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Good :) Standard power liftgate, parking sensors, better
ABS system, new ESP system. No gray color scheme anymore.
New headlights and roof rack.
Bad :( No leather standard. No wood trim
standard. No chrome instrument gauges standard. No powered
front passenger seat. No servotronic steering on V6. Low
gas mileage – needs hydrogen gas injection.
For 2008 VW
launches a restyled Touareg 2. While we would have
thought that the V6 Touareg in its restyled version would mean that the
vehicle would get better, we were disappointed to see how the car’s
interior has gotten worse. What is a engineering masterpiece
under the body has in fact gotten better, but the value that was the
Touareg has diminished. This may be in part due to the falling
dollar which is causing car makers to offer better interior’s as a
VW’s history in America
goes back to 1955 where it was officially launched in the states.
Today with headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the largest European
car maker, offers a host of its vehicles in the states and soon will
offer its many diesel models as well.
The Touareg 2 builds on
the legacy of the original Touareg, as a stand-out off-road vehicle
that delivers the comfort of a luxury sedan and the dynamic driving
experience of a sports car. After its introduction in 2003, the
Touareg quickly garnered accolades ranging from "4x4 of the Year" to
"Best SUV." For 2008 the Touareg 2 offers more power, and safety,
in the V6 engine range.
On the exterior a
redesigned front bumper with new headlights offers a sleeker more
contemporary look. The chrome grille is smoother and flows better
into the Touareg’s front hood. Small changes to the rearview
mirrors and a new roof rack which looks quite nice moves your eyes
rearward. A sleek rear spoiler and darkened tail lamps provide a
modern appearance. LED brake lights are not offered on the
Touareg and this is a mistake in this price range. New wheels in
17 inch width are standard on the V6 model.
Many of the great things
about a Touareg are now optional. Perhaps Porsche buying a large
stake in the company is having a effect. Porsche is known for its
plain cars which must be optioned up for anything truly
beautiful. Here VW has ripped out the beautiful wood and aluminum
trim. The chrome accented instrument cluster which looked like a
Rolex watch is gone. Leather seats are optional as well.
The front passenger seat is manual in all directions which just does
not fit with the overall feel that the Touareg had in the past.
Even the tail pipes are normal looking now. What was special and
glamorous about the Touareg is now gone. In this super
competitive market we do not think VW can afford to ruin the
Once you add all that has
been removed by way of a luxury package the price starts to climb
fast. A luxury plus package adds a keyless access and four zones
for heating and cooling and a premium audio system. Lots of new
technologies are available as options such as Bi-Xenon lights which
turn with the steering wheel. Keyless start and stop with the
touch of a button. A new multicolor instrument cluster display is
available as an option. We think this looks much better than the
standard one in our test car and you should get this option if you are
buying this vehicle. A input jack for a iPod is still optional
and inside the Technology package. Bluetooth is not available and
that is a big no-no in 2008. What has VW put into the car that is
not optional? A standard powered rear lift gate was a good item
to add but it did not work perfectly for us. It was not quick
enough and not handy enough as you approached the car. This could
be made better. On the stereo system Sirius satellite radio is
now standard. A moonroof is also standard. Parking distance
sensors are now standard on the Touareg making life easier in urban
The climate control
system is great as in all VW’s. The automatic system allows for 2
individual settings of temperature and it does its job amazingly
well. In rainy and cold mornings it was easy to see how this
system could defog everything so quickly. On the climate control
system a rest button allows you to use engine heat on cold days to keep
you warm without starting your car, for up to 45 minutes. This is
a great feature found on many German vehicles. When going into a
store for a short trip, push this button and your car will be warm when
you get back in. The windshield wipers offer a rain sensor to
provide better operation. Outside rear view mirrors are also
heated which helps a lot in rainy days. The new 3.6
Liter VR6 FSI engine is rated at 280 horsepower and 265 lbs.-ft. of
torque. All the torque comes on starting at 2,500 rpm which is a
great benefit of German makes in general which remember to offer power
at a very low rpm and carry that onward to higher rpm’s. The
engine is strong and powerful with a great exhaust note as well.
Gear shifts are very fluid for a almost unnoticeable change when in
regular ‘D’ mode. You can also shift manually by moving the shift
lever to the right and there is a optional ‘S’ sport mode for keeping
your engine at higher rpm’s when you want additional fun.
Thank god that the penny
pinchers have not destroyed the Touareg’s amazing road manners.
The Touareg still drives and feels like a solid piece of
machinery. While more input to the steering wheel would be great,
you will have to move up to a Porsche Cayenne or BMW M5 for that.
For everyday driving the Touareg delivers a quiet and firm ride that is
a driving pleasure from most US makes. Everything is
smooth. Parts feel heavy and solid making each day you live with
the Touareg enjoyable. Parts hopefully will wear well over time
as they have always done. The new suspension is softer than the
previous models’ however we still thought that in curves and with rapid
braking and acceleration the vehicle did not tilt or lean very
much. On bumpy roads the Touareg also feels great and the driver
always feels in control.
VW’s 4xMotion four wheel
drive system is always engaged. Power is sent to the wheel that
slips automatically and in normal driving all four wheels get power
equally. A center differential lock allows you to make sure there
is equal power distribution between the front and rear axle.
Should you get stuck and only one wheel in the rear is offering
traction, you can send power to that one wheel by using the rear
The Touareg is also great
at water fording with a maximum depth of 22.8 inches with the optional
air suspension. This is why we highly recommend you get a Touareg
with the air suspension option even if it will bring your MSRP close to
What else can this SUV do? It can drive
sideways on a 35 degree incline. On downward hills more than 20
degrees the vehicle can automatically take over without any pedal input
from you. It will maintain a constant 4 mph.
The Servotronic steering
system is only available on the V8 and V10 model. We are not sure
why VW choose to leave this out of the V6 even as a option. This
system gives you more precise steering control at low and high
VW offers the Touareg in a V6, a V8 and a V10 diesel engine. While all 3 get low gas mileage, we wonder why a diesel fuel saving technology would be put in a almost double the size engine. Why not make a v6 diesel and let people drive with 30 miles per gallon? It seems as if there is a plan to lower the fuel economy of our cars. What we all want when gas prices are so high, is a car that can go without gas at all. The hydrogen powered internal combustion engine is the key and it would emit only water vapor. We should all look up cars that run on water on sites such as YouTube and see how everyday Americans are making their internal combustion engines, the engines in every car and truck in America, run on hydrogen gas made from a little electricity and water. There would be no fuel problems, no refilling problems, and best of all it would be clean and free to everyone. It is time to speak out on this technology and get all our cars converted to run on hydrogen gas.
More has been added to
increase safety in the Touareg and we did like that. A new tire
pressure monitor works faster. Electronic Brake Force
Distribution applies brakes more intelligently to each wheel.
Brake Assist applies full pressure to the brakes in a emergency.
There is also electronic differential locking to keep a individual
wheel from spinning. ESP check where you are going and steering
and makes sure everything is fine. Engine Braking Assist keeps
wheels from locking up in sharp stops. There are a host of
airbags as well with front and rear side curtain airbags for maximum
All new Volkswagen
automobiles come with 24-hour Roadside Assistance for four years/50,000
miles (whichever occurs first) and new vehicle warranties, including:
Our test car starts off
at $39,320. No options were added and so a $680 destination
charge only applies. Bringing our total to a even $40,000.
60% of parts come from Germany. The final assembly point is
Bratislava, Slovakia with the engine coming from Germany and the
transmission coming from Japan. Emissions are cleaner than most
other vehicles with a smog index of .49. The window sticker shows
a fuel economy rating of 14 mpg city and 19 mpg on the highway.
We really need to get that number much higher. View the Touareg 2
at vw.com which is a great web site by the way for building
options and seeing them on the car as you add them. Also look at
our video below and our large photos.
Car Reviews And News.com
Wheels w/All-Season Tires
Rear Differential Lock
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