Volkswagen does diesel engines so well and the powerplant in this Touareg is no exception. The massive 406 lb-ft of torque moves the obese 5304-lb Touareg with authority and it's a more than willing partner for high-speed, straight-line highway runs, all while returning an impressive 22 mpg combined. As Joe mentioned, the chassis is quite good for such a heavy SUV, as it is supple without being floaty. I found the steering a little too light at low speeds but it was just about right on the highway.
Inside, the Touareg's sound deadening is so heavily fortified-presumably to keep out the diesel's deep burble-it sounded as if I had cotton in my ears. The interior is well constructed with typical Volkswagen fit and finish but to me the layout and design look dated. Fortunately, VW's excellent new nav/multimedia system is present.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor