The Best of the Best 2003: Sport-Utility Vehicles - Volkswagen Touareg

  • Robert Farago

Being in the Volkswagen Touareg is like relaxing in your house: Everything is exactly how and where you want it. Switches are aligned perfectly with your hand. Electronic displays and chrome-rimmed dials provide no more or no less information than necessary. Seating position and visibility are ideal. The cabin is a masterpiece that grows more comfortable with each passing mile.

The $40,000 Touareg (pronounced tour-egg and named after a tribe of Saharan nomads) is a performance SUV as well. Discerning drivers should opt for the V-10 TDI, which includes air suspension and a mighty 5.0-liter diesel engine. The TDI, which boasts 313 hp and 553 ft lbs of torque, has enough grunt to tow a tank and enough shove to give its sister SUV, the Porsche Cayenne S (Volkswagen and Porsche teamed up to build their respective machines), a decent run for the money.

Volkswagen, www.vw.com

Photo by Darin Schnabel⁄RM Auctions
One of the finest car collections in the country is paring down...
There may be no car collectors more fanatical than Porsche collectors...
A stretched version of Maserati’s flagship Quattroporte sedan, the Octoporte is packed with...
Photo by Piccinini Roberto
The already impressive Huracán has been given an array of race-friendly upgrades…
The new GTS, unveiled 50 years after the original Targa debuted, will hit U.S. dealerships in April…
Photo by Jim Fets
The successful trip puts Audi on track to release its first autonomous car in 2017…
Jaguar’s design director discloses that the F-Pace is the production version of the C-X17 concept…
This year’s show saw debuts from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and other top carmakers…
The racecar set off a Ford winning streak at Le Mans that lasted four years…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
Armored versions of the limousine-like vehicle will also be available…