2013 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Execline Review and Road Test Carpages ca Blog — 2014 Volkswagen Touareg

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2014 Volkswagen Touareg

2013 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Review and Road Test

In we trust.

The 2013 Volkswagen TDI (photos by Dan Heyman)

TDI; three letters, like that make up the words “GTI”, “tii” and “XR4Ti” that last one may be pushing have always spoken of the Subaru, VW, BMW or Merkur to which were attached.

Whether it was the of a trick transmission and massive boost (the Subaru STI ), a of tartan seats and a red-outlined (the VW GTI ), a lightweight pocket-sized for the road (1972-74s BMW 2002tii ) or a Americanized take on a European and touring car racer from (the Merkur XR4Ti Sierra XR4i ), these suffixes spoke volumes.

But as far as sellers go, few letters speak as as TDI. VW has to be credited for really diesel engines to the passenger car in Canada. Yes, yes I know; and BMW have sold diesel-powered here for quite some now as well, but those are luxury with a small piece of the share pie here in Canada.

VW, on the hand, is the only manufacturer makes diesel cars for the (the Jetta TDI, for starts at just over 25 and while other manufacturers are on (Chevy and Mazda will diesel models of their and Mazda6 sedans on our shores, by summer’s end), VW is the pioneer, and know what they’re here.

Enter the Touareg which is an even more application of diesel tech. For it weighs over two tonnes, weight needing a strong of power to get going. Without the provided by the diesel engine, would undoubtedly mean fuel usage and a bigger The same goes for towing (it can 3,500 kilos), and it all points to the having being meant for use in all of environments, whether the owners do so or

First Impressions

Styling is above all–smart panel nice chrome accents and stance all lead to an impression of from the Touareg

Diesel aside, the Touareg does a job of shrouding the workman-like powertrain all that steel cladding.

the Passat we tested last the Touareg has “handsome” written all it. It all starts with those high-intensity discharge headlamps, lenses are framed by a diamond string of LED daytime running the taillamps get this treatment as


Bi-Xenon headlights (a TDI Execline are gorgeous thanks to diamond of LED DRLs

Between those two sits a gorgeous chrome grille that was the focal of the Touareg’s 2010 re-design and it has very, very well you consider that the rest of the VW has followed suit. It’s a touch that’s complimented a second-tier below the bumper features functional air intakes and a of halogen foglights (would liked to see HID’s here, but a bit of a nitpick).

Head towards the and it becomes a little more three-box, slab-sided SUV fare but like twin half-oval, tailpipes, the aforementioned LED taillamps and scuff plate above the

So it’s not the most exciting package but somehow, the subtlety just gives the impression of a car, kind of like the equivalent of a single, solid of granite.

Let’s just it doesn’t ride that

What’s it like inside?

is a luxurious place to be–Saddle leather is the colour we’d for our Touareg

As handsome as that exterior is, is really where the Touareg itself apart from the of the Jeep Grand Cherokee or Explorer.

Perhaps benefitting some input from Audi luxury arm’s for interior styling, the cabin is a luxurious and technically proficient the most part) place to be, when your Touareg is with the Execline trim as ours was.

That sumptuous Vienna leather is across the seats, steering armrests and door panels, sprinkles of real burr-walnut all trimmed in a brushed-aluminum. Oh, and if you’re with this trim, I spec the Saddle Brown as found in the cars you see here and a classy compliment to the rest of the environs.

Full-length moonroof for a bright interior, Could be the of some annoying squeaks,

Look past all that dressing, and you’ll find a cluster that’s as upmarket as the of the interior, but also like the it’s fairly basic; a tach, a speedometer, a fuel and a temp gauge; that’s it. It the digital gauge cluster of the XTS, for example, look something from the Starship Next-Generation one.

There is, a TFT display at the centre of the whole but even the way it fits neatly the two—you can’t even there’s a screen there it’s off—again suggesting VW is trying to ensure that it without taking away the simplicity and elegance of the rest of the

It’s there to provide a for trip info, navigation, and Infotainment, all controllable via wheel-mounted The white-on black fonts, are clear and legible no matter the no blinding bright lights at no glare in the sun.

It’s that they’ve managed to glare issues, especially the enormous full-length moonroof standard on four of six trims. a nice piece that well to provide both and rear passengers a well-lit in which to travel, complimenting 931 millimeters of legroom and 989 mm of headroom. seat dwellers, meanwhile, get and 1,005 mm, respectively. Cargo meanwhile, is rated at 909 litres the rear seats up, and a whopping if you drop the rear seats, can be done with the flip of one of two mounted in the rear cargo wall–you’re never left for space in the Touareg.

Rear-seat passengers get plenty of plus the added bonus of seats

I do wish, however, the seats would fold a little flatter than do; you’ll have to be creative considering how you’re going to the longest items. I also was to find a few unseemly squeaks and which I think are cause by moonroof. It’s not terrible, but is not something I would have from VW, especially one that’s (and priced) as highly as our was.

If you do want a little electronic bang for your then the eight-inch touch should cure your for the most part; it’s clear, colourful and easy to use and be great if it wasn’t for the navigation which just isn’t good. Roads are poorly-marked the route settings aren’t all intuitive and there are so many systems out there that really pales in comparison. not there yet, but pretty manufacturers are going to have to this stuff more as it’s becoming standard across the board. It’s a thing, then, that the also provides access to the 12-speaker Dynaudio system crystal-clear sound quality may help you forget that system.

All in all, you’ve got what be the best interior in the quasi-luxury here. Of course, you’ll to pay for it; our tester stickered at $63,800 pulls it out of the “near” luxury and pretty much plops in the luxury segment.

Luckily, the TDI is at three trim levels, the base Comfortline starting at That gets you leatherette surfaces, 18-inch wheels and everything, from the seats to the Add $5,995 if you want keyless and the power moonroof. I’d probably with the former, though, you still get that great some hefty savings.

alloy wheels are a good (and don’t affect the that much, surprisingly) but the is a little “meh.” Winter doesn’t help

2014 Volkswagen Touareg

The engine is a It truly is. It’s a V6, but one that 240 horsepower and a whoppin’, pavement boat haulin’ and smile 406 pound-feet of torque, all channeled to all wheels through an eight-speed transmission. This is a serious one that’s equally adept at as it is at saving fuel.

Pick any of the gears, and pretty much any and you’ll have the same of power when you floor the That’s what all that does (it reaches its peak 1,750-2,250 r.p.m.), especially paired with a transmission smooth-shifting and ratio-rich. Cpmapre to gas-powered V6 Touareg’s, which 280 hp and a paltry (by comparison) 265 lb.-ft. of

There are a few dynamic issues, the most notable being lag when stating from a It’s the one time where the heft reveals itself a I’m also not a huge fan of the delay it from the moment you either the button or turn the key to start the for it to actually turn over; also strange that the no longer starts the car as long as you the keyfob in its slot to the right of the wheel.

Doesn’t take long to get all that, though, especially you factor in the ride of the Touareg. It may be a jarring from time to but those instances are rare as got mostly a luxury-level ride smooth and quiet. Not a slab of then.

3.0L diesel V6 is the of the show, thanks to 406 lb.-ft. of

The quietness is one of the most notable as we all know that their operation is a big part of what’s diesels so unattractive on this of the pond. In the case of the Touareg, I anyone to complain about the coming from the engine with a lot of that weight from the addition of sound materials throughout the engine bay and on the side of the front bulkhead. The Only those standing by will be able to tell a diesel at idle, and only if listen carefully. Well VW. Well done, indeed.

to that, you get to enjoy the benefits of the generous power band and fuel economy (we saw nine per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle)—without of the pitfalls. It also meets II Bin 5 emissions, which are the strictest out That’s a win win.

The Haldex-based all-wheel drive system is a tested and true one, the added benefit of an off-road in this platform; it’s a option, meaning you can take the off the beaten track and it will itself well.

The Haldex means that you get a front-wheel vehicle that uses a set of to control power delivery the two axles, for when the goings get It also helps allow for the hill-decent system, tech available as standard on all trim and further proof that particular SUV is meant to be taken off and will have no problem Canadian winters.

The ultimate SUV? Well, depends on your definition of an SUV should be; a Mercedes-Benz G-Class can most comers to the cleaners off while a Range Rover HSE take most to the cleaners it comes to its plethora of luxury

The Touareg is ultimate in that a compelling mix of luxury and practicality but it has what neither of those two do in Canada, and that’s that TDI That diesel is spectacular, and worth the price of admission all on its own. If you’re looking for a mix of fuel economy and power, look no further. You have it and it should be considered if you’re to spend 50 grand-plus on an SUV.

All gorgeous leather inside, the trim and infotainment? Well, a bonus.

2013 Volkswagen TDI Execline — Specifications

Price as $63,800

Body Type: 5 passenger SUV

Powertrain Layout: engine/4-wheel drive

Engine:  diesel V6, DOHC, 24 valves

2014 Volkswagen Touareg

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