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Author Topic:   Volkswagon Toureg - small SUV towing
alkar posted 10-11-2003 10:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for alkar   Send Email to alkar  
For the folks who are looking for a small, mediam priced, SUV with the ability to safely tow the medium-large whalers, the Volkswagen Toureg seems like a wonderful choice. They're comfortable, quiet, stable, and relatively easy on fuel. They also have excellent brakes - and they're rated to tow 7700 pounds. I have not actually towed with one, but I was VERY impressed with all other aspects of the car. The electric seats are the most comfortable seats I have ever sat in!(I liked it MUCH better than the 300 series Mercedes SUV)(The 500 series Mercedes is out of my price range, so I didn't even drive that...).

John O posted 10-11-2003 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Nice looking ride. We are looking to replace our Blazer and plan on test driving the VW.

What is the price range on those rigs?

JBCornwell posted 10-11-2003 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Small? Medium priced??

What would you call a big one? How much would you call expensive??

That tank weighs over 5,000LB, gets 14MPG and costs 50 big ones.

Red sky at night. . .
JB

kglinz posted 10-11-2003 11:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Cost $46,165 Base. Tow Cap 7716 Lbs. Weight 5,300 Lbs
John O posted 10-12-2003 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Wow. I can get a fully loaded Tahoe for that coin.
alkar posted 10-12-2003 01:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
You guys are a tough crowd. And you MUST have been looking at a different rig - because your numbers are ALL different from mine...

The Toureg I just got out of was loaded with all kinds of goodies. They come with more stuff, of course, but I'm not sure what else I'd want. The V6 model I was in has 220hp and 225 ft pounds of torque. It also has leather, heated electric seats, sunroof, amazing stereo, awesome safety and handling features, and on and on and on...and it TOWS.

It was comfortable for four people, but A LOT smaller than Suburbans, Tahoes, Excursions, Expeditions, Navigators, Sequoias, or the larger Lexus (JB, those are what I consider to be the BIG SUVs); In the parking lot the Toureg didn't appear that much bigger than our little Passat - and it felt and parked like a sports car compared to my truck. I don't know what the Toureg weighs, but it FELT much more more like a Durango than a Suburban.

The EPA sticker I saw said 20MPG on the highway - which is gat compared to the 15 we got out of our last Tahoe.

The full-blown imaginary retail sticker on the one I liked was in was $39K, so I imagine hard money was somewhere near $35K, but that one was LOADED with goodies. The only other new one they had on the lot had a sticker of just under $34. I can't imagine how you could get one up to a price that would make the actual cost $50K, but I suppose it's possible.

The sticker on the Tahoe our neighbor just bought was over $43K - and I vastly preferred the VW.

The sticker on the relative stripper Mercedes I drove was about $37K - and they didn't seem inclined to negotiate.

The expensive SUV's start in the low 40s and quickly get into the mid 50s. None of the medium SUVs I've seen are below $25K - so in that light, the Toureg in about the middle of the pack in price and size. It's also got a great warranty.

alkar posted 10-12-2003 03:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
I just got off the Edmunds web site. The new Toureg MSRP is shown at 34,900. (Were they made last year? I'm sure the one on the lot was under $34K). Invoice is, $31-something, so hard money on a base Toureg is probably under $33K. That pricing put's it below three of the four comparison vehicles with similar equipment - and, with the exception of the Toyota Sequoia, WELL below most of the similarly equipped BIG rigs I mentioned above.

The "comparables" Edmunds pulled up for comparison included the Lexus RX300, the small Caddy SUV, the Jeep Cherokee, and others in that small-to-medium SUV size range. (I believe the Lexus RX300 is the same chassis as the Toyota Highlander - one size down from the Fourunner and two sizes down from the Landcruiser.)

The Toureg may well be a tank, but it isn't classed with the big tanks and, more importantly, it doesn't behave like them.

Now if I can just get the wife on board with my plan... :)

JBCornwell posted 10-12-2003 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I was thinking of the V8 with "typical" package of options.

The stripper V6 does seem to be medium priced, but it is still very heavy at 5300lb in my book.

Price, power and economy sound close to my ML320, which I consider a middleweight at 4400lb.

We agree on what a BIG SUV is.

BTW, I think it is spelled Taureg. Am I wrong?

Red sky at night. . .
JB

John O posted 10-12-2003 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
OK 35K makes more sense. I agree the Tahoe is a Large SUV and that is why we will pass on it, Parking, fuel ...

GMC Envoy is a sharp looking set up. If I had my way we would get a pick up (Ford), but my wife has issues with making sales calls in Boston with it !!!!

We have looked at mini vans as we have our firts child, but the towing capacity is questionable.

Peter posted 10-12-2003 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Although it looks nice and likely peforms well, its not small. I view it as more of a cross-over vehicle than an SUV.

Perhaps comparing apples to oranges here but the V8 version of the Toureg isn't any lighter than my '02 Tahoe. From a fuel cost perspective, even though the Toureg gets 1 mpg better according to the published EPA figures, fuel costs will be higher because it requires premium fuel. The Tahoe can take regular.

While they have almost the same towing capacity, the Tahoe is the better towing vehicle for large loads, such as a 22' Whaler, due to its longer wheel base, greater width and the fact that it can use cheaper gas.

While it won't have the handling of the Toureg, the Tahoe handles reasonbly well, is easy to park and cheaper to get into than the V8 Toureg. It will also seat 8 which is a big plus if you have kids.

kglinz posted 10-12-2003 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
My price numbers came from the Kelley Blue Site and were for the newest V 8 model. The V 6 is much cheaper and does still have the 7716 Lb towing cap.
alkar posted 10-12-2003 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
JB, we were both wrong. It's spelled Touareg. I wish I had asked the salesman what the heck that name means. :)

The touareg I'm looking at is better equipped, quieter, and MUCH more comfortable than the comparable Mercedes; it definitely was not a - "stripper" - even though it's option list only bumped the price up about $5K.

I can't imagine that the "typical" Touareg will be packaged with options that raise the price 30% over base MSRP - at least not in our market. Heck, if they do that, they'll be priced up with the BIG SUVs.

My perception of the Touareg as a small vehicle is probably a function of my frame of reference for tow vehicles. Most of the time I tow with a Ford F-350 powerstroke diesel 4X4 crew-cab. It is SUBSTANTIALLY longer, taller, and heavier than a Suburban. We're stuck with that behemouth, because we regularly HAUL 4000 pounds in the bed of the truck and we occasionally need to haul very heavy (8,500 pound) trailers.

Vehicles like mine are VERY common in rural and suburban Oregon. It's probably a function of both culture and lifestyle. We've got lots of farms and ranches. (Our Ford dealer currently has about 30 of the big crew cabs in stock.) The smaller SUVs are fairly popular as urban commuter vehicles, but if you go to a northwest boat show, the parking lots will be FILLED with the big rigs.

I can not remember EVER seeing a boat towed by a Subaru or a BMW, for example. That must be more common out east. I'm sure it can be done - and the guys on this thread have convinced me that it IS done. I just don't remember ever seeing it.

I'd be delighted if we could trade my wife's smaller landscaping truck for the substantially more comfortable Touareg and a little utility trailer. That's the objective anyway.

andygere posted 10-12-2003 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Alkar,
I think the Touareg is a nice alternative to a lot of the tow vehicles out there, and would certainly be in the running to replace my trusty '99 Grand Cherokee when the time comes. By the way, the Grand Cherokee does a fine job of towing my Outrage 22 Cuddy, including stopping. If you want to compare real apples with apples, don't overlook the quality aspect. My wife's 2002 Jetta Wolfsburg was priced just about the same as my (company car) 2002 Chevy Impala. The Chevy is full of squeaks and rattles, while the Jetta is solid, precise and quiet. The performance of the turbo 4 in the VW blows the doors off the Chevy with it's much larger V6. Comfort in the Jetta is superior, with very well designed seats. The semi-buckets in the Chevy make my back hurt on longer rides. Handling is not even close, with the Jetta feeling more like a sports coupe than a 4 door sedan. For the same MSRP, the Jetta came with many more options such as a sunroof, a superior stereo, fold down rear seats, full guages, etc. Based on this experience, I'd certainly consider the Touareg the next time I'm ready to buy a nice SUV/Whaler tow machine.
dgp posted 10-12-2003 04:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
The Touareg is named after a band of nomadic African merchants who make their living distributing salt.
If you want towing torque and decent fuel mileage wait for the V-10 TDI version due next year. 313 HP and 555 lb. ft. of torque with towing capability up to 7700 lbs. It's been tested at 23.5 MPG.
alkar posted 10-12-2003 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Dgp, that is an extrordinary fact. I wonder if my salesman knows the meaning of the name.

I like the TDI idea. It would be nice to have all that power AND 23MPG. I'm sure my wife would sign up for that!

Where can I learn more about the diesel?

Andy, I agree with you on the quality of the newer Volkswagons. We have a Passat we love. We bought it because my wife's sister loves the one she bought about four years ago; her's is still as tight as can be after about 80,000 miles.

dgp posted 10-12-2003 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
alkar, go to www.vwvortex.com , click on the Touareg photo down on the right side of the page.
Also, all of the car rags have tested the Touareg. I think Car & Driver is the most recent. Try www.edmonds.com
Biggest downside of the TDI will be dealer service techs not knowing a thing about diesels and how to troubleshoot/repair. I have a Jetta TDI. I like the car but not the dealer service dept. I do my own maintenance but had it in the shop 3 times under warranty for bad mass air flow sensors (MAF) and it took them 2 weeks to find a broken wire from the ECU to the MAF.
dgp posted 10-12-2003 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
That's www.edmunds.com
alkar posted 10-12-2003 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Thanks dgp. That Vortex site is now on my favorites list. I'm going to read there for a while before I jump in.
Kingsteven18 posted 10-13-2003 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
'Toureg' is German for: whatever happened to the concept of the reasonable 'peoples car'
Tom2697 posted 10-13-2003 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
This thing is tested alongside its sister-vehicle (Porsche Cayenne) in a bunch of auto mags this month. Sounds like a great vehicle! Supposedly, these two trucks are right up there with the Range Rover and original Hummvee off-road and far surpass the other two vehicles on-road. When my time comes to replace my current truck, I will be looking at this one! Oh yeah, the Porsche version has an optional 400+ hp engine and a sticker price in excess of $90k! I will look at the VW...
Perry posted 10-13-2003 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I find the 7700 lb. tow rating very questionable. I have a 2000 F150 extra cab 4x4 with a 5.4 litre V8, tow package and a 7400 lb. tow rating. The V6 equipped VW has a shorter wheel base than my truck 40 less horsepower, 125 less torque feet of power and can tow 300 more lbs? Either Ford is under rating their vehilces or VW is over rating theirs.
alkar posted 10-13-2003 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Perry, my wife's landscape truck is exactly the same model as your truck. It's a very powerful package for a truck of that size - clearly more powerful than the VW.

The VW tow rating does not vary between their V6 and their V8. From their perspective both motors have plenty of power to tow that weight. I assume it's the weight, braking and handling of the VW that support the higher tow rating. The VW's brake rotors are HUGE. I'd really like to be able to hook my boat up to one for a practice run before buying it.

Oddly, my Touareg brochure doesn't state what it weighs. Our Passatt owner's manual doesn't include any weight data either. I wonder why it's a secret.

Tom2697 posted 10-13-2003 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
...or VW has designed their truck to handle that weight. Ford has multiple options in their truck lineup based upon the different ratings. VW has one. Both companies could easily have designed these vehicles to perform exactly as specified.

and remember, there is more to towing than engine power...

Perry posted 10-13-2003 06:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Tom, I realize there is more to towing than engine power. For example: long wheel base, heavy duty frame, suspension, shocks, brakes, transmission, drive shaft and rear end. My truck was designed to carry and tow heavy loads. An SUV is designed to carry 5 passangers in comfort and do a little extra. A full size truck, like mine, handles and rides like a truck because first and formost, it was made to carry and pull heavy loads. I find it hard to believe that the VW SUV is be able to tow more than a full size truck and still have a soft comfortable ride. Maybe those German engineers are way ahead ours in Detroit.
DaveH posted 10-13-2003 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
From what I recall, towing capacity has less to do with the engine and more to do with the vehicle weight, rear suspension and overall braking capacity.

The Touareg weighs 4903 lbs with V6, and about 150lbs. more for the V-8, the V-10 diesel (surely the engine to get) will weigh 5553 lbs. The tow rating is 7716 lbs with trailer brakes.

I spent a whole day driving the sister-ship, Porsche Cayenne (non-turbo version) and really wasn't that impressed. It's just a big vehicle, with big vehicle dynamics and a Porsche badge. I thought it was well built but I would never buy a first year vehicle from any manufacturer-especially Volkswagon and Porsche. These vehicles are so loaded up with gee-wiz features I sense there's going to be a bunch of unhappy service advisors in a few months. I hope I'm wrong and they both perform flawlessly.

CHRISWEIGHT posted 10-13-2003 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for CHRISWEIGHT  Send Email to CHRISWEIGHT     
Reviews of the VW in the uk have not been favourable, poor ride quality poor fuel consumption even with the mighty v10 diesel 15 mpg imperial. dire suspention that is either so soft that it waddles down the road or in sport mode so hard that yer teeth fall out,and very poor steering feel have been just some of the faults laid at the door of the touareg

CHRIS

adaps4 posted 10-13-2003 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for adaps4  Send Email to adaps4     
I will hold out for the Nissan Titan- Due out this Dec. 305 horse, 9400 lb towing, and 375 lbs torque. In a crew cab version, under $35,000. If you need an SUV, the Pathfinder Armada is in stores now.Starts at $33,000 loaded for about $40,000 It looks a little strange, but it is a powerhouse. 14 city, 19 Hwy. I would at least test drive it- Nissan makes a great vehicle, and their new V8 has been rated very highly in all the car magazines. The Titan has gotten some of the best reviews I have ever seen for a first attempt at the Full Size Truck market.
hyperlink

Or my favourite view:
hyperlink

Pathfinder Armada:
hyperlink

I agree that the Germans make great vehicles, but Nissan has been making trucks a long time, and these new additions will only add to their power. Also, these new trucks are only made in America. These days, it is nice to see anything being made in America, even if it is a Japanese truck.

jimh posted 10-14-2003 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Fixed long URIs]
alkar posted 10-14-2003 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
My sister bought nothing but Datsun/Nissan products for about 25 years. She had one wonderful experience after another. I know Triblet love's his Pathfinder too, so I would expect their trucks to be well made. But I'm trying to find something that is a little less truck-like. We've tried the Tahoe route. It was nice, but it was a gas HOG - and still pretty truck-like.

My HUGE Ford F-350 4X4 crew cab gets about 17 mpg (without a load)on the highway, and friends of mine who have the new six liter powerstrokes are reporting 20 mpg and better. My brother, a contractor, drives a 1996 BIG Dodge 3/4 ton 4X4 truck with a very heavy contractor's tool box in the back - and he consistently gets 21-23 mpg on the highway (Cummins diesel). So, it IS possible to mate fair fuel economy with HUGE power and weight. In fact, when we load my 3700 pound camper in the back of our truck and tow my 22' Outrage w/ twin Honda 115s we STILL get fuel economy comparable to what we saw from my wife's 2002 Tahoe UNLOADED. (Which has everything to do with why we sold the Tahoe after owning it less than a year. It was pretty, and reasonably comfortable, but it got AWFUL fuel economy.) We'd love to have something like that with better handling and 30mpg fuel economy. I don't understand why that's not possible.

I wonder why my F-350, which is MUCH bigger than a Suburban and DWARF's the VW Touareg, gets better fuel ecomony than the VW V8. My truck weighs almost 7,000 pounds, rolls on enormous tires, and is shaped like a big refridgerator box with enormous ground clearance. As modified, it developes MUCH more power than the V8 VW. I would think that a decent diesel in that VW ought to net close to 30 mpg, but I understand it's supposed to be in the low 20s. Why is that?

Tom2697 posted 10-14-2003 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
I just read an article about a test between the 300 hp versions of the Toureg, Cayenne, Infinity LX, and Cadillac SRX (I probably got a few letters off so forgive me). The Toureg was rated last. Basically they said it was the 2nd heaviest (Porsche was heaviest), it had weak steering, and too much body roll. But, they did mention that it could tow the max load alright. 1st to 4th were Cadillac, Porsche, Infinity, Toureg.

If you think that a "light" vehicle cannot tow a heavy load, investigate the heavy truck industry. A 20,000lb semi can pull a 40,000lb trailer loaded with 40,000lbs of cargo without too many problems. That is a 4:1 trailer to truck weight ratio. This is the equivalent of an F-350 pulling a 42' Grand Banks. It can be done if you invest enough effort into the design.

cmarques posted 10-14-2003 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Spent my service advising days at VW replacing window regulators and fixing check engine lights- besides that they are great cars. Just got several loads of Armadas at the Nissan dealer I am at now- haven't been able to drive one yet but they look good and are BIG. About 42k
alkar posted 10-14-2003 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Tom, isn't the Infinity the same as the Nissan with fancy goodies? I have not seen the Caddy - but isn't it just a Trailblazer or Tahoe with goodies?
tabasco posted 10-15-2003 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
I recently purchased a new Acura MDX as my towing vehicle for my Montauk 170. I am so pleased with the vehicle especially the gas mileage 23 highway 17 city. No other SUV comes close to the mileage of the MDX. It comes with a 270 HP V6 motor.

Naturally the mileage drops while towing but not too much. Driving at 55-60mph on the highway in flat areas I got an average of 30.3 MPG on a 80 mile trip. (No boat in tow) A very impressive vehicle.

Tom2697 posted 10-15-2003 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
alkar,
From what the article said, the Infinity is more of a crossover vehicle based on the G35. As for the Cadillac, I don't believe it is the same as the trailblazer or Tahoe. The Cadillac is also a crossover based on a car. I can't remember which one though...

tabasco,
Careful about your statement about mileage. I am averaging 16.5 mpg in the city and I averaged 25 mpg highway from Chicago to Mexico (about 1700 miles) not towing and at speeds above 65mph. Towing a 13' Rage from Mexico to Florida, I averaged 18 mpg. I use an '02 Olds Bravada (AWD with 270 hp 4.2L). There are MANY great products out there right now.

DaveH posted 10-17-2003 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
I found this link showing the relative size of a Touareg towing large boat. Note the tongue weight doesn't make the vehicle squat very much.

http://www.germancarfans.com/photos.cfm/photoid/3030702.001/volkswagen/1.html

Chesapeake posted 10-24-2003 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Tabasco: Is the MDX still in extremely short supply? My wife wanted one badly two years ago, but we couldn't find one in less than a 6 month wait. We ended up with a Sequoia - great vehicle - but Dawn uses it like a battering ram. It is so big, she knocks everything. It is getting so I am afraid when she drives to get gas - particularly when the kids are in the car.

Supposedly awesome vehicles... the MDX

whaling away posted 10-24-2003 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaling away  Send Email to whaling away     
DaveH- Boy, that is one big boat that the Touareg is pulling. I would think the rid would be a bit "bouncy" as the wheelbase is so short. That's one big advantage to having a long wheelbase - smooths out the "see-sawing".

The MDX does seem to be a good all around SUV. Is the Honda Pilot exactly the same as fara as towing?

DaveH posted 10-25-2003 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
Whaling away:

Yes, the Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX are both based upon the Honda Oddysey minivan platform.

From the Honda and Acura Websites:
Towing capacity 4500 lbs.
Towing requires installation of power steering fluid- and automatic tranmission fluid-cooler, both available exclusively from your Honda dealer. Premium unleaded fuel increases engine torque and is recommended when towing above 3500 lbs. Maximum towing capacity is 4500 lbs. for boat trailers and 3500 lbs. for all other trailers. Premium unleaded fuel is recommended when towing above 3500 lbs. Refer to the Owner's Manual for additional towing information.

alkar posted 10-25-2003 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
I love Honda products, but the Honda Pilot has go to be the UGLIEST SUV on the planet.

I like the MDX. It drives like a car, but it can't tow enough for us. We're stuck with buying a medium or large SUV...

SuburbanBoy posted 10-25-2003 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Having owned many many VW's, at this stage in my life, you could not give me one (so to speak). They drive nicely, they are comfortable for tall and or large people. The are great looking, and are logically layed out. But they are long haul unreliable. Lets talk about a diesel beetle that failed three times on the the highway in winter, (yes with proper fuel additive). How about a complete trans after only 85k in a g4? Half shafts, hub bearings, radiators, heater cores, door and window hardware etc. etc. They have some serious long term reliability issues.

sub

hooter posted 10-26-2003 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Echoin' Suburbanboy, one of the smartest guys Ah know is the feller sold me a five year old Golf III with 28,000 miles for $8,000 for mah baby-girl to drive around. It's still a cute li'l "minty" lookin' piece of tin can. After a complete A/C sytem re-do, new transmission and clutch, Oh!, and a rebuilt engine and a re-built front end, Ah'm now into it about $14,000. Still hasn't got but 72,000 miles on it. Tryin' to take the long view, Ah figure it's just a bit o' revenge from the Third Reich. Enjoy a VW if you can't find somethin' American to suit you, but unload that puppy before it's fifth birthday, would appear to be the rule. Sure do like my latest Tahoe. That one makes mah sixth "Suburban" in succession, all goin' between 150,000 and 190,000 miles before Ah sold 'em, and Ah've never replaced a GM transmission or a engine yet.

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