is not one of those 150 lbs tongue weight.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    quote: 14/19 MPG is still good because an equivalent gas engine would likely get 9/14
    The Touareg is one of the nicest cars I’ve ever been in.

    Same size Cayenne T – gasoline engined SUV, with much better acceleration and engine characteristics gets 12/19.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Yep, and the Mercdes ML and G classes get 18/24 and 17/23 respectively.

    I still think a head to head comparo between the ML and VW would be very interesting. The current ML looks to have addressed the quality issues of the prior generation, and though it may come down to a choice between your preference between more sport or more luxury, I still think both SUV’s will appeal to many similar demographics.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “The V10 TDI isn’t actually legal to drive in California.”

    Not exactly. It isn’t legal to sell as a new vehicle in California, but if purchased and registered in one of the 43 states which do allow it’s sale then you can drive it in California all you like without breaking the law.

    Also, once the beast has 7,500 miles on it (ouch, the fuel burned!) then it can be purchased and registered as a used vehicle in CA.

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr29.htm

    Back to the main topic. This vehicle makes a Tahoe Hybrid looks like the best value of the century.

    5 stars? You have to be kidding.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    And John Horner, you have to drive it.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    Did anybody mention the miniscule size inside of this elephant, Golf is probably bigger inside than this and all just for the price of small oifield that probably wouldn’t even feed this – whatever it is for for much of its lifetime.

  • avatar

    OK, so the reviewer admits it is a gas hog. And it is hard to exuse anyone extolling the virtues of such excess. However, what do you think the resale of this SUV would be? In my town a friend of mine took an SUV which was purchased two years ago for just over $45k, expected to get $30k and was offered $8k. The reason is that any SUV is a real tough sell right now. The car lots are full of them.

    In todays enviroment, I as a user of this site, would far more appreciate a comparison of fuel sippers that cater to piston heads.

  • avatar
    Skooter

    Diesel? VW? 10 cylinder? A pig that is destined to plummet in value as soon as the sucker leaves the lot (if there are any takers).

  • avatar
    blowfish

    a friend of mine took an SUV which was purchased two years ago for just over $45k, expected to get $30k and was offered $8k

    No wonder Banks & repo guys are so stuffed with them & not even wanna to hook any more back.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    For the price of this goofy vehicle you could purchase two vehicles:

    A Cummins Ram pickup that is better at doing all the chores that trucks do

    AND

    A Civic Hybrid or Prius for daily driving.

  • avatar
    carlos.negros

    This would be a perfect vehicle if I were a member of the Janjaweed milita and I wanted to raid some villages in Darfur. The government of Sudan would subsidize my fuel costs.

    If I were Dick Cheney, I would buy one of these to take Justice Scalia on a hunting trip.

    Other than that, send it to the crusher.

  • avatar
    JRobUSC

    just out of curiosity then, why wouldn’t I just get an X5 diesel at the end of the year? That bi-turbo 3.0L diesel six cylinder produces 265hp and 425lb-ft, which isn’t quite as high as that turbo V10 but is enough according to BMW to provide better acceleration and better fuel economy. It’ll also cost probably $15k less with similar equipment.

  • avatar
    davey49

    The Cayenne Turbo costs significantly more than the Touareg.
    The Mercs might well be 5 star cars also. I’m sure we’ll know if TTAC gets to drive them
    The Tahoe Hybrid and various Cummins equipped Dodge trucks will not likely get 5 stars
    Cars aren’t all about objective numbers, stats will make a lot of cars seem better than others. Obviously this car felt to the reviewer to be a 5 star car.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Cayenne T comparison was made with engine/performance/mpg specs in mind, not a direct price comparo. Purely the existance of Cayenne T renders Touareg V10TDI totally sensless.

    I’ve driven the V10, it FEELS crazy fast because of the huge torque thrust, but really it’s not. When I would have to buy a diesel SUV, I’d take the twinturbo X5 3.0 diesel any day over the VW V10.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I’d buy a Jeep Patriot. I wouldn’t pay over $20K for a car.
    maybe a 2005-2007 XTerra

  • avatar
    alpha94

    Consumer reports will tell you to avoid this vehicle at all costs. The build quality in general is bad but the engine is entirely unreliable.

  • avatar

    And besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

  • avatar
    prndlol

    Five stars for something that tips the scales at 5100 lbs?! What is this, the year 2000?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    prndlol:

    The Touareg with the V10 weighs 5,825 pounds, not 5,100.

    And oh yes, 5 big stars.

  • avatar
    prndlol

    Well at least they’re about as popular as Arsenio Hall as of late.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    bolhuijo :
    June 20th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    3.6 indicated mpg on acceleration? I wonder why it bottoms out there? Suppose Gunther the on-board fuel computer system programmer (working in metric of course) decided to store the fuel consumption values in milliliters per 100km, and he used a 16-bit integer value. What’s the largest number the thing can handle: 2^16 or 65,535 ml/100km. Translate to US units: 3.6 mpg. Hey, at least it doesn’t crash with an overflow.

    Fascinating, and quite logical. I’m curious as to why you bothered to calculate this out.

  • avatar
    wallace

    I have owned two V10 tdis’,overall nicest vehicle I have owned.It is sad but with the quality of American vehicles,they should not even be mentioned in this discussion.The biggest complaint I have in over 170,000 miles is the lack of support and knowledge of the vehicle that the US dealers have of this vehicle.I purchased the 2nd Touareg with a damaged turbo due to the dealership leaving loose parts in the air intake after replacing the air cleaner.After getting astronomical estimates and being told how difficult and complex of a vehicle it is,I ordered a manual and found a good source for parts and repaired it myself in my garage for a fraction of the cost.When I originally purchased my inlaws had a new Hummer,and like most Americans thought that VW was an econo car and thought I had lost my mind.After driving the Touareg and gassing up the Hummer for 2 years they now own a 2007 V10 Touareg.The worst quality vehicles I have worked on by far for the price are Cadillacs from the electronics to the body cosmetics,it is not even funny it is sick.If Americans even built something close in quality I would buy.I hope I am wrong,but I see GM not being around much longer and hopefully Ford will improve before it is too late for them.

  • avatar
    kevinb120

    Why not mention American cars in the thread? VW and Hummer have been dukeing it out yearly for the worst reliability records in the industry, flirting in the manage e trois with Land Rover.

  • avatar
    tonykara

    I just got rid of a 2005 V8 Touareg and while I took it in the shorts money wise, I’m glad I did it. I own a vintage Porsche 911 Targa Carrera, and was interested in the Cayenne at the time. I was happy with the though of the Cayenne and Touareg being ‘related’. I love the car when it was working, but this is the biggest P.O.S. I’ve ever owned. No one said it would go through a set of tire every year (10k miles if I’m lucky), and the mileage was much worse than the sticker indicated. VW service sucks, and I know this because the car was in for service at least 20 times in the 2-1/2 years I owned it. It had more little broken electronic and trim stuff than I care to remember. I really wanted to like this car, but I had to get rid of it. Now I have a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe, with great features and 27MPG. Hopefully the years ahead will be filled with fewer trips to their service dept.

  • avatar
    robuc1

    i don’t know where these mileage numbers come from, but i’ve owned my v10 tdi for over a year. the cars fabulous computer gives my mileage since purchase, mileage since refill, and mileage since starting the truck. i’m mostly in town (living on a mountainside), and average 17mpg. since purchase, i’m at 17.1. when driving on the freeway (mixed up and down through mountains) i average 23.5. i am not a feather foot either.
    this is by far the best suv i’ve ever driven, however i haven’t driven a cayenne.

  • avatar
    diesel4me

    I get a kick from all the strong opinions from people who have never driven this vehicle. I’ve got 108000k on mine. It’s easily the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. It’s quiet, comfortable, powerful, fast, safe and it will go offroad.I’ve driven it from Vancouver to Cabo twice and to Yukon. It’s been through some of the most incredible snowstorms and got me through safely. Where are people coming up with those mileage numbers? I do most driving in the city and use less than 11 litres / 100k. On the highway I use anywhere from 8.5 to 9.5 depending on terrain. I drove from Tijuana to La Paz (over 1400 k) for $75. And that is varied terrain. As far as emissions, I use a bio-diesel blend to help, but that aside, a recent study showed that I’d have to drive 1.12 million miles to spew the same pollution as burning a cord of wood in a fireplace,which don’t have. I guess some of you in the US will have to wait for the electric car to feel better. Then you can plug it in every night and your coal fired power plants can work even harder. Out of sight, out of mind. Thanks for letting me rant. Cheers!


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