"Since its 2004 debut, I thought it was a great looking vehicle. I was amazed how heavy, sturdy, stable - yet drives like a car and full of options it had. It really is a luxury SUV. I moved to the 2005 V8 Touareg from a BMW 3-series, the Touareg is actually quieter and smoother on the road - even at high speeds. It shifts rough from 1st to second, should be warmed up about 5-10 minutes before driving, and the gas mileage is about the same as third-row seat SUVs. This is by far the fastest "big" car I've owned, I think it's quicker off the line than my BMW. I bought the car for size, looks, and tow-ability, we have a boat and I originally looked at the Lexus crossover SUV and BMW X5 but it was not rated high enough to pull the boat. The only ones with the power were big trucks, Land Cruisers, Range Rovers, Volvo XC90 and the third-row seaters. So I checked all of them out and they did not compare to the VW. On the downside, it is a new SUV for VW - I am concerned how long they will make them - if they discontinue the bottom will fall out. They do eat tires, but we called Range Rover and asked what tires they use on their vehicles, they suggested Michelin, so we switched to those (Range Rovers are heavy). The VW goes through brakes, but there's not much you can do but change your driving habits - it's a big truck, if you drive fast and brake hard, you'll replace them in 25K miles. But - it was also the highest safety rated vehicle in 2005, maybe 2006 too, it is low-centered - can't imagine how you could flip it, it's GREAT in bad weather, it tows the boat like it's not there, it has a really tight turning radius, so U-turns and parking is easy, the insurance premiums were REALLY LOW - way lower than our 1997 Toyota truck and lower than the BMW. It looks nice and is practical. The fold down seats take a few times to get the feel for (pull seat cushion up, then lift up, then lay back), and the sound system is awesome- subwoofer inside the car. I would recommend to a friend - but only friends with financial stability to afford the gas, the periodic maintenance and occasional tires."
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