New cars: What the critics say

Volkswagen Touareg 2 Price: $39,320

The Sacramento Bee

Like the Cadillac Escalade, the updated-for-2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 “drips with luxury.” Believe it or not, though, this brute also offers real “muscular off-road capability.” Unfortunately, the thirsty engines in the various editions of this rock climber—ranging from six to 10 cylinders—don’t give drivers much of a break on fuel economy.

Road and Track

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The “2” is not all-new, but the exterior has gone under the scalpel and emerged with much more contemporary styling. Notable changes are a larger chrome grille, a roof spoiler that increases aerodynamic flow, and a redesigned center console that provides “enhanced graphics and data-displaying capability.” The Hill Descent/Ascent Assist takes “the guesswork out of otherwise complicated situations.”

AutoWeek

The optional 4.2-liter V8, starting at $49,000, “remains our performance and value choice.” Ride quality and handling are close to perfect, and an extra 40 hp helps dispel the feeling that you are piloting a 5,300-pound “flying brick.” This luxo-ute can also easily handle off-road terrain too daunting for many of its rivals.

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