2003 Volkswagen Touareg. Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour.
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Volkswagen's first sport-utility vehicle was a midsize five-passenger luxury wagon offering V6 or V8 power, plus an all-wheel-drive system suitable for serious off-road use. Named for a nomadic tribe of the Sahara, Touareg (Tour-regg) came with a 220-horsepower V6 or a 310-horsepower V8. The sole transmission was a six-speed automatic with manual shift gate. Similar in size to the Acura MDX, Touareg was developed in conjunction with Porsche, which offered its own version as the more expensive, more powerful Cayenne. Touareg was a four-door wagon with a rear liftgate; no third-row seating was available. Its 70 cubic feet of cargo room (with the rear seat folded) beat BMW's X5 but fell short of the Lexus RX 330 or MDX. Standard equipment included VW's 4XMotion AWD with low-range gearing and a locking center differential; a locking rear differential was optional. ABS and an antiskid system also were standard. A height-adjusting air suspension was optional. The V6 version had 17-inch wheels, versus 18-inch (or optional 19s) with V8 power. Front side airbags and curtain side airbags for both seating rows were standard. Both models came with wood and aluminum interior trim, and a sunroof. Leather upholstery was standard on the V8 and optional for the V6. Other options included a navigation system, an obstacle-detection system, and four-zone climate control Towing capacity was 7716 pounds with either engine. Volkswagen competed against the Acura MDX, Infiniti FX, and Lexus RX 330, as well as the Cadillac SRX. But the Touareg promised greater off-road prowess than those rivals.