2015 Volkswagen Touareg

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the entire Volkswagen Touareg lineup enjoys mild styling changes and gains xenon headlights and LED taillights. A new suite of standard and available driver-assistance safety features debut as well, including blind-spot and lane-keeping warnings and adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and brake intervention.

The Touareg seats only five, but does so in quiet comfort and remarkable, if a little understated, style. This year's exterior and interior freshening do improve the impression of luxury, while the utility it already had is enhanced with more standard features for 2015. The addition of a suite of available electronic safety systems brings the Touareg in line with others in this aspirational segment.

In terms of performance, the all-wheel-drive Touareg is amply powered by a standard and stout V6, an optional and very efficient diesel engine or a high-performance hybrid power plant that blends a supercharged V6 engine and an electric motor for a total of almost 400 horsepower; the latter two are identical to those found in the Porsche. The Touareg's responsive steering, supple ride and flawless high-speed composure make it a perfect companion for road trips.

Exterior Highlights
Midsize five-passenger luxury SUV available in base Sport, Sport with Technology, Lux, Executive and Hybrid trim levels

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg is a midsize five-passenger luxury SUV offered in base Sport, Sport with Technology, Lux, Executive and Hybrid trim levels. All but the base Sport and Hybrid offer either a gasoline (VR6) or diesel (TDI) V6 engine.

The Sport starts with 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic wipers, foglights, roof rails, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with manual lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with 6.5-inch color touchscreen control, a six-CD changer, HD and satellite radio with iPod integration.

The Sport with Technology trim, which comes standard with the TDI engine, adds keyless entry and ignition, a navigation system with an 8-inch color touchscreen, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, a trailer hitch and a hands-free power liftgate that you can open by waving your foot under the rear bumper.

The Lux starts with the Sport with Technology equipment and adds 19-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding exterior mirrors (auto-dimming on the driver's side), leather upholstery, wood trim, front-seat power lumbar adjustment, driver memory functions and power rear-seat releases in the cargo area.

The Executive has all of the Lux's features, and adds distinctive 20-inch wheels, a top-view parking display with four cameras, upgraded trim, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear sunshades and a premium 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system.

A Driver Assistance package is available on the Lux and Executive trims. This includes lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and front-collision warning with brake intervention.

Although the Hybrid is the most expensive Touareg, it downgrades to 19-inch wheels and the midlevel audio/navigation system (versus the Dynaudio setup). Otherwise, the Hybrid is equipped similarly to the Executive, and it also adds the Driver Assistance package, a power-adjustable steering column and passenger-seat memory settings.

Ambient lighting in cabin, standard touchscreen interface with sharp graphics, versatile rear seat, reclining seatbacks, generous cargo space,

The Touareg's interior lacks the glitz and glamour of traditional luxury-brand SUVs, but there's a strong vibe of quality and craftsmanship nonetheless. The materials are rich-feeling and pleasing to the eye, especially the new chrome and wood accents. The restyled knobs and buttons move with robust precision, and white LED ambient lighting bathes the cabin. Its handsome and highly legible gauge cluster is supplemented with a crisp graphic display that allows customization and illustration of the Driver Assistance package, if so equipped.

Although the Touareg doesn't have a fancy infotainment system with a fancy name, it does give you a standard touchscreen interface with a large screen and sharp graphics. Even better, it's easy to use. The Executive model's punchy Dynaudio sound system is one of our favorites; it's a shame you can't get it on lower trim levels.

The Touareg is strictly a two-row, five-passenger SUV, but its rear seat is quite versatile, offering reclining seatbacks and 6.3 inches of fore/aft seat travel. Rear-seat legroom is competitive for a midsize SUV, while the seat bottom is high enough to give rear passengers both solid thigh support and a nice view out.

Cargo capacity measures 32.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 64 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seatbacks stowed. The Hybrid model's battery pack is located in such a way that cargo capacity is unaffected, which isn't always the case with a hybrid.

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, hill hold assist, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and post-collision automatic braking to ensure the vehicle remains in place.

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