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 But its cabin electronics are very outdated.
The Touareg gets bright high-intensity discharge head lights standard. The grille reflects Volkswagen's current design language.
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.
The car's styling makes it looking nothing like an SUV. It uses curved lines for a more urban appearance.
With an available air suspension, the ride height of the Touareg can be adjusted for off- or on-road driving.
The interior has capacity for five passengers plus cargo.
A 115 volt AC outlet is mounted in the cargo area, useful for charging laptops or plugging in other appliances.
The cabin materials and fit are very nice in the Touareg, justifying its high price.
An overhead console has an LED display that shows the compass direction.
The Touareg handles well, especially when its suspension is set to Sport mode.
The gauges use a clean, watch dial design.
We like the rich center display, here showing the compass. It can also show the current music selection or trip computer information.
The Touareg uses a 6 speed automatic transmission. Its Sport mode does a good job of holding low gears while cornering.
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.
Map rendering on the navigation system is very slow, making route guidance difficult.
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.
The CD player can't play MP3 CDS--with a standard audio CD, this is all the information you get.
The CD changer is mounted in the cargo area, making it very inconvenient to access.
Along with standard broadcast radio, satellite radio is also available.
The best option for digital music is the auxiliary input mounted in the console.
The audio system in the Touareg could use stronger amplification, as we didn't feel like the sound had much power at all.
The optional Dynaudio speakers improve the sound quality, making for good clarity in the highs and mids.
The Lux package gives the car four zone climate control.
The back-up camera is very impressive, with overlay lines showing the path of the vehicle depending on how the wheels are turned.