2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jil McIntosh

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Photo Gallery: 2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6

Oshawa, Ontario – It took a little while to arrive, but Volkswagen Touareg’s new V6 is finally here.

While the 2005 Touareg was available with a V10 turbodiesel, 4.2-litre V8, and 3.2-litre V6, the V10 diesel was dropped for 2006, the 4.2-litre V8 was carried over, and the 3.2-litre V6 was subject to a running change that would eventually swap it for a 3.6-litre V6. Late it was, but the 3.6 is now available, offered as the sole choice against the V8 for 2007. (A V10 turbodiesel is still available in the U.S. market, but has not been advertised for Canada.)

The new V6 design banks the cylinders at a compact 10.6 degrees, and uses the company’s FSI direct injection for better performance and fuel efficiency. While most North American Touaregs never go further off-road than the odd gravel path to the cottage, Volkswagen says that the engine’s reconfigured oil pan and longitudinally-mounted drive belt are designed to survive “extreme hill climbs and deep water crossings”.

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6. Click image to enlarge

Its powerplant aside, the Touareg is pretty much unchanged from 2006. I far preferred my V6 tester to the 2006 V8 I drove last year: the V6’s throttle response is much better, and it seemed to me that the “Servotronic” power steering – which becomes standard in V6 models for 2007 – had a slightly better feel than the too-light version in the V8, although it’s still lacking the feedback I’d expect from a Volkswagen.

The 3.6-litre makes 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, up from the 240/229 served up by the 3.2-litre; it’s quiet and smooth under throttle and has excellent acceleration when asked for passing power on the highway, but I found it had a tendency to rough idle at a stoplight. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual mode and a dynamic shift mode. I didn’t care for a similar gearbox with the V8, where the shifts were either sluggish or harsh; shifts are smoother with the V6, but it switches gears so often that it sometimes gets to be annoying.

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6. Click image to enlarge

All models come with 4MOTION four-wheel drive, which splits the torque evenly between the axles under normal driving conditions, and will transfer torque when necessary if traction is lost. Numerous acronyms handle just about anything the average commute can throw at it: ABS with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), ASR (anti-slip regulation), EDL (electronic differential lock, which means torque can be directed between the left and right wheels as well as between the axles), ESP (electronic stability program), and for those who really do go deeper off-road, HDA (hill descent assist) and HCA (hill climb assist).

Even in V6 configuration, the Touareg is heavy – 2,307 kg (5,086 lbs) – and while it feels substantial, it isn’t as cumbersome as expected for its heft. The ride is very smooth, with road imperfections soaked up long before they can make their way into the cabin, and it’s all very quiet. I spent much of my time on the highway with it, where it tracks straight, with no need for constant correction, making for a pleasant four-hour trek that wasn’t tiring. My week with the Touareg netted me a combined 14.4 L/100 km, against its published combined average of 12.8 L/100 km, with a recommendation for premium fuel.

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6. Click image to enlarge

The seats helped with the four-hour comfort, as well; as with most Volkswagens, they’re very firm, but they provide an exceptional level of support that makes this the perfect long-distance hauler. My tester was optioned with the $6,400 Luxury Package, which added 12-way power seats in “cricket” leather, along with such other goodies as bi-Xenon headlamps, heated wheel, heated rear seats, auto-dimming mirrors and an upgraded stereo.

The well-finished interior features nicely-patterned faux wood, brushed metal and textured plastics, but there are a lot of small buttons that require too much time with one’s eyes off the road. The dual-zone climate control can also be overridden manually, but oddly, the vent mode choices did not include a simultaneous defroster/floor heat choice, which I prefer when I need the windows cleared but don’t want cold feet. The defrosters did a good job of keeping the windshield clear, but the side windows tended to stay fogged even with the blower on high. The weather also included light snow, which meant I had to turn on the rain-sensing wipers. I’ve never met a system from any manufacturer that works well all the time, and the Touareg was no exception: confused by the drizzle, the noisy wipers kept grinding away on dry glass or refused to come on. Are simple variable intermittent wipers too much to ask?

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6
2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6. Click image to enlarge

The rest of the interior exceeded expectations, though, with a simple but attractive cluster layout (a red line at the 50 km/h mark had me stumped until Volkswagen explained that it’s a German carryover; every VW sold in that country comes with the mark, to indicate the usual city speed limit), comfortable wheel, centre dash vents that can be closed completely, and full backlighting on absolutely everything, even down to the rear courtesy lights so that passengers can find their switches in the dark. The only jarring note was with the centre console. There’s a pop-up switch for the locking differential, which is mirrored by a similar switch on the other side of the console if the adjustable air suspension is ordered. My tester didn’t have that option, and so I ended up with an odd-looking hole where the switch would have been located. I don’t know what else VW could put there, but it looks very weird and unfinished, and it’s too small to be used as a cupholder.

The rear cargo area, while not all that practical with its light-coloured fabric covering, includes numerous tie-downs and a metal sill plate, with a tonneau cover to keep one’s belongings out of sight.

Overall, while V8 engines naturally come with the bragging rights, my vote goes for the Touareg’s new V6; that said, it would be nice to see this SUV with a small diesel, such as the 2.5- or 3.0-litre TDI engines available to European buyers. I’m also looking forward to the upcoming Tiguan, which offers great styling and which, given its footprint, should prove to be nimble and fun. The Touareg is nice, but its price and size limit its popularity, and I’m expecting that a lot of people who like the Touareg but can’t afford it will definitely be giving its “little brother” a look.

Pricing: 2007 Volkswagen Touareg V6

  • Base price: $51,525
  • Options: $6,400 (Luxury Package of cricket leather trim, 12-way power seats, bi-Xenon headlamps, heated steering wheel and rear seats, centre console, power folding auto-dimming mirrors, upgraded sound system, wood trim, manual rear sunshades, front sliding armrest)
  • Freight: $815
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Price as tested: $58,840 Click here for options, dealer invoice prices and factory incentives


  • Click here for complete specifications

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