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2013 Mazda MAZDA3, Black Mica, 8 mi., $18,740
Review of the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg
IntroductionThe 2012 Volkswagen Touareg represents the luxury SUV's first full redesign since it debuted a decade ago. In a nod to the on-road preferences of most crossover SUV owners, VW did away with the heavy and complex dual-range transfer case for off-roading. This contributes to a weight loss this year of nearly 400 pounds, which along with the new structure's increased rigidity notably sharpens on-pavement performance. The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is redesigned and there are considerable improvements in performance, fuel economy and rear passenger space.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is a midsize SUV that can comfortably seat five adults and is available in four main trim levels: Sport, Lux, Executive and Hybrid. The Sport trim of the 2012 Toureg comes well equipped with 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, power tailgate, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power/heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a navigation system, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio and iPod integration. The Lux trim stands tall on 19-inch wheels, a huge "panoramic" power sunroof, heated sideview mirrors, walnut cabin accents, leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats (with power lumbar support for the driver), driver memory presets and power rear seat releases. The Executive trim gets 20-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, keyless ignition/entry, rear park assist and a Dynaudio premium sound system. The Hybrid trim is loaded with all the features of the three trims earlier mentioned along with a power-adjustable steering column, passenger memory presets, passenger power lumbar seat support and metal door-sill plates. The 2012 Volkswagen Toureg also includes options such as Towing package, carpeted floor mats and the Protection package.
EngineThe class changing 2012 Touareg offers three powertrain choices, including Volkswagen's first-ever worldwide use of a hybrid engine. All three engines; the 3.0L V6 TSI supercharged hybrid, 3.0L V6 TDI clean diesel and 3.6L V6 FSI gasoline are mated to Volkswagen's first eight-speed transmission, along with Volkswagen's 4MOTION all wheel drive system. The 2012 Volkswagen Touareg will continue its tradition of providing superior high-torque performance. The V6 engine will provide the driver a maximum torque of 265 lbs.-ft. at 2,500 to 5,000 rpm while producing 280 hp at 6,200 rpm. The TDI provides an impressive maximum torque of 406 lbs.-ft. at 1,750 to 2,250 rpm while producing 225 hp at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm. All Touareg models, regardless of the powertrain configuration, have a towing capacity of 7,700 lbs. when equipped with the factory-installed tow package.
SafetyAnti-lock disc brakes with brake assist; stability and traction control, hill hold assist, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are some of the several safety features found in the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg.