The 2010 Volkswagen Touareg TDI makes few concessions to the diesel SUVs from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, and starts at a price roughly $5000 less than those trucks. The 20-inch wheels on our example create a slightly cumbersome ride. I suspect that lighter wheels with a bit more tire sidewall would better suit the Touareg and might make the difference between the comfort and sport modes more apparent.
Piggybacking off Evan's ergonomic complaints, a few interior bits are chintzy compared to what we expect from Volkswagen. The climate control temperature dials are cheap plastic with vague, meaningless detents that make the knob feel inaccurate. The seats and steering wheel, however, are fantastic. Hopefully, the new Touareg coming as a 2011 model can rectify the minor interior issues and build on the qualities that make it a desirable largish SUV.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor