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First Drive Review

Used Cars Volkswagen Touareg 196kW 3.2l 2004 Off-Road automatic Gasoline / Gas

Mileage : 225000 km


Once you get past the gritty-looking name worn by this all-new Volkswagen sport-utility vehicle -- it's taken from a nomadic tribe in the Sahara -- the rest of the machine is slicker than a Brylcreemed weasel. VW says it has aimed for a best combination of two usually separate SUV worlds. On-road, the Touareg serves as a luxury sedan, and off-road, it attacks terrain with a "mountain-goat attitude." Right. And the meek shall inherit the earth, too, but the fine print says, "Not in our lifetime."

Only this time there's no disclaimer. We drove preproduction samples at VW's proving ground near Wolfsburg, Germany, on both smooth pavement and in the stuntworks meant for off-roaders. Conclusion: Range Rover has company coming.

The Touareg's U.S. lifetime will start in June 2003, when it hits VW stores at a rate of 45,000 or so a year. Price of the base model with a 3.2-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive will be in the $35,000 neighborhood. Add the optional 4.2-liter V-8 from the Audi A8, or the 420-hp W-12 expected in 2004, plus air suspension, and you'll knock on 50 large.

One of the most capable SUV's ever built, Amazing Power, Teak Leather, Tows Anything
Volkswagen service is high cost, at the dealers.
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