After a full redesign two years ago, the Volkswagen Touareg gets few changes for 2013. Most notable is a bump in horsepower for the TDI engine from 225 to 240. Also there are new LED taillights for the Hybrid, some redesigned wheels and a new shade of wood interior trim.
When introduced to the U.S. for the 2004 model year, the VW Touareg aspired to be a do-everything SUV. In its newest iteration, the Touareg has shed 300+ pounds (which included dumping a lo-range transfer case) and is now tailored for on-road, all-season comfort and composure. Rarely will you find a better balance of virtues in something characterized as an SUV.
Unless you know your nomadic North African tribes, the Touareg's name won't mean much to you. However, once you learn what this 5-passenger SUV can do you'll be singing its praises, goofy name and all. A rigid body paired with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive (AWD) system (in this case VW's 4Motion) makes the Touareg a formidable off-road explorer while its broad engine choices offer power, economy and technology unavailable on most domestic competitors. Be it the torque-happy turbodiesel or the lightning-quick hybrid, the Touareg will get you where you want and do it in record time. With six possible trim/model combinations from which to choose, it's hard to imagine anyone willing to drop $40K or more will find much to quibble about in the Touareg.