Not sure if it is really worth $42,000. But the 2015 gasoline V6 Touareg brings the features. It has a lot of suspension travel for a production crossover. Big springs. It is the quietest car I've ever driven. The 8-speed transmission is impressive. And the seats were near Volvo-comfortable.
It has a great blend of luxury and sport. The electric power steering is programmed to feel heavy, like a luxury car. But a direct injected 280HP motor made it feel lighter than it is. It is smaller than its cousin, the Audi Q7.
The big surprise was the off-road mode, as Andrew Collins over at Jalopnik described after he played with the diesel version. It has automatic downhill decent control, which downshifts and brakes automatically to guide you down dirt trails. It was a master of dirt roads. I think we did nearly 100 miles on "primitive roads" into canyons, washes, and forests near the Mexican border.
In 796 miles driven, I averaged a mediocre 23.9MPG on a mix of 87 and 89 octane. A 20 gallon fuel tank meant that I could have comfortably gone 500 miles in between gas pumps. $2.00 gasoline was also a nice plus in the American southwest.
An outstanding car. It competes against Range Rover, in terms of suspension. But it is overpriced as simply a paved roads family mover.
I loved how quiet and smooth it was. The third generation should arrive in the summer of 2016.