Road Test

Road Test: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI 4XMOTION

April 11, 2011

VW Touareg 2011_03The 2011 Touareg looks all-new, but you can still easily recognise it as a Touareg. Compared to its predecessor, the second generation Touareg is wider, but the roof lineĀ  is dropped closer to the ground for better aerodynamics. These changes make the new Touareg look sportier and same time a bit smaller, but actually the longer wheelbase and greater total length provide even more room inside the cabin. At the front there is now a narrower grille opening that connects to the headlight housings with U-shaped LED running lights and Bi-Xenon headlamps. At the rear the the taillights have new L-Design. The new front end design and smaller frontal area has significantly improved Cd value. Touareg has also dropped some weigth which results in better fuel economy. The new Touareg is 208 kilograms lighter in the base version than the previous model, still the body torsional rigidity has improved by five prosent.

To achieve better fuel economy, Volkswagen have changed the four wheel drive system. The new Touareg comes as standard with 4MOTION permanent four wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip differential. There is a Off-road driving mode, which tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points. The standard 4MOTION with Torsen differential is quite enough for normal driving as Touareg is mostly seen on the tand most drivers will propably never if the Touareg is mainly driven on tarmac or in for road and city conditions. However, if you want your Touareg to be more serious off-roader, you can get the optional 4XMOTION four wheel drive system. The 4XMOTION has a more rugged transfer case designed for off-road duty. It includes reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking. Similar to the first Touareg generation, this one also has a rotary switch for the driver to choose the right driving mode between five choises.

“On-Road” setting is best for normal, daily driving. “Off-Road” is like Off-road driving programme, but it also has the automatic control of the mechanical locks. “Low” activates reduction gearing, has higher shift points and automatic doesn’t upshift in manual mode. Fourth setting engages centre differential lock and fifth engages also the rear differential lock. Most drivers will probably do just fine with the basic 4MOTION with the Torsen differential as Touareg is more likely to be driven on tarmac than taken in to deep forest. But it is nice to know that when needed, Touareg can be surprisingly capable off roader when equipped with 4XMOTION.

Another feature available as an option is the Dynamic Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC). CDC is an automatic levelling system with strengthened anti-roll bars. CDC enables you to select either Normal, Sport or Comfort drive settings, depending on the road conditions and your favorite style of driving. For example on uneven ground, Comfort mode provides a nicer ride, while the Sport mode turns Touareg a bit more agile and sportier SUV. Air Suspension makes it also possible to raise the ground clearence to be up to 300 mm when you need to overcome bigger obstacles. To ensure easier and more convenient loading and unloading, the rear of the vehicle can also be lowered from the standard height by up to 60mm by using the control button in the cargo compartment.

This 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel engine has four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and valve drive via roller valve levers. The third generation injection system features Piezo inline injectors and 1600 bar injection pressure. The engine produces 240 horsepower and 550 Newton metres of torque. The top torque is available on low engine range from 2000-2250 rpm. Thanks to the huge torque, this big SUV moves easily even on low revs. Give it a bit more throttle and V6 TDI Touareg can sprint from zero to a hundred in 7,8 seconds. This 4XMOTION model is a bit heavier and therefore a bit slower. Acceleration takes 8,2 seconds and the top speed is 216 km/h. Eventhough Touareg has dropped some weight, it still feels like a big and massive car to drive. Therefore you wouldn’t really call it sporty, eventhough there is nothing to complain about how this diesel performs.

All Touareg models now come with eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. 7th and 8th gears are fuel-efficient overdrive gears. The 8th gear reduces engine speed by 33 percent compared to 6th gear, which reduces fuel consumption on highway. While in the city, the Start/Stop function helps to reduce the fuel consumption by switching off the engine when you stop at the traffic lights. As soon as you release the breake pedal, the engine automatically switches on again. The average fuel consumption for this 3.0 V6 TDI 4XMOTION is 7,6 litres per 100 km and the CO2 emissions are 199 g/km.



  • Diesel
  • 6-cylinder
  • 2967cc
  • Turbo


  • 176 kW (240 hp) / 4000-4400rpm


  • 550 Nm / 2000-2250rpm


  • 8-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 8.2 seconds

Top speed

  • 216 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 7.6 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 199 g/km

VW Touareg 2011_04


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