VW has built a premium and capable SUV. Touareg offers premium features, while sporting a chassis that can handle itself on the autobahn, interstates, city streets, or country lanes. It is dressed with a stylish, sophisticated SUV design.
Developed eight years ago, Touareg is still winning reviews and kudos from American auto writers. VW has blended a fuel-efficient engine with a remarkable, “Category-bending style.”
Touareg offers you a choice of two engines: a 3.6L FSI 6-cylinder gasoline or a 3.0L TDI turbocharged 6-cylinder clean diesel. The diesel engine was my test vehicle. It produces 240 horsepower and 406 lbs.-ft. of torque. 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive system rests on 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.
Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. I averaged 25 mpg, but felt fuel economy is an issue that VW needs considerable improvement on.
On the outside, Touareg has Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, foglamps and power Liftgate. Bright exterior trim with silver roof rails complement power-heated exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators, adding to the Touareg’s good looks.
Keyless access with push-button start makes getting in and out quick and easy, while welcoming you to its silver metallic interior trim and cozy V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces. Front seats are heated and 8-way power-adjustable. Rear seats fold easily into a 40/20/40 split configuration.
For entertainment, technology, and communication, the touch screen AM/FM radio with in-dash six disc changer is accompanied by Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod connectivity and touch screen navigation system featuring 3D landmarks. SiriusXM Satellite Radio with limited time complimentary subscription and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity are all standard.
Volkswagen is known for its safety credentials. Nine VW vehicles scored the highest ratings in all four IIHS qualifying tests in 2012. That is 36 instances of superior safety.
In addition to its numerous airbags, every VW has a specially reinforced safety cage, which is designed to help protect you in the event of a severe collision. Surrounding the cage are three crumple zones, which provide space and material to help cushion and absorb the impact for extra insulation.
I was surprised at how much room the Touareg had. The seats were plenty wide and comfortable. Front seat leg room was more than adequate, and the height adjustable telescopic steering column adds to driver comfort.
The Touareg was amazingly powerful for a diesel. Even in tight driving situations and power surge event needs, the vehicle handled well and appeared highly capable for the adventure. Touareg maneuvered me quickly out of harm’s way when quickness was most needed.
The vehicle had spirit and personality with a yearning to be driven. The price was $48,320.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org.