VOLKSWAGEN Touareg Models/Series Timeline, Specifications & Photos

Generations: 6
First production year: 2002
Engines: Diesel, Gasoline, Plug-in hybrid, Hybrid
Body style: SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)
VOLKSWAGEN Touareg photo gallery

The Touareg, Volkswagen's first SUV, was introduced in 2002, marking the brand's entry into an already exploding segment. It set the stage for the success of Volkswagen's SUV lineup, which now spans across various segments.

The design DNA of the Touareg, characterized by a distinct front end, raised V-shaped bonnet, and unified headlights, can be seen in all Volkswagen SUVs. The vehicle gained attention for its powerful engines, including the V10 TDI and the limited-edition W12 models, capable of doing unbelievable stunts, like towing a Boeing 747.

Carrying the legacy of the first three generations, the 2024 model accommodates new technologies and characteristic features that make the SUV stand out. For instance, besides technologies like Park Assist Plus, Trailer Assist, and Night Vision, one advanced technology seamlessly combines the roof load sensor with the running gear electronics.

This integration enhances agility by detecting the presence of a roof box and relaying this information to systems like Electronic Stability Control. Consequently, the vehicle's stability is improved as these systems intervene earlier. On the other hand, without a roof load, Touareg's systems enable a sportier driving experience.

With four versions, Basic, Elegance, R-Line, and R Model, the SUV offers a wide variety of types of equipment capable of suiting every buyer's needs. The V6 engine is omnipresent, but in different instances, it can vary from gasoline to diesel or hybrid.

Even though the powertrain as a whole is not the same for all the variants, they all share an eight-speed automatic transmission and the 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system. Besides the basic version, all the Touaregs will be equipped standard with the new IQ.Light HD matrix headlights, a new technology on all Volkswagen vehicles that will feature almost 40 000 micro LEDs capable of providing an interactive light carpet for a safer driving experience.

The Touareg offers versatile on-road and off-road capabilities through its driving profile selection feature. The driver can choose from various profiles and adjust parameters for the automatic gearbox, steering, optional air suspension, engine responsiveness, and assist systems. Depending on the version, the vehicle also offers advanced running gear systems like active roll compensation and all-wheel steering. Adding this to the already existing wide and tall vehicle stance makes adventures much more accessible.

The interior of the SUV has received an upgrade to provide an enhanced experience. It now comes standard with the Innovision Cockpit, which combines the Digital Cockpit with a 30.5 cm display and a high-end infotainment system called Discover Pro Max featuring a 38.1 cm touchscreen.

The two displays create a seamless digital landscape on a single axis, offering features such as lane-level navigation and high-resolution HD map data. Additionally, the voice control system of the Touareg has gone through significant upgrades.

Volkswagen also increased comfort during long road trips through foamed surfaces around the knee area and a 730-watt Dynaudio sound system to keep the passengers entertained.

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VOLKSWAGEN Touareg photo gallery

The third generation of the biggest Volkswagen SUV was introduced in 2018 and it was a major improvement over its predecessors. It was not a mass-market vehicle anymore.

The German car-maker built the third generation on the same platform with the rest of the big SUVs from the group: Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, and Lamborghini Urus. Having said that, the Touareg was the most affordable package of some of the best-engineered cars from that segment. It wasn't available with the top, specific, engines.

From the outside, the new, LED matrix headlights were a big step forward. The grille featured three horizontal chromed bars, amplifying the width of the car. The rest of the car featured simple lines that resembled a Passat Variant (station-wagon).

Inside, the Touareg shined at its best. It was the exact opposite of the bland exterior. On the center stack, the car-maker installed a huge, 15” touch-screen display for the infotainment system. The Digital Cockpit (instrument cluster) was 12” display. The only downside was the steering wheel, which had the same design as the one installed in a Polo. The rear passengers had plenty of legs- and head-room. The trunk offered a healthy 810 liters (28.6 cu-ft) of space and could have been extended by folding the rear seats to up to 1800 liters (63.6 cu-ft).

For the engine compartment, the Touareg was available with four engine options at the launch, ranged between 234 hp and 421 hp. The standard transmission was an 8-speed automatic, with all-wheel-drive for the entire range.

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VOLKSWAGEN Touareg photo gallery

Volkswagen chose the 2014 Beijing Auto Show to introduce the facelifted version of the second Touareg SUV. At a glance, it didn't seem to have too many improvements, but it did. First was the look, then the interior and some technical details. As usual for the German manufacturer, the interior was updated too.

On the outside, the first noticeable detail is the front. Touareg received a new grille with four chromed lines instead of two as before. The new lines are extended to the larger, bi-xenon headlights, which are offered as standard on all trim levels. A new “Chrome & Style” package is offered, with chrome strips on the sides and rear of the vehicle.

Inside, there are new accents, leather colors, lighting solutions and controls. The Touareg launched its “mobile online services” in Europe, in conjunction with the RNS 850 radio-navigation system that can be connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth. The navigation system incorporates a Points-of-Interest (POI) search via Google and the map display is via Google Earth mapping service.

The 2014 version of the Touareg was launched on the market in diesel (TDI), petrol (FSI and TSI) and hybrid (TSI plus e-motor) models. All engines were mated with a performant Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission.

REVIEW: 2015 VOLKSWAGEN Touareg   full description and technical specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Touareg photo gallery

The second generation of the Touareg was launched at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and it is claimed by the Volkswagen to be the biggest technical evolution for a car in the company's history.

While the shape remained almost the same as on the previous model, there was nothing kept from that. In fact, the second generation of the Touareg is more related to the much more expensive Porsche Cayenne. The headlights featured bi-Xenon lights and the bumper was shaped to improve the attack angle.

Inside the cabin,the driver was spoiled with a lot of features even in the standard version. The infotainmen had a touchscreen on the center console with iPod connectivity located in the glove-compartment. The Volkswagen concept for the instrument cluster was the same for its entire range with tachometer, speedometer, fuel level and coolant temperature. For more information, a smaller display was located between the big analog dials. The Touareg had enough room for five passengers and no 7-seat option was available.

There was a big range of engines and transmission. When equipped with the off-road package, the Touareg had the central Torsen differential replaced with a transfer case and a low gear. It also had central and rear lockable differential via a rotating knob on the console. The standard suspension was with coil-springs, but an air-suspension was available. That could be used to raise the vehicle in off-road or lower it when cruising down the highway.

REVIEW: VOLKSWAGEN Touareg   full description and technical specifications
VOLKSWAGEN Touareg photo gallery

The first generation of the Volkswagen Touareg was launched in 2002 and it was a surprise for the market since the German carmaker didn't have experience in the 4x4 segment. In 2007 it introduced a facelift.

The facelifted version of the Touareg was unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and it came to correct some of the mistakes made by the manufacturer in the first model. It was better equipped and it was fitted with more powerful engines. It was also fitted with a V10 turbocharged diesel engine and it was used to tow a Boeing 747.

For the facelifted version, the overall look was the same, but some details were changed. While the first model featured a pair of headlights that resembled those found on the Volkswagen Phaeton after the facelift these were replaced by newly shaped ones. The taillights were also redesigned.

Inside, the Touareg featured an elegant upholstery for the higher trim levels, while the base models kept the fabric cloth on the seats.

There were more important updates for the engines. The base engine was still the R5 with a 5-cylinder diesel unit but improved up to 172 hp. In the U.S. the 3.0-liter diesel and the 3.6-liter gasoline engines were the top of the sales. The standard transmission for the base models with up to 3.0-liter displacement was a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic for all the other versions.

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VOLKSWAGEN Touareg photo gallery

The first generation of the Volkswagen Touareg was shown at the Paris Motor Show in September 2002 and its appearance shook the world. A brand with almost no off-road experience attacked the traditional off-road car-makers market.

The first generation of the Touareg had a shy start. The car was over-engineered to withstand the tortures and the criticism of the 4x4 buyers. It had tons of electronic controls, and it had a lot to prove. In the end, it took its share from the market, from those who emerged from a large sedan to an SUV.

The front fascia was inspired by the fifth Passat generation, which was one of the best selling cars in its class. The overall look of the vehicle was closer to a station-wagon on stilts rather than a civilized off-road vehicle. Big windows, flared arches, and rounded body panels were in the opposite direction with the flat surfaces from vehicles such as Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Patrol or Toyota Land Cruiser to name just a few of its main rivals.

Inside the car, the front seats were large and comfortable, divided by a wide center console. The high seating position made room for the rear passengers. It wasn't available for a 7-seat option, but the five passengers could travel comfortably. The car was developed to share the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7. A new infotainment unit was installed on the center console while the dashboard had a typical VW layout.

For the engines, the Touareg took some from the commercial vehicles and some were from other brands from the Volkswagen group. The most powerful version, a V10 TDI engine, was used for an advertising stunt, where the car towed a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

full description and technical specifications