2009 Volkswagen Touareg TDI new car reviews

The Touareg now has VW's Clean Diesel technology. No, it doesn't get the bold graphics.

Better than: a smelly diesel truck
But not as good as: a SportWagen TDI, maybe
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 29.82

My, how VW has grown up. The company that gave us the Beetle, Rabbit and Karmann Ghia now has a full lineup that features something for just about every taste--including those who like to roll in an SUV.

The Touareg made its debut for the 2002 model year and received a face-lift for 2007. Starting with the 2009 model year, the mid-sized SUV is available with VW's Clean Diesel technology. What does that mean? We now get way less emissions--VW says 97 percent less sulfur content--plus a 90-percent drop in sooty emissions.

The Clean Diesel technology works by injecting something called AdBlue--synthetic urea, more or less--into the exhaust stream. The AdBlue helps convert the exhaust's nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water. The result: less harmful emissions combined with strong performance. Its turbo 3.0-liter engine produces 225 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque.

If this is a glimpse of the future, color us intrigued.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Neat. The TDI-equipped VW doesn't act, smell or sound like a diesel. That turbo-diesel torque is still present, but everything else about the driving experience says otherwise.

Personally, I can't wait to try this package in something a bit more car-like. A Golf or Jetta with this engine would shred some tires and in theory post solid economy numbers. Okay, world, let's have at it.

As for the rest of the car (truck?), if I had to drive a small SUV, I could be happy with this. It's comfortable, roomy and definitely quick enough. The interior controls are a bit bland, but they do go with the usual VW theme.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/20/10 7:10 p.m.

I drove the Audi version. Boy that TDI is awesome. There is torque for weeks. It is very refined and makes the Cummins ram's and Powerstrokes, I used to work on, seem like ancient technology. I wish I could afford one.

Dav
Dav Reader
2/21/10 9:13 a.m.

5300 lbs?! How can something so small weigh so much? That is close to what my monstrous full-size pickup weighs.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

My, how VW has grown up. The company that gave us the Beetle, Rabbit and Karmann Ghia now has a full lineup that features something for just about every taste--including those who like to roll in an SUV.

The Touareg made its debut for the 2002 model year and received a face-lift for 2007. Starting with the 2009 model year, the mid-sized SUV is available with VW's Clean Diesel technology. What does that mean? We now get way less emissions--VW says 97 percent less sulfur content--plus a 90-percent drop in sooty emissions.

The Clean Diesel technology works by injecting something called AdBlue--synthetic urea, more or less--into the exhaust stream. The AdBlue helps convert the exhaust's nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water. The result: less harmful emissions combined with strong performance. Its turbo 3.0-liter engine produces 225 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque.

If this is a glimpse of the future, color us intrigued.

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