Diesels get a bad rap in the United States. Too often, Americans assume that diesel cars are smelly and noisy without considering why they are so popular in Europe - fuel efficiency. Volkswagen has decided to take a chance on the skeptical American public by producing a diesel version of its Touareg 2 crossover. The Touareg 2 TDI gives American's the utility they crave in an SUV while promising fuel efficiency commonly found in family sedans - without the noise, smell or emissions of diesels past. The Touareg TDI's 3.0-liter V6 produces 221 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque and gets 25mpg in highway driving. We drove the TDI and found that it had more than enough torque for off-the-line and uphill acceleration, our only complaint being a bit of throttle lag when the engine was cold. Overall, the diesel engine is very quiet due to its common rail design and electronically-controlled fuel injectors, and an ultra-low emissions system uses exhaust-reducing additives to make the TDI's engine one of the cleanest diesels on the market. The VW Touareg TDI is set to hit showrooms in Spring 2009.
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