Ever since its stateside debut in 2004, the Volkswagen Touareg has been one of the most featured SUVs in its class. The Touareg began as a joint design between Volkswagen and Porsche, whom at the time was seeking to add a luxury SUV to its own roster. Audi, being a member of Volkswagen Group, also had a hand in the layout of the model. Both the Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne share the same Volkswagen Group PL71 platform and aside from several styling cues and mechanical details, are almost the same. The Touareg was developed by a team of 300 people in Weissach im Tal, Germany. Production takes place in Bratislava, Slovakia at the same plant where its stablemates the Cayenne and Audi Q7 are also assembled. Thanks to a sporty four-wheel drive presence and impressive sales figures, the VW Touareg scored a handful of prestigious awards in its first few years on the road. It was voted Car and Driver magazine's Best Luxury SUV (2003), Motor Trend's SUV of the Year (2004) and Four Wheeler magazine's Four Wheeler of the Year (2005).
Engine options for the VW Touareg include a 3.6L DOHC V6, 4.2L DOHC V8, and a 5.0L Turbocharged V10 Diesel. A Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) V10 was available in the US beginning in 2004 but was later dropped due to emissions constraints. However, it was brought back in 2006 for a short time before being scrapped again due to reinforced California Air Resource Board emissions rules. Volkswagen put a TDI V6 in its place that meets all CARB requirements for 2009. Either a 6-speed tiptronic automatic or 6-speed manual is available, although most variants of the Touareg come equipped with automatic as standard. The initial interior featured dual-zone climate control as well as an optional navigation system which featured "off-roading mode", displaying various steering angles and changes in elevation. In 2006, the Volkswagen Touareg saw the first redesign of its parts. There were several styling alterations such as the addition of a front-end grille. Other amenities like Front Scan (adaptive cruise control) and Side Scan (blind spot warning system) were met with strong reviews by drivers and critics alike.
The 2008 Volkswagen Touareg kept almost all of the previous edition's features and added some new ones to the mix. Redesigned seats for more comfort and a Dynaudio stereo were now part of the interior. Another newsworthy item was the inclusion of a rollover sensor, which detects when the vehicle could be entering a potentially dangerous rollover situation. But perhaps the most newsworthy addition to the Touareg was the first 8-cylinder direct injection gas engine from Volkswagen, the V8 FSI, capable of over 350 horsepower. The ABSplus braking system, Hill Roll Back and Hill Descent Assist were other safety features the company offered in order to separate itself more as luxurious midsize crossover. It was also during this model year that the VW Touareg took on the "Touareg 2" nameplate in the US and Canada. Sales of the model have been solid, even in the US where the crossover segment is extremely competitive. The Volkswagen Touareg has garnered itself a well-earned reputation for drivability, dependability, and handling while presenting a fashionable package to travel in.
This sleekly styled SUV is often the center of attention and something tells us you like it that way! The Volkswagen Touareg demonstrates a wide range of abilities. It has the performance, handling, and safety features that set it apart from most in its class. Plus, it boasts an alluring presence that is classy and stylish. But it all comes down to results and even since 2004, the Touareg has provided them. Ever since the dawn of the crossover age, VW has needed a model that could carry the torch for the brand and the Touareg has responded with an impressive amount of success.
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