Diesel makes the extra weight of an SUV tolerable. In 4 months of use I've been getting high teens around town and 29 cruising on the highway at 70-75. Slowing down to 60-65 puts mpg just over 30.
VW perhaps added extra sound deadening because of the diesel. In any case, the vehicle is very, very quiet in all circumstances. As a result, its extremely comfortable on long trips.
Quick, sure-footed, agile. Although not equivalent to my roadster, the Touareg has no vagueness in its handling.
With lots of torque, the Touareg moves its bulk quickly, handling all ordinary driving situations effortlessly. It's fairly quick off the line, cruises at high speed easily, and overtakes on the highway rapidly.
Rear seat room & comfort
More than usual leg room in the rear, even with the front seat all the way back.
Several options typical of the Touareg's price category are not available in North America, even though buyers in the rest of the world can get them: blind spot detection, lane departure warning, voice control (except for phone), smart cruise control. Withholding these options (apparently to keep the final price down) is silly marketing. I cross-shopped the Touareg against comparable Audi, BMW, and Mercedes models, all of which offered options I wanted and was willing to pay for. VW should embrace the price category to which the Touareg belongs.
Very narrow range of choices: black, white, brown, blue, and four shades of grey. What happened to the dark red (maroon) which previous generations of the Touareg offered?
The touareg offers reasonable competition to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes alternatives. Performance in all vehicles is comparable, and the Touareg costs a little less -- though it cannot be as well equipped. I finally chose the Touareg because it's the one my wife most liked.