And here is the wonderful bit: this is a fantastic car to drive! And not in an SUV sense. I’ve driven sporty coupes that don’t handle corners as well as the Touareg. When you first see the Touareg, you half expect it to flop around corners as if it’s wearing clown shoes, but it doesn’t. It just grips and grips. There is minimal body roll, no chirping of tires, and no horrendous understeer as you round sharp corners. In addition, the driving position and steering wheel feel great, and the steering wheel and console area are relatively uncluttered, making driving a priority and a pleasure.
The Touareg’s suspension tuning is appropriate for a vehicle of such proportions and responsibilities. It is soft enough to iron out road imperfections, allowing for a smooth drive on asphalt, but not to such an extent that the driver has no feel of the road or gets nauseous after a few bends. Off-road, the Touareg’s suspension again seemed well suited to the task, as my spine did not disintegrate after a few well attacked lumps of dirt and puddles.
The only main concern I had with this car was the lack of a sunroof and perhaps a bit too much black rubbery trim on and around the main console, both of which are addressed in the more luxurious package options. So there you have it, if you are looking for an SUV with great driving characteristics and the styling and attention to detail that we’ve become accustomed to from German automobiles, all while not breaking the bank, take the Touareg out for a stroll.
I’ll leave you with my most lasting impression of my time with this car. It happened on a dark and very stormy night. I was driving through the puddle infested, super windy freeway much faster than I should have, because it felt no different than if the conditions had been ideal. While most drivers decided to stay off the roads that night, my Touareg assured me with its warm bear-like hug that everything would be okay. And isn’t that why we all want an SUV?
2011 Touareg VR6 Sport Stats:
- ENGINE: 3.6 liter VR6 Engine
- HORSEPOWER: 280 hp @ 6,500 rpm
- TORQUE: 265 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
- TRANSMISSION: 8-Speed Automatic
- FUEL CONSUMPTION: 16 City / 23 Highway / 19 Observed MPG
- PRICE AS TESTED: $46,420
|Official website for Volkswagen of America – www.vw.com|
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