Why Did Volkswagen Discontinue the Touareg?

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 SUV?

About 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. 

VW introduced the first generation of the Touareg 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. 

A grey Touareg SUV off-road.
2003 Volkswagen Touareg | Volkswagen

What makes the Touareg a standout in the VW is that it comes with all-wheel drive. 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. Some people said that VW’s name choice for this SUV was regretful. VW got the name “Touareg” from a nomadic tribe in the Sahara. The carmaker stuck with it, though, despite the controversy. But as CNET highlighted, 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 the U.S. 

What replaced the VW Touareg? 

A red 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion on a paved road with mountains in the background.
2021 Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

RELATED: Is This Spicy Hit Still Volkswagen’s Best-Selling Product?

The VW Atlas essentially replaced the Touareg in the U.S. Like the Touareg originally did, the Atlas competes in the midsize SUV class. When the Atlas 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. 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 photo of the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan outdoors.
Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

You could also say that VW dropped the Touareg to focus more on its Tiguan SUV. Tiguan is now VWs most popular model, and it’s easy to see why. The Tiguan boasts style and tech, and it’s one of the few compact SUVs available with a third-row. 

Does VW still make the Touareg? 

2019 Volkswagen Touareg
2019 Volkswagen Touareg | Volkswagen

RELATED: Volkswagen’s Fix for Limited EV Chargers: Send in the Droids

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