2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Diesel SUV: Review Roundup

2012 VW Touareg diesel reviews
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel vehicle and thinking about the 2012 VW Touareg TDI SUV? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2012 Touareg TDI comes in three styles — the Sport, the Lux and the Executive. A 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine powers all three models. The engine generates 225 horsepower and a amazing 406 lbs-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. All styles feature 4-wheel drive and include automatic transmission, a navigation system, Bluetooth, iPod input, Satellite Radio, side/curtain airbags, and stability and traction controls. MSRP: From $46,875 for the Sport; $52,355 for the Lux; and $57,755 for the Executive.

Car and Driver — 2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI diesel

Car and Driver found the 2012 VW Touareg TDI “continues to blend luxurious refinement in a mid-size SUV package. The interior is comfortable and of impeccable quality. The available diesel is a torque-rich beast that returns excellent fuel economy. A pricey, high-quality premium offering in its segment.”

They defined the highs to be “solid structure, quiet at speed, luxury touches inside, willing and miserly diesel option.” It identified the lows to be the premium pricing, and that it was “a little dull.”

They concluded, “Though marginally lighter than the original, the Touareg is still a beefy SUV. Quiet, supple, and lavishly appointed, the Touareg puts luxury ahead of sportiness. Try the diesel.”

Edmunds.com — 2012 Volkswagen Touareg

Edmunds noted that the car provides a “surprising level of luxury” and “is a serious competitor among more established high-end marques.”

They identified the pros to be “Confident driving dynamics; high-class interior; impressive equipment roster; powerful and fuel-efficient engine options; high towing capacity.” They said the cons are “No third-row seat; spongy brake pedal feel; upper trims get costly.”

They began their piece with this, “When you think of luxury brands, Volkswagen probably doesn’t produce much of a blip on your radar. The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg, however, might change your mind.”

Edmunds said that the base model interior is on par with established luxury car makers like BMW and Lexus.  “There’s an abundance of rich wood, metallic accents and high-quality materials; you’ll also find lots of up-to-date electronics and entertainment features,” they wrote. They also liked the 7,700 pounds of towing capacity.

They complain that there is no third-row seat permitting the vehicle to seat only five passengers. But they say that the second row is “roomy enough.”  They added that the cargo capacity is 32 cubic feet when the rear seat is up and 71 cubic feet when the seat is folded down.

One might think that its off-road ride would be lacking, but they call it adequate. “Despite lacking a low-range transmission for off-road excursions, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg provides a fair amount of trail prowess thanks to its minimal front/rear overhangs, decent ground clearance and compliant suspension. But even if you never venture off the beaten path, it is still quite satisfying to drive. Steering response is particularly sharp, though the effort level is perhaps too light for some tastes,” they said.

They found the turbo diesel V6 to be “worth the extra cash” due to the superior torque and fuel economy.

AOL Autos –2012 Volkswagen Touareg Expert Review: New Car Test Drive

AOL Autos found that the front seats are comfortable and supportive and that the interior offered as much room for passengers as the Mercedes-Benz M350 and BMW X5.  Moreover, “Climate controls are properly sized and positioned, as are the primary switches that bring up the touch-screen’s icons for the sound and navigation systems’ layers of options and functions. The navigation system is superb, with a remarkably quick adaptation to course changes. … Trim materials are high quality.”

Like the other reviews, AOL Autos was most impressed with the diesel engine, calling it “arguably the slickest of the three.”

2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Review Summary

In conclusion, the consensus appears to be:


  • Comfortable, quality interior
  • Good diesel engine
  • Amazing torque
  • Solid structure
  • Quiet at speed
  • Good driving dynamics
  • Impressive list of equipment
  • Decent off-road ride


  • No third row seat
  • Spongy feel to brake pedal
  • Cost of upper trim packages

Do you own this car, or have you driven one? What’s your take? Leave a comment and help out the people who are researching this car!