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2011 Volkswagen Touareg Comfort & Quality

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The 2011 Touareg is about the same size as the outgoing version, yet Volkswagen has worked some magic with seating and made the interior a much better place. That's good, as the former version's interior was surprisingly tight for such a large vehicle.

Now, the Touareg is competitive in its class of upscale crossovers, with great new-design front seats, more legroom up front, and a new rear bench that can travel more than six inches fore and aft. In all, you can very comfortably fit four for a long trip, or five adults for a night out if backseat occupants don't mind contact. Cargo space is quite good, too; what's more, a power-folding arrangement can easily reposition to a fully flat cargo floor.

Still, it's a little surprising that the Touareg doesn't have three rows of seating. In shopping this model, you have to consider that its competition isn't the likes of the Toyota Highlander or Chevrolet Traverse but the likes of the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Interior design, space, and comfort really matter to premium crossover shoppers, and Volkswagen has shown new attention to that in the 2011 Touareg.

Those upscale prices demand an upscale cabin, and the Touareg has that. Materials have been fully revamped, and while the Touareg might be in synch with other VW models with respect to design, it's appointed with nicely finished materials that share more in common with Audi.

Ride quality is good for most road use no matter if you go with the standard suspension or the available air suspension in off-road versions, and the cabin stays quite well isolated from road noise. The 2011 Touareg is still no crisp handler, but it's now as nimble and responsive as many of its rivals. 

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