2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2

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2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Review

By KBB.com Editors

In a world dominated by SUVs that might look tough, but cower when led over challenging terrain, the 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 is a rarity. It offers highly competent on-road driving dynamics, but when the pavement ends the Touareg 2 also proves to be an extremely capable off-roader. Part of the VW Touareg 2's appeal lies in the fact that its underpinnings are shared with the much more expensive Porsche Cayenne. For those willing to forgo the exclusivity of the Porsche nameplate, the Touareg 2 represents an opportunity to enjoy a similar driving experience at a lower price point. Despite its luxuriously-appointed cabin, however, many buyers will find the Touareg 2's five-passenger design flawed in light of the current trend among SUVs to offer seating for seven or more.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the capabilities of an SUV and the handling dynamics of a sport- sedan combined into one vehicle, we think you'll like the VW Touareg 2. Whether on or off-road, its excellent chassis can handle anything you throw at it.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Touareg 2's well-rounded character is a big part of its appeal, and few of its competitors are as capable off-road, there are both softer and sportier options in its price range. Also, even a fully loaded, $60,000+ Touareg 2 has neither a premium badge nor a third row of seats.

What's New for 2009

A V6 TDI diesel joins the Touareg 2's lineup, offering V8-like torque with class-leading fuel economy. The V10 TDI diesel has been discontinued.

Driving the Touareg 2
Driving Impressions

The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2's on-road manners lean towards the sporting side of things, owing its firm, stable road feel to the suspension it shares with the Porsche Cayenne. The...

... optional four-corner air-suspension helps smooth out the taut ride and adds more than three inches of ground clearance when adjusted to the highest level. Though few owners will ever take a Touareg 2 off-road, those who do are likely to be amazed by its abilities, as a standard locking center differential and Hill Descent Assist make crawling up and down the steepest of trails a remarkably uneventful experience. Hard-core off-roaders will also appreciate the Touareg 2's optional locking rear differential, its ability to ford 22-inch deep water and the anti-lock braking system tuned to shorten braking distances on loose surfaces.

V6 Turbo Diesel
Volkswagen has long been a leader in bringing diesel engines to the American car buyer. With huge amounts of torque and a high level of refinement, the Touareg 2's clean diesel V6 may be the engine that finally converts American drivers into diesel fans.

The Touareg 2's standard 4XMotion four-wheel-drive system delivers the goods for bold and brave off-road enthusiasts. A low-range gear, adaptive torque distribution and locking center differential help take the Touareg 2 over the most intimidating terrain.

2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 Details

Step inside the 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 and you are treated to a richly-appointed cabin of leather, wood and chrome trim. Based on its quality of materials and level of comfort, the Touareg 2's interior easily rivals the best in the luxury SUV class. Where it can't compete, however, is in seating capacity. Many SUVs now offer a third row of seats, increasing occupant capacity to seven, but the Touareg 2 remains a two-row SUV, thus limiting the number of seats to five. Luggage space, on the other hand, is quite good, thanks to a large, useful, squared-off rear cargo area.

2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2 photo

Volkswagen is known for its small cars, but, despite its mid-size SUV dimensions, the Touareg 2 looks every bit a member of the VW family, with integrated wrap-around headlamps and a large chrome grille that echoes the look of the Volkswagen Passat. The Touareg 2's tall, wide stance gives the impression that it's ready to take on the toughest trails, as do short front and rear overhangs that also help improve approach and departure angles.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The standard equipment list for the VW Touareg 2 includes features designed to enhance its on and off-road abilities, including anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, stability control, Hill Descent Assist and 4XMotion four-wheel drive. Among the standard comfort and convenience features are dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, 12-way power driver's seat, heated seats, sunroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. Enhancing the safety of all Touareg 2's are front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, a sensor that can activate the airbags in the event of a rollover and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Optional Equipment

There are four option packages offered for the 2009 Volkswagen Touareg 2. The Lux Package is available only for the VR6 model and includes leather and wood trim, a 12-way power passenger's seat and Bi-xenon headlamps. The Lux Plus Package adds keyless entry and engine start and a Dynaudio audio system. Included in the Technology Package are DVD-based navigation, a six-disc CD changer with auxiliary audio input and a rear back-up camera, while the Safety Package adds Lane Change Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and a multi-function color display. Other available options include a locking rear differential, tow hitch and four-corner air suspension.

Under the Hood

The base 3.6-liter VR6 engine provides adequate power and helps the VW Touareg 2 achieve its $40,000 starting price, but the mid-level 4.2-liter V8 proves much more desirable and delivers the level of power and refinement one might expect from BMW or Land Rover. At the top of the Touareg 2's list of engine choices is a new 3.0-liter V6 diesel that not only provides swift acceleration but also delivers the best fuel economy. All Touareg 2's are equipped with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive.

3.6-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20

4.2-liter V8
350 horsepower @ 6700 rpm
324 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18

3.0-liter V6 Turbo Diesel
221 horsepower @ N/A
407 lb.-ft. of torque @ N/A
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

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