Comfort and Quality » 8
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Perhaps the biggest downfall of the Touareg remains the lack of a third row of seats
Matches any luxury SUV for quality of interior materials
Smallish second-row seating and cargo areas
Seating is reasonably comfortable in the 2010 Touareg, though it lacks the impressive interior and cargo space that you might have come to expect from utility vehicles. 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.
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. The Volkswagen Touareg is unanimously derided, though, 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 remains a two-row SUV, thus limiting the number of seats to five." Cars.com brings out the numbers, pointing out that the 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 rear "shrinks to marginal with the front seats set far back."
Cargo space isn't very impressive either, with the Touareg's interior somehow coming up short—a consequence of the rather high cargo floor. ConsumerGuide finds that the rear seatbacks don't fold flat until you complete "an annoying ritual of flipping the lower cushions and removing the headrests," and Edmunds is somewhat shocked to discover 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."
Throughout the interior, appointments feel premium, and this VW could easily carry an exclusive luxury badge. Fine leather, metal, and wood interior materials lift the mood, 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. 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."
Enhancing the refined feel of the interior is excellent insulation from wind and road noise. "Wind rush is low for an SUV," notes ConsumerGuide.
Although the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg comes up short with respect to interior space, it has the ride, refinement, and impressive interior materials of a true luxury vehicle.