Midsize SUV axed for the 2018 model year
Although Volkswagen is pushing for more SUVs across its global lineup, one long-standing model is getting axed from the U.S. market. Say goodbye to the Touareg, which won’t be included in Volkswagen’s 2018 stable here on our shores.
The Touareg arrived in the U.S. for the 2004 model year and immediately won our SUV of the Year Award. At the time, we praised the model for blending carlike qualities such as a smooth ride and responsive handling with more SUV-like features, including ample cargo space, plenty of ground clearance, and serious four-wheel-drive off-road ability. Instead of competing with mainstream SUVs, however, the Touareg caters to a more premium audience alongside the Cadillac XT5, Audi Q5, and Lexus RX. For the 2017 model year, the Touareg starts at $50,405.
VW will continue selling the Tiguan in the U.S. Bridging the gap left by the Touareg, the 2018 Tiguan is longer and offers 57 percent more cargo space than before. Built specifically for North America, the large Atlas tops the SUV range and will also help fill the void.
During the first half of the year, VW sold 1,630 Touaregs in the U.S., down 26 percent from the same time period a year ago. Meanwhile, VW managed to move 20,556 Tiguans, although that model was also down from the previous year.
The Touareg’s exit from the U.S. market comes as Volkswagen begins a major overhaul to its lineup. In addition to a host of electric vehicles, VW wants to expand its global SUV lineup to 19 models by 2020. To that end, it’s planning a T-Roc small crossover for global markets.