NEW FOR 2009:

– New TDI Clean Diesel model
– V8 model discontinued
– Standard auxiliary input deleted, Bluetooth Mobile Phone Preparation added
– Available four-corner air suspension deleted on Comfortline model
– Highline adds power tailgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, and manually-operated rear side sunshades
– Available Technology Package

For 2009, the big news is the Touareg TDI Clean Diesel, which the company says is the most fuel-efficient SUV in Canada, with a highway rating of 8.0 L/100 km. The V8 model is no longer offered.

The V6 models undergo changes to their list of standard or optional features, including new features for the Highline, and an available Technology Package on both trim lines that adds touch-screen navigation, rearview camera, media device interface, Dynaudio 600-watt sound system, and multifunction instrumentation display.

The Touareg 2 V6 uses a 3.6-litre V6, while the TDI uses a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. Both use a six-speed automatic transmission with 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive.

Features on the Comfortline models include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, eight-way manually-adjustable heated “leatherette” front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, black roof rails, cruise control, heated washer nozzles, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, trailer hitch preparation, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, tailgate-integrated rear spoiler, black window surrounds, variable intermittent wipers, rear intermittent wiper, anti-theft alarm, floor mats, keyless entry, multifunction trip computer, digital compass, power sunroof, metallic trim, auto up/down windows, CD stereo, and Sirius satellite radio.

The Highline models add 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, privacy glass, adaptive automatic bi-xenon headlamps, fog lights, auto-dimming heated mirrors, Park Distance Control, power tailgate, chrome window surrounds, rain-sensing wipers, 115-volt outlet, upgraded sound system, 12-way power heated leather seats, garage door opener, heated steering wheel, manual rear side sunshades, and genuine walnut trim.

A limited number of Execline models are also available, which add heated rear seats, Keyless Access with pushbutton start, Side Assist vehicle blind spot detection, and ski sack.

Well-built and surprisingly capable when taken off-road, the Touareg becomes even more appealing with the release of the new clean diesel model, which Volkswagen is promising to produce outstanding fuel economy along with excellent performance. The system requires AdBlue, a urea additive to reduce emissions, but the tank is sized to require filling at the same time as regular scheduled maintenance, and it can be filled easily at any time by the owner if required.

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