With some of the more overt SUV lines toned down and its carlike styling language refined, the latest Volkswagen Touareg no longer looks lumpy and ungainly. It's quite sophisticated, in fact, and has a cabin that dazzles anyone who's driven the most luxurious domestic-badged SUVs.
It's still a rugged SUV if you pay for that version, but the Touareg doesn't look as mud-ready as it did in its last iteration. It's now more subtly sculptural, with some delicate details drawn into a conservative overall shape. What works best are the proportions: the headlights, the side glass, and the sheetmetal are balanced now, thanks to a longer wheelbase and slightly wider dimensions that also net it more usable interior space.
Inside, the Touareg keeps more of the same with respect to layout—a high seating position, with an upright orientation to the instrument panel and a high, wide center console—but trims and materials have been upgraded, and matte-metallic bezels punctuate the theme.