The VW Touareg's platform was developed in conjunction with the Audi Q5 and Porsche Cayenne, so the level of handling and ride compliance out-classes most competitors. The five-passenger Touareg cabin is well-executed with upscale materials. It doesn't have the intricate detailing or luxury of an Audi interior, but you can see the family connection.
What's New for 2014
Volkswagen adds a new sport R-Line trim bringing unique interior and exterior features to the Touareg, along with 20-inch alloy wheels and a sport suspension. A new 360-degree Area View monitor and hands-free, easy-open tailgate are made available on all trims.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Touareg
The Tourareg is offered in wide range of trim levels and models. All are equipped with standard 4Motion all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as standard dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way-power and heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Bluetooth with audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio and power outlets (one 115-volt and four 12-volt).
The first decision for any Touareg buyer is which engine to choose. In addition to a hybrid model, discussed in another article, you can opt for one of two motors, each of which has distinct advantages:
The base 3.6 liter V-6 engine has 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque with an EPA rating of 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Clean Diesel TDI models feature a 3-liter turbocharged diesel V6 with 240 horsepower and an impressive 406 pound-feet of torque. It delivers 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
Then there are trim levels:
The Touareg can get very expensive for a vehicle with a mainstream Volkswagen badge. As much as we like the diesel engine, we're more likely to recommend a gas-powered Touareg in Sport or Lux trim as the best value.