The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg is a mid-size SUV that blends softer styling with very serious off-road capabilities. Although the Touareg is luxurious and comfortable, it’s woefully inefficient—both in terms of space and fuel economy.
The Volkswagen Touareg got a modest restyling for last year, and VW felt it warranted a moniker change to "Touareg2." The newer styling elements include more brightwork around the headlights and front air intakes, while a new LED rear lamp takes the place of the lighting on the original Touareg. Wind-tunnel testing leads to a more aerodynamic shape, while roof rails are now included as standard fare, and a discreet rear spoiler blends in much better with the silhouette.
The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg is a capable luxury SUV, which means that the interior is a drastic departure from VW's traditionally Spartan cabins. Upscale touches include fine leather, metal, and wood interior materials, while soft-touch plastics round out the cabin design. Fit and finish is superb as well, and while most gauges are easy to read, there is a rather confusing array of buttons and controls.
Seating and utility is a bit of a mixed bag on the Touareg. The front seats are spectacular, managing to be both luxuriously soft yet firm enough for ache-free long drives—and the driving position is nice and upright—but the rear seats disappoint. The second-row bench is comfortable, but there’s no third-row seat and surprisingly little room for either passengers or cargo in back.