If you're looking for one of those clean diesel Volkswagens, then you've come to the right place. Last spotted in a white Sierra winter, a 2009 Touareg TDI took top honors in our recent diesel and hybrid luxury sport-utility vehicle shootout, where it was crowned the best all-around SUV for any season at the time. Starting at $45,150, including destination, the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg TDI that recently rolled into our garage arrived with a fittingly pristine Campenella White paintjob and a generous slathering of chrome trim. The 2010 model is the current-generation Touareg's final year, and, finding it deserving of an encore, we brought it in for another round of flogging and testing.

The original plan was to take an adventurous romp to a local campground over the July 4th holiday weekend. But the kibosh was put on that proposition due to a lack of vacant sites brought on by some poor advance planning. Rather than subject the spacious VW to several days of humdrum suburban duty, a road trip was proposed to flex the Touareg TDI's muscle in a favorable diesel environment: the long, open highway. Final destination? Denver, Colorado. Despite being some 1000 miles and change away from L.A., it was pinned to be a suitable venue to really wring out the German SUV and its oil-burning powerplant. Fuel tank filled with Diesel No. 2, and compadres safely buckled up, we set off for higher ground.

First, the equipment. Aside from a highly caffeinated driver (a no-cost option), our Touareg TDI was fitted with the best Volkswagen has to offer: Premium Technology Package, Lux Limited Package, 4-Corner Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control, and a trailer hitch. In all, the options tacked on an extra $14,700 to the base MSRP, making this particular example one of the most expensive Volkswagens you can purchase at the local dealer. Noted new additions complements of the new kit include touch-screen navigation (a requisite for any impromptu trip), keyless ignition, 20-inch alloy wheels, and the air suspension.

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