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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Matches any luxury SUV for quality of interior materials
Smallish second-row seating and cargo areas
Perhaps the biggest downfall of the Touareg remains the lack of a third row of seats
The mid-size 2009 Volkswagen Touareg SUV boasts top-notch materials and assembly, but it features a surprising lack of space for both passengers and cargo.
The Volkswagen Touareg stands out in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com for its plush, comfortable front seats. ConsumerGuide observes that the "firm and comfortable seats" up front combine with a "standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel [that] helps drivers find an ideal position" to create an exceedingly comfortable driving environment. MyRide.com reviewers agree, noting that "the long bottom cushion is perfect for long thighs, offering plenty of support." However, the Volkswagen Touareg is unanimously derided for its low overall seating capacity—Kelley Blue Book notes that "many SUVs now offer a third row of seats, increasing occupant capacity to seven, but the Touareg 2 remains a two-row SUV, thus limiting the number of seats to five." Adding insult to injury, Cars.com reports that the 2009 Volkswagen Touareg's "99 cubic feet of passenger volume is smaller than some of its competitors," while ConsumerGuide says that "foot and knee space" in the back "shrinks to marginal with the front seats set far back."
The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg's story doesn't get much more appealing when considering the available cargo room, which is far from ideal and leads many to wonder where all the interior space went. Edmunds is somewhat shocked to find that "cargo capacity is 31 cubic feet with the rear seats up and a mere 71 cubic feet when they're folded. A humble Honda CR-V beats that." ConsumerGuide, on the other hand, finds that the cargo space on the Touareg Volkswagen is "tall and wide rather than long, but it is spacious enough," although the rear seatbacks don't fold flat until you complete "an annoying ritual of flipping the lower cushions and removing the headrests."
The one saving grace for the Volkswagen Touareg in this category is its build and materials quality, which is unimpeachable. Edmunds notes that "most surfaces are soft-touch, and hard surfaces...feel smooth and substantial," while "build quality is excellent, too." Kelley Blue Book adds that the Volkswagen Touareg's interior is a "richly-appointed cabin of leather, wood and chrome trim" that "easily rivals the best in the luxury SUV class." As for the V-6 turbodiesel, Motor Trend says that "the cabin is just as nicely equipped as other Touaregs." The premium leather is also worth mentioning, as MyRide.com reviewers comment that the leather-covered steering wheel "feels good in the hands; so does the similarly wrapped shift handle."
One area where premium SUVs earn their chops is in noise reduction, and reviews indicate that the Touareg Volkswagen is up to any competitor's challenge. ConsumerGuide is particularly pleased with the cabin noise, cooing that "V-8 versions make a pleasant, expensive-sounding growl at full throttle" while also noting that "wind rush is low for an SUV."
The 2009 Volkswagen Touareg earns its sticker price with the quality of its materials and construction, but it comes up short on utility.