Many family shoppers might find the Touareg's lack of a third-row seat a deal-breaker, as most of its rivals have one.
But the main rivals to the Touareg aren't the Toyota Highlander or Chevrolet Traverse but the likes of the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.
The M-Class has just been fully redesigned for 2012, with much-improved interiors and better refinement, while keeping some level of off-road ability.
BMW's X5 still provides a more engaging drive but isn't quite as spacious and versatile as some of the entries here.
The Infiniti FX remains out pick for performance on a curvy road.
And the Audi Q7, which is closely related to the Touareg, does include a third row, as well as a warmer interior design, for only modestly more.
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|2012 Volkswagen TouaregBrowse Used Listings||2012 Audi Q7Browse Used Listings||2012 BMW X5Browse Used Listings||2012 Mercedes-Benz M ClassBrowse Used Listings|
|16 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Supercharged Gas V6||Turbocharged Gas I6||Gas V6|
|4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle 4WD|
|4-Door VR6 Sport||quattro 4-Door 3.0T Premium Plus||AWD 4-Door 35i||4MATIC 4-Door ML350|
|Four Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door|
|Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic||Automatic|