Skip to main content

Volkswagen has a solid lineup of SUVs, but there’s something exceptional about the Touareg. The Touareg’s European style and rugged charms make it quite compelling. So why did VW discontinue this midsize SUV?

What is the Volkswagen Touareg?

There are plenty of reasons why shoppers might be intrigued by the Touareg. It boasts VW’s signature posh looks. Plus, the Touareg is a notably dynamic performer too. 

Volkswagen introduced the first generation of the Touareg midsize SUV for the 2004 model year. The 2017 Touareg is part of the second generation and was the last brand-new version we got in the U.S. Back when it was new, critics were initially impressed with the SUV’s premium cabin offerings and comfortable ride quality. 

What makes the Touareg a standout is that it comes standard with all-wheel drive. Additionally, the AWD system contributes to the Touareg’s surprisingly good off-road capabilities. Eco-friendliness was also a highlight of the Touareg since VW made it available with a diesel engine and as a hybrid. But unfortunately, the Touareg struggled to stay relevant in the U.S.

The Touareg was one of the most expensive options in the midsize SUV class, which made it less attractive. Additionally, many believe that VW’s name choice for this SUV was regretful. The brand got the name “Touareg” from a nomadic tribe in the Sahara. The automaker stuck with it, though, despite major controversy. Furthermore, the Touareg’s low sales were the nail in the coffin. VW wasn’t able to sell more than 1,000 Touaregs in a single month from 2012 onward in America.

What replaced the VW Touareg midsize SUV? 

A red Volkswagen Atlas is driving on the road.
Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Atlas essentially replaced the Touareg in the U.S. The Atlas competes in the midsize SUV segment. When it first debuted in 2018, reviewers were quick to say that it wasn’t as luxe or adventurous as the Touareg. Even so, the Atlas has become far more popular in a short amount of time.

Unlike the Touareg, the Atlas is a three-row SUV that can seat up to seven. Additionally, the Atlas’ ample passenger space and huge cargo capacity make it an attractive choice for families. This SUV also earns praise for its engaging driving dynamics. However, the Atlas’ predicted reliability is another story. 

A blue Volkswagen Tiguan SUV is driving.
The Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

The argument can also be made that VW dropped the Touareg to focus more on its Tiguan SUV. The Volkswagen Tiguan is now VW’s most popular model, and it’s easy to see why. The Tiguan boasts style and great standard tech. It’s one of the few compact SUVs available with a third-row. 

Does Volkswagen still make the Touareg? 

Yes, VW still makes the Touareg in Europe. Volkswagen has no intentions to bring the Touareg back to the U.S., but the SUV is still making a splash overseas. Volkswagen recently announced the 2021 Touareg R, which features the automaker’s updated hybrid powertrain. The good news is we aren’t entirely left out of the brand’s electric vehicle expansions. We can expect the first electrified VW SUV in 2022. 


3 of the Worst Volkswagen Touareg Model Years, According to Owner Complaints