At $40,000, a 3.6-liter VR6 2008 Volkswagen Touareg is an impressively equipped and capable vehicle. But as you move up the model spectrum or add many options, its competitors make more sense.
For your $40,000 entry fee, the VR6 model “includes a long list of features designed to enhance its on and off-road abilities,” so states Kelley Blue Book. Front, front-side, and side-curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes round out what you would expect, while Hill Descent Assist, 4XMotion four-wheel drive, and tire-pressure monitoring are items you might not. A standard tow rating, with all three engines, of 7,716 pounds speaks to the Touareg’s heft and do-anything abilities. Standard creature comforts include dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, heated seats, a sunroof, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Step up to the V8 FSI trim, and you get an available “adjustable air suspension, xenon headlights, real wood trim, leather upholstery and driver memory function,” according to Edmunds. The air suspension, which Popular Mechanics finds “infinitely tunable to all conditions off-road,” is standard on the V-10 TDI.
A Dynaudio 10-speaker, 640-watt stereo is optional across the board, as is a DVD-based navigation system, a reality that troubles MyRide.com, who lament when speaking about the $69,000 V-10 TDI, “you still have to pay extra for the navigation system, heated rear seats, upgraded audio and keyless entry and start. Clearly, value isn't the Touareg's strong suit.” Also, Bluetooth functionality is not to be had in any of the models. A locking rear differential and a tow hitch are available.