Volkswagen's Touareg was our 2004 Sport/Utility of the Year winner, and as such it gets an automatic invitation to join our one-year-test fleet. It took a while to arrange for one, but our Touareg V8 arrived handsomely dressed in Blue Silver paint with Kristal Gray Leather. As well equipped as this model is, we chose only one additional option: the Premium Plus package for a plus-size premium of $7600. This equipment group includes a 375-watt, 12-channel, 11-speaker audio system with CD and navigation, Bi-Xenon headlamps with washers, four-corner air-suspension, the leather seats, a silver roof rack, and the convenience package. Total cost, including $615 in destination charges, came to $50,855.
The logbook is already filling with comments confirming last year's pick: "Still feels every bit a winner" and "So, 10 months after picking the Touareg as SUOTY, do I have any buyer's remorse? Certainly our $50,000 long-term example makes a more convincing case for stretching the VW brand upmarket than does the $90,000 Phaeton W12." Our tester has consumed one quart of synthetic oil in the first 2500 miles, which is considered normal during the break-in period. Otherwise, no concerns to date.
From The Logbook
"The Touareg feels rich, from the delicious growl of its 310-horse V-8 to the gorgeous interior materials, fit and finish, and overall solidity."
|2004 Volkswagen Touareg V8|
|Base price ||$43,255|
|Price as tested|| $50,855|
|Vehicle layout ||Front engine, 4WD, 4-door, 5-pass|
|Engine|| 4.2L V-8, DOHC, 5 valves/cyl|
|SAE net hp @ rpm|| 310 @ 6200|
|SAE torque @ rpm|| 302 @ 3000|
|0-60 mph, sec|| 7.9|
|EPA mpg, city/hwy ||14/18|
|Total mileage|| 5116|
|Average test mpg || 13.3|
|Problem areas|| None|
|Maintenance cost|| $9/1 qt oil|
|Normal-wear cost|| $0|