The origin of Volkswagen brand's sport utility vehicle history centers on the Type 181 (known in the United States as the Volkswagen Thing). A rear-engined vehicle built from the West German Army, the bizarre Thing has garnered a cult following. Roughly 20 years after production for the Volkswagen Thing concluded, the German auto company began selling a new, more refined sport utility called the Touareg. Equipped with standard all-wheel drive, the Volkswagen Touareg is geared to a premium crossover crowd. Serving in a segment below the Touareg, Volkswagen added the Tiguan to attract a broader market. Along with gasoline powerplants, the Volkswagen sport utility vehicle line has utilized TDI diesel as well as hybrid powertrains.
A powerful premium SUV with seating for five, the 2005 Volkswagen Touareg is an AWD powerhouse available with a 280 hp V6, 340 hp V8 or a twin turbo diesel V10 which generates 310 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque while returning 23 mpg on the highway.