It doesn't take much to ruin an otherwise outstanding ride. We love just about everything the Touareg has to offer, but there's one glaring flaw nearly every staffer has griped about: The jerky transmission is at times downright intolerable. It seems to hang onto a gear way longer than it needs to and makes drivers look down at the shifter quadrant to see if they're in Sport mode--but no, just in Drive.

Part of what we're experiencing may be an overly sensitive gas pedal. Throttle tip-in is too jerky.

It might not be the engine's problem, but something to do with the electronic throttle; many electronic-throttle-equipped vehicles we've driven have an artificial feel with an overly abrupt tip-in.

One editor called out both areas as suspect, saying he wished the throttle/transmission were more polished off the line. Tip-in is almost too quick, with none of the delicate control of, say, the LR3. In stop-and-go driving, the combo of an abrupt throttle and a transmission that often seems uncertain what gear to select makes for hiccup-filled progress. Otherwise, no service problems or other quality issues to report.