With a smooth, wagon-like profile, lifted with off-road-friendly ground clearance, bright side sills, and a grille not unlike those on VW's cars, the Touareg looks more soft than rugged. For 2008, the Volkswagen Touareg was given a modest restyling, with a little more brightwork, new LED rear lamps, and some slight aerodynamic and interior improvements—plus a number of new tech features and improvements—but overall, the Touareg has changed little since its introduction seven years ago.
Kelley Blue Book states that the Volkswagen Touareg "looks every bit a member of the VW family, with restyled headlamps and a large chrome grille that echoes the look of the Volkswagen Passat." As for exterior styling elements, Cars.com notes that the Touareg sports "scalloped headlights with pronounced bezels," while the rear "has darker taillights and a new roof spoiler." Kelley Blue Book also recognizes hints of off-road ability in this ute's appearance, commenting that the Touareg's "tall, wide stance gives the impression that it's ready to take on the toughest trails." Regarding the TDI diesel variant, Motor Trend points out that "from the outside, the only real evidence that this is a diesel is the TDI badge."
Inside, the Touareg's cabin is a drastic departure from VW's traditionally Spartan cabins, although some reviewers complain about cluttered instrument-panel controls. Edmunds raves about the Volkswagen Touareg's "upscale, elegant cabin." Automobile Magazine says that the upgraded nav-system has "a much nicer display and more intuitive functionality make interacting with the navigation system a breeze" now. ConsumerGuide notes that "the gauges, dashboard, and console look contemporary and upscale." However, they find "the proliferation of buttons and controls requires a preflight briefing."