Volkswagen uses its diesel technology extensively in Europe, but has been barred from selling diesel cars in many U.S. states because of emissions regulations. New technology to clean up these emissions has opened up the market for Volkswagen.
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The Touareg is Volkswagen's biggest SUV. Unlike SUVs from U.S. automakers that are largely derived from trucks, the Touareg's curved lines give it a more modern look. It also uses an independent suspension, but still has rugged characteristics.
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The Touareg can be had with a number of advanced tech options, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and a rearview camera with trajectory lines.
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The Touareg has a roomy cabin with plenty of space for five people.
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An adjustable air suspension is available for the Touareg. The standard suspension, which Volkswagen calls "Comfort" doesn't deliver a luxury-car ride, but it's not bad.
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The fuel filler has labeling to help prevent people from accidentally putting gasoline into the tank. This labeling is repeated in the cabin.
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Cargo area, even with the rear seats up, is generous.
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The Touareg incorporates cabin luxury approaching that offered by Audi, Volkswagen's premium brand.
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With its high center of gravity, we avoided pushing the Touareg TDI in the turns. The handling feels good, and is aided by the standard all-wheel-drive, but it's no sports car.
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The color screen between tachometer and speedometer displays navigation, audio, and trip information, along with this compass.
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A six-speed-automatic transmission makes up the only transmission available on the Touareg TDI. It has sport and manual modes, along with its drive mode.
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As part of its off-road gear, the Touareg TDI has a low range and locking mode for its differentials, useful for getting the wheels turning when grip is minimal.
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An offroad screen shows the steering angle and whether the differential are locked.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The traffic map in the navigation system shows traffic flow information as colored lines next to major roads.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The Touareg TDI has a number of audio sources, including iPod integration and an onboard hard drive for music storage.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system option includes an audio system with 11 speakers. You can take it up a step further with a Dynaudio system.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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