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Photos: 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 V8 FSI

The 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 V8 costs a lot to buy and a lot to run, but, while its cabin tech sucks, it drives extraordinarily well.

CNET Reviews staff
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Although expense to buy and run, the Touareg 2 is comfortable on paved roads, and seems like it would be capable off-road. But its cabin electronics are very outdated.
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The Touareg gets bright high-intensity discharge head lights standard. The grille reflects Volkswagen's current design language.
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The 4.2-liter V-8 in this Touareg puts out 360 horsepower, but sucks down the gas, getting an average of 13.4mpg in our testing. The Touareg is also available with a V-6 or a diesel V-10.
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The car's styling makes it looking nothing like an SUV. It uses curved lines for a more urban appearance.
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With an available air suspension, the ride height of the Touareg can be adjusted for off- or on-road driving.
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The interior has capacity for five passengers plus cargo.
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A 115 volt AC outlet is mounted in the cargo area, useful for charging laptops or plugging in other appliances.
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The cabin materials and fit are very nice in the Touareg, justifying its high price.
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An overhead console has an LED display that shows the compass direction.
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The Touareg handles well, especially when its suspension is set to Sport mode.
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The gauges use a clean, watch dial design.
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We like the rich center display, here showing the compass. It can also show the current music selection or trip computer information.
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The Touareg uses a 6 speed automatic transmission. Its Sport mode does a good job of holding low gears while cornering.
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The dial on the left controls the locking center and rear differentials. The switch in the middle controls the suspension mode, while the dial on the right controls ride height.
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Map rendering on the navigation system is very slow, making route guidance difficult.
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We weren't impressed with the destination entry interface, which requires you to know whether the street you want is an Avenue, Street, Way, or Road.
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The CD player can't play MP3 CDS--with a standard audio CD, this is all the information you get.
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The CD changer is mounted in the cargo area, making it very inconvenient to access.
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Along with standard broadcast radio, satellite radio is also available.
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The best option for digital music is the auxiliary input mounted in the console.
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The audio system in the Touareg could use stronger amplification, as we didn't feel like the sound had much power at all.
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The optional Dynaudio speakers improve the sound quality, making for good clarity in the highs and mids.
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The Lux package gives the car four zone climate control.
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The back-up camera is very impressive, with overlay lines showing the path of the vehicle depending on how the wheels are turned.

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