The Touareg's on-road grip is impressive for an SUV of this size and capability, but that roadholding comes at a price, as we learned when the tires on our Touareg needed replacing at 14,000 miles.

Volkswagen deserves applause for delivering an SUV that can just as easily climb a slippery rocky slope as it can make record time to and from the outlet malls, looking good inside and out while doing it. As with most heavy trucks this size, agility and gas mileage aren't strong points. On the whole, though, this was a good, hard-working year for VW's first-ever sport/utility, and we're certain the second generation will address our issues.

From The Logbook

In stop-and-go driving, the combo of an abrupt throttle and transmission that often seems uncertain what gear to select make for hiccup-filled progress. You have to work hard to impress passengers with your professional smoothness.
- Arthur St. Antoine

The level of luxury from material colors and textures to the wood and metal accents to the excellent stereo system are a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, the navigation system is a letdown; how about some street names?
- Allyson Harwood

It's difficult not to think there's too much complication engineered into this SUV--hinged rear seats, swivel-hinge console storage, tubeless big-rim spare, difficult nav system, and unrefined electronic throttle.
- Mark Williams

She's a peach on the highway at about 90 mph. The V-8 makes a well-toned, distinctive German growl when at wide-open throttle, and the throttle blips when in Sport Mode--all smile inducing.
- Brian Vance

The Touareg's rear latch release is downright maddening. One time it opens, the next time it doesn't. One time you have to depress it once, another time twice. You also can open it with the key fob, but that method doesn't always work, either. The bottom line is you're always fumbling to get access to the rear.
- John Kiewicz