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My new in March 2020 Touareg 286 SEL Tech, has been a total disaster and  I thought it would be useful to share my experience with anyone thinking about buying one.

 

There are numerous things on the car that do not function fit for purpose and the VW attitude is basically, just because it says it in the user manual (downloaded using VIN) it doesn't mean it is true and nothing can be corrected ("Modified" in VW language) after the car is delivered. Check what you are getting before you drive away and make sure it is what you were expecting. The list is too long to go into detail here but these problems caused by VW arrogance and massive disregard for UK customers are insignificant compared to the dreadful driving experience:-

 

Basically the engine has very, very little low down torque (max torque does not occur until 2250rpm = half the rev range used up) this means that there is no way of driving the car in a relaxed manner, which is what I expect from a 3 litre V6 diesel. Every time you touch the throttle the transmission changes down to get the engine up to at least 2,000 rpm at which point, after a significant and  sometimes dangerous lag,  power and torque are available in spades and acceleration is fierce. Moving away from standstill is difficult for the same reason and when towing a caravan just expect to see the rev counter at 2,000 rpm before the car moves. How it gained accolades for towing I just don't understand. I am sure this could be a lovely engine but I think it has been crippled by the post dieselgate drive to obtain fuel & emissions figures.

 

I hope that prospective buyers will bear my comments in mind when test driving, it is all too easy to view a new car through rose tinteds.

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https://www.tiguanforums.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7370

 

"Sorry , not really relevant on Tiguan forum, but was asked by a few members for a quick review of my Touareg after many happy Tiguan years, so here goes for my last post.
So I’ve had my new Touareg SEL Tech 3.0 V6 231ps for the past 6 weeks , 2010 miles or so.
Initial reaction is, wow, loving the car! Best engine I’ve ever had in a car. Comfort and size is amazing. Have just had a weeks holiday in deepest darkest Wales, travelling down the tiniest of single track lanes and can honestly say I now know the size of the car in every direction, felt huge after my Tiguan, but now not daunted at all.
Firstly the positives.
Engine, is amazing. A lovely cruiser, but unbelievable power when needed for overtaking , and the lovely engine note still makes me smile. I seldom have the stereo on! Mpg is better than my previous 1.5 tsi, which has surprised me. My long term mpg on my Tiguan was 37.6 mpg.
I am regularly getting 41, up to 44mpg on runs. Today I travelled 270 miles from west Wales to NW Norfolk, a mixture of terrible country roads, heavy traffic, motorway, bit of engine fun and ‘testing’ and was amazed I achieved 41mpg. For a 2 ton car, loaded boot I think that’s pretty good. No eco mode has been selected yet. It also feels so safe and grounded at any speed.
Infotainment system is amazing. I was a little sceptical about touch screen to change temp etc, but it really does work well, and not as dangerous as I thought it would be. You soon get used to where items are on the screen ( you put most of them where you want) and don’t findi am taking my eyes from the road as much as I thought I would. Very clever system, no buttons or switches in the car, and the sat Nat is brilliant. I watch 3D satellite maps across the whole front of the car dash! No doubt will be on Tiguans soon.
Build quality is a step up. No wind noise at any speed tbh. Which was I found a bit of an issue on some Tigs I owned. No rattles, squeaking or annoying noises, not that my Tigs were bad, I’ve noticed a big difference.
It’s a bit anonymous compared to BMW’s Land Rover equivalents, and less blingy which I like, doesn’t shout, ‘look at me’!
Negatives to Tiguans ....
You have to turn off the lane assist off at the start of every journey!!! Got used to the 2 button steering wheel turn off on start up, but you’d think you’d be able to turn it off for good like you can the in the Tiguan, nope, doesn’t happen!
It has LED lights, but they are not adaptive like I had on my SEL. Surprises me for the cost of the car, I even have to dip my lights! . Lights are good, but think it’s only the top of the range that gets it.
Less storage inside, which for the size of the car amazes me! No glasses case in roof. Glove box a little smaller, so much so that you can’t fit manual in it! Having said that boot is huge, as is the rest of the car, so no real issue.
I’ve found the dealers don’t really understand the technology enough yet. Took me a week to get the infotainment system up and running as it should be, with the assistance from my dealer. There is no doubt cars are so advanced now, they are struggling to actually know what should work on a car and what shouldn’t !
Sorry to have bored the majority of you with this post. I’ve had a great few years on this forum and learnt/shared knowledge of the great Tiguans with you guys. All I can say is happy motoring, stay safe in these weird times, and enjoy your Tiguans, great cars!"

 

Not everyone has had the same experience.  

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This was my initial thought but a remap may affect the warranty. Not ideal on a 6 month old, expensive, very complex car. 

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2018 Octavia vRS 245 TSI Estate & 2016 Adria Altea 552 DT Tamar

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25 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

What it really needs is the petrol engine changing for a diesel.

 

Is it not a diesel, the 3 litre TDI?

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33 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

What it really needs is the petrol engine changing for a diesel.

Other way round I think! 😄

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2018 Octavia vRS 245 TSI Estate & 2016 Adria Altea 552 DT Tamar

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Some remaps are totally undetectable by the dealer so can't affect warranty-some remappers offer their own engine warranty-have a look-could be well worth your while!

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1 hour ago, xtrailman said:

What it really needs is the petrol engine changing for a diesel.

Yes I got that wrong both diesel with a petrol also, 231 diesel has 500nm of torque, so it's difficult to see how a 186 isn't enough.

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600Nm at 1750 rpm looks good on paper?  As its a 286 I'm assuming it is diesel. The petrol is 340PS.  Numbers from VW website today.

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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42 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

Yes I got that wrong both diesel with a petrol also, 231 diesel has 500nm of torque, so it's difficult to see how a 186 isn't enough.

 

I expect you mean the 286 with 600NM.

 

The 286 produces maximum torque (600NM) at 2250rpm and the 231 produces maximum torque (500NM) at 1750rpm

 

In reality this means little as the 286 is producing more torque at 1750rpm than the 231 is.

 

But that's on a dyno at full throttle from idle.

 

It doesn't tell how the mapping is on the road, how much lag there is and the relationship between the engine and gearbox,

 

The VAG 286 V6 TDi with ZF8HP doesn't seem to be a happy partnership.  Jump in a BMW 3.0D with ZF8HP and the partnership is sublime.

17 minutes ago, ChrisUK said:

600Nm at 1750 rpm looks good on paper?  As its a 286 I'm assuming it is diesel. The petrol is 340PS.  Numbers from VW website today.

 

231 is 500NM@1750rpm

 

286 is 600NM@2250rpm

 

But dyno figures only tell part of the story.

 

Petrol is 340PS and 450NM from 1340rpm to 5300rpm

Edited by logiclee

Yeti 2.0TDi DSG 4X4 L&K, Octavia TSi Manual, Citigo ASG, Swift Challenger.

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My observation would be that if I was considering spending that much of my own money on a car I would want a good long test drive first covering all roads from in town to fast dual carriageway to see if the car suited my driving style & I am sure the salesman would be happy to oblige. Did the op not do this ?

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To answer a few of the replies,

 

I, also, had assumed that at 1750rpm the 286 engine would be delivering as much torque as the 231 engine but I am beginning to wonder if that is actually the case ( I would love to see the power curves), my Merc GLC was 500Nm at 1500rpm and it pulled extremely well in an effortless wafting sort of way, if I ever saw 3000rpm I was gunning it . There are hints of the problem with Touaregs  in most reviews where comments are made about the gearbox forever changing down and in hindsight I know why. If it wasn't for Covid I would try to get a drive in a 231 by way of a comparison.

 

Test drive, we just missed out on the 48 hour test drive offer but the dealers were happy to sit with me for as long as I wanted and we tried a few dealers to get the best experience we could in mixed conditions. The problem is, the engine is so smooth, quiet and powerful that the smile on your face makes an objective test drive difficult. In addition I was mainly concerned with seat comfort and ride quality (for both of us) and sort of assumed that the engine would be fine, I have owned numerous VWs and never had a problem. This  is why I started this thread so that others could look out for the shortcomings that I now recognise. The problem with the car is that normal driving is difficult, pottering around is fine, motorway cruising is fine, driving like you stole it is fine but ask it for moderate performance or a prompt getaway and it bites back. It was only after a couple of weeks of ownership that I realised why I could not get the thing away from a standstill and why it was always changing down when I am used to big diesel engines not needing to. It drives just like a petrol engine with a performance camshaft, just better economy.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, 8ig Steve said:

It drives just like a petrol engine with a performance camshaft, just better economy.

 

 

Heaven! 😄

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2018 Octavia vRS 245 TSI Estate & 2016 Adria Altea 552 DT Tamar

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2 hours ago, 8ig Steve said:

To answer a few of the replies,

 

I, also, had assumed that at 1750rpm the 286 engine would be delivering as much torque as the 231 engine but I am beginning to wonder if that is actually the case ( I would love to see the power curves), my Merc GLC was 500Nm at 1500rpm and it pulled extremely well in an effortless wafting sort of way, if I ever saw 3000rpm I was gunning it . There are hints of the problem with Touaregs  in most reviews where comments are made about the gearbox forever changing down and in hindsight I know why. If it wasn't for Covid I would try to get a drive in a 231 by way of a comparison.

 

Test drive, we just missed out on the 48 hour test drive offer but the dealers were happy to sit with me for as long as I wanted and we tried a few dealers to get the best experience we could in mixed conditions. The problem is, the engine is so smooth, quiet and powerful that the smile on your face makes an objective test drive difficult. In addition I was mainly concerned with seat comfort and ride quality (for both of us) and sort of assumed that the engine would be fine, I have owned numerous VWs and never had a problem. This  is why I started this thread so that others could look out for the shortcomings that I now recognise. The problem with the car is that normal driving is difficult, pottering around is fine, motorway cruising is fine, driving like you stole it is fine but ask it for moderate performance or a prompt getaway and it bites back. It was only after a couple of weeks of ownership that I realised why I could not get the thing away from a standstill and why it was always changing down when I am used to big diesel engines not needing to. It drives just like a petrol engine with a performance camshaft, just better economy.

 

 

 

I think I would have insisted on the 48hr test drive, offer finished or not!

You were spending a lot of money Steve, and I would have thought at least one of the dealers should have obliged if asked especially if they were made aware that 2 additional dealers were in the picture.

Anyway best of luck with getting it sorted to your satisfaction.:)

Defender 90  cruising along with a Coachman Laser 640/4.  :)

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why has someone disagreed with my post. Racechip do a box that plugs and unplugs. Get an issue unplug it but their top spec box Inc's a two year engine warranty. Fact.

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It’s not just the engine that needs remapping, it’s the gearbox as well. The people that do our dynamic (on the road) mapping and tuning have an older SAAB as a workshop hack, a 9-3 turbo auto. This has been extensively ‘played with’. It’s an amazing car to drive with nearly 200k on the clock. The gearbox has been completely remapped as has the engine and as a result the change parameters keep the engine in its peak power band. Makes for an interesting drive when the fancy takes you. 

 

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Having read this, it makes me even more determined to stick with my 2015 Treg Escape with the 263bhp engine.  Other than a bit of turbo lag occasionally, it has none of the problems mentioned by the OP and is a delight to drive and tow with. For anyone that knows that long climb, south from Avonmouth on the M5, it goes up there with a 2000kg van on the back at 60mph in 8th gear almost as if it's not on the back. Pays the price in fuel consumption though - I'm lucky to get 23mpg towing and mid 30s solo - but I can live with that. (Roof rack/spare wheel and AT tyres don't help!)

VW Touareg Escape towing a 2018 Knaus Starclass 695

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4 hours ago, Jezzerb said:

why has someone disagreed with my post. Racechip do a box that plugs and unplugs. Get an issue unplug it but their top spec box Inc's a two year engine warranty. Fact.

 

I didn't hit the disagree button.  

 

But I doubt just sticking on a tuning box that raises boost and fueling will help.

 

The engine doesn't lack power or torque. But it has a strange  relationship between the engine and gearbox which is suspected to be due to the latest WLTP emission standards.

A full remap of engine and gearbox would be needed but I've not seen anyone offering ZF8HP remaps on VAG products as they are notoriously difficult to remap and only used on a few VAG products.

Edited by logiclee
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Yeti 2.0TDi DSG 4X4 L&K, Octavia TSi Manual, Citigo ASG, Swift Challenger.

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Much of this topic is outside my experience, but I can comment on remapping of ZF gearboxes.

If anyone claims to be able to do this I would be cautious (as Logiclee suggests).

When I retired in 2015 I bought an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage (for less than the cost of a new mid range Kuga at the time) which has an ageing ZF 5 speed auto (5HP30). The box needed rebuilding and using owners' club contacts the car is being used as a prototype for a more modern 6 speed conversion which will be a far better match for the 6.0 V12 engine (5 speed was all Aston had access to at the time and 8 speed too expensive for me now). Astons still use ZF, and they do a 6 speed box that fits, which would have been the obvious choice, but getting a transmission control module mapped was a non starter. It has been tried multiple times. Sending a signal to the box to tell it to shift is relatively easy. Getting it to shift safely and smoothly at all times is extremely complex and the potential for serious damage is very real.

That's why we are using a GM box. Unlike ZF, GM allow third parties access to the source code and there are US companies who specialise in custom controllers based on this.

So, to repeat, be very wary of anyone offering to remap ZF transmissions.

Edited by Ukzero
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4 hours ago, Jezzerb said:

why has someone disagreed with my post. Racechip do a box that plugs and unplugs. Get an issue unplug it but their top spec box Inc's a two year engine warranty. Fact.

Could it be because they believe remaps are always detectable?  I wouldn't know personally.

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6 hours ago, Jezzerb said:

why has someone disagreed with my post. Racechip do a box that plugs and unplugs. Get an issue unplug it but their top spec box Inc's a two year engine warranty. Fact.

Or could it be that their opinion is just different to yours :rolleyes:

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Defender 90  cruising along with a Coachman Laser 640/4.  :)

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I owned a gen 2 Touareg 245PS v6 new from 2014 to 2018. It was a fabulous car with an equally fab gearbox (to me anyway). The new model had not come out in early 2018 when the 4 year lease was up so could not go gen 3 but there were a few new late gen 2 Touaregs still around and i did consider one. My local dealer had a demo and the salesman said come and try it but after your gen 2 you wont like the gearbox as it kicks down if you so much as breathe on the accelerator from 70mph (will go into 8th but as soon as you breathed on the accelerator it changed down to 7th and shuddered before eventually changing back up to 8th). I did try it and did find this to be the case, it was a pain to drive. Salesman said VW were aware but wouldnt do anything about it as new model imminent. I have read where the new gen 3 model does the same and wonder if this is what is being referred to by the OP, if so and if it cannot be resolved then you have my sympathy.

Powrtouch AWD Movers. E & P Compact Levelling System.

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14 hours ago, 8ig Steve said:

To answer a few of the replies,

 

I, also, had assumed that at 1750rpm the 286 engine would be delivering as much torque as the 231 engine but I am beginning to wonder if that is actually the case ( I would love to see the power curves), my Merc GLC was 500Nm at 1500rpm and it pulled extremely well in an effortless wafting sort of way, if I ever saw 3000rpm I was gunning it . There are hints of the problem with Touaregs  in most reviews where comments are made about the gearbox forever changing down and in hindsight I know why. If it wasn't for Covid I would try to get a drive in a 231 by way of a comparison.

 

Test drive, we just missed out on the 48 hour test drive offer but the dealers were happy to sit with me for as long as I wanted and we tried a few dealers to get the best experience we could in mixed conditions. The problem is, the engine is so smooth, quiet and powerful that the smile on your face makes an objective test drive difficult. In addition I was mainly concerned with seat comfort and ride quality (for both of us) and sort of assumed that the engine would be fine, I have owned numerous VWs and never had a problem. This  is why I started this thread so that others could look out for the shortcomings that I now recognise. The problem with the car is that normal driving is difficult, pottering around is fine, motorway cruising is fine, driving like you stole it is fine but ask it for moderate performance or a prompt getaway and it bites back. It was only after a couple of weeks of ownership that I realised why I could not get the thing away from a standstill and why it was always changing down when I am used to big diesel engines not needing to. It drives just like a petrol engine with a performance camshaft, just better economy.

 

 

Why don't you consider a de tune to lower the max torque to say 1500rpm.

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20 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

Why don't you consider a de tune to lower the max torque to say 1500rpm.

 

Wouldn't help.

 

The problem is not how much torque is available low down, the 286PS has plenty.  At 1750rpm it has as much as the 231 on an engine dyno.

 

The issue is the mapping between the engine, gearbox and throttle position to satisfy WLTP NOx levels.  When the driver tries to access significant torque at low rpm say half throttle + the gearbox is changing down to lift the rpm.

This isn't new some Jeeps used to do this but that was to protect the TC.

 

Would be interesting for the OP to comment what happens in manual, Does the management limit the output at low rpm?

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Yeti 2.0TDi DSG 4X4 L&K, Octavia TSi Manual, Citigo ASG, Swift Challenger.

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