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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the process of evaluating SUVs that are 1) Fun to drive, 2) My wife can drive and safely tote around offspring (in the future), and 3) Have a decent amount of cargo space.

In your opinion why should or shouln't I buy a Touareg over an FX-45? All comments welcome.

BTW, you folks have the start of a GREAT fourm here!!
 

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The FX has less interior space than the TOAUREG and the rear entry to the FX, in my opinion, is a major pain in the back because of the shape of the doors.

But, Lexus accels in the area of customer service/support, plus they have a nearly bulletproof history of reliability (thank you Toyota), so that's what it comes down to.

VW is still trying to hang with the big boys in the Luxo-SUV market, and they still have major strides to make. Whereas Lexus has pretty much written the book on how to deal with Luxo-vehicle owners.
 

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My bad... I didn't realize my boo-boo until I signed off... my apologies.

I have a friend who has an Infinity QX4 (pathfinder) and anytime she takes it in for service, they give her a G35 loaner car.

I've driven the G35..... it's a nice setta wheels.
 

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Neighbor drove home his new G35 the same week I brought home my Touareg. Very nice. Recommending it to my parents...

And TreginginCO, while I've never bought an Infiiti (always my favorite Japanese brand though), I am sure, like Lexus, they're more up to speed with customer service than VW as a whole, although Montesi's been great. Honestly, I think customer service for luxury car buyers was an afterthought for VWoA and VW (and "afterthought" may be a generous term, based on what I've read here). Seems odd that their plan is to compete head on with BMW and Mercedes but they didn't give that area much thought.

Off-topic, but while I am on the luxo bandwagon, I saw a Phaeton ad this weekend in the New York Times Magazine (Headline: "This ad doesn't work"), that mirrored the look and attitude of the old DDB ads done for the Beetle in the 60's. WHAT are they thinking? I suppose there could be two trains of thought... they must have been going for the ... "gee, look how far they've gone..." sentiment, but to me, all they're doing is reinforcing the stereotype they're trying to dislodge from people's minds!!!! They're nuts. I am an ad guy and I stared at the ad in disbelief for about five minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone else with thoughts on the topic?

FWIW, TREGinginCO and SUVW you two actually identified one of the concerns I have with the Treg/VW. Customer Service!!! The Treg is VW's first entry into the lux car market.

While the interior finish and performance are deserving of the high price tag, are the quality and service up to snuff?

At a SLIGHTLY lower price tag the car would be a no brainer but at the current price, do you get enough:

Quality
Service
Branding

Frankly, I'm doing research to find out if the quality and service live up to luxury brand standards. If I'm going to pay luxury car prices for a sub-luxury car brand, VW better deliver on everthing else!!!

I'm not a keep up with the Joneses kind of guy so I focus on value. For example, I wear an expensive watch and ALMOST no one notices it b/c the brand is not known and the look is understated. The quality, performance, and styling live up to the price tag.

The price tag of luxury goods take into account the "brand" and since VW does not have the premium brand recognition I want to determine how much of the price I'm paying is just to help them move into the Mercedes/BMW class.
 

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SUVW:

I have not seen an ad for the Phaeton, but I've been in television news long enough to know that in marketing (be it a news product or vehicle) - if you're trying to shed one image for a new one.... you don't talk about where you've been - you focus on where you want to go!

I know many people have had headaches with VWoA customer service not getting back in touch with them, but I can't say that. Everytime I've called VWoA to address a concern, they have always called me back and had a thoughtful answer. It may not have been what I wanted to hear, but at least there's been an acknowledgement of the problem.

There still this though - you shouldn't have to take your vehicle back to a dealership three and four times for the same problem - and, with a luxury vehicle, you shouldn't be expected to take a loaner car from a "rental" fleet. The dealership should have some vehicles to take care of TOUAREG and Phaeton owners.
 

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advertising

On the subject of advertising - and haven't we drifted from the FX discussion? Anyway, it's interesting - VW may be trying to take a leaf out of Volvo's advertising book: in Australia, we have a very common road rage expletive "Bloody Volvo driver!", which is about as insulting as you can get. I assume there is an equivalent in the rest of the world. Anyway, Volvo ran a series of ads where someone cussed "Bloody Volvo driver", but for different reasons than normally associated with the curse: great handling, great design, speed - but in the first ad, only the curse was seen and the second ad (run maybe a week after the first) explained why the curse had been subverted.

Initially, we scratched our heads, but it all became clear. Volvo now owned the insult. And they were careful to explain the campaign to their customers: an information pack - very well produced - went through the ads in detail and explained why Volvo drivers should feel proud, rather than ashamed of being a "bloody Volvo driver". Seems to have worked for them here, at least.

That's all very well, but if VW are running (old) Beetle ads for the Phaeton, they could well be missing the point - especially if it's making Touareg owners' blood run cold. Of course, there is th "hippie yesterday, capitalist today" angle.
 

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Yeah, you're right. Apologies.

You said:

"In the process of evaluating SUVs that are 1) Fun to drive, 2) My wife can drive and safely tote around offspring (in the future), and 3) Have a decent amount of cargo space. "

1. I LOVE driving this car. I've taken the Cayenne S out and it is a beauty, too - and, boy, do I say this a lot - and WAY better through the snakies, but at half the price, this car is still the business through a few sharp corners, it's just that body roll not calming down immediately. The Porsche (with air, admittedly) in sports shock mode is top-notch for a big car, but the Touareg isn't bad at all - I'm more confident with it than with a big, sloppy sedan.

2. My wife really likes driving it, too. It's like a big version of her Golf: sporty, solid and very comfortable. The size is only an issue in parking - spaces seem to be getting smaller - and the big, solid doors tend to swing to their "spot", even when there's another car in the way - clang! This is a bit of an issue at the moment as we've got two little kids, which means you can't park close on either side.

3. We fit the two kids (admittedly very little at present), all their junk and our luggage without much trouble. i really like the retractable net that you can pull up from the cross bar just behind the back row of seats: now I can stack to the roof! Or, with the seats down, you can attach the net to the back of the - now flat - seats and have the full space from front seats to tailgate to stack with loose objects ... probably not a great idea...

In short, this is a great car. Beautiful to look at, fun to drive, practical and plenty of space for the kids, so long as you don't go past 3 offspring.

Back on topic?
 

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Both my wife and I drive the car. It's a lot of fun to drive for me - my wife is intimidated by the size of it, but I think she is just petrified of driving in jersey - can't blame her. No kids, but we are planning and took that into acct when we bought the treg. Cargo space is better than the fx, but you can get more space in the acura or lexus. Also good that it has the pop-up window in the tailgate so you can carry longer stuff. I can't comment on quality, this is my first vw. Sales svc was awful, have not yet been in for mechanical svc, but not optimistic. Branding, regardless of the pr debocles mentioned earlier, was not a problem for me since anybody who knows anything about cars knows that this is basically a porsche suv in vw duds (i happen to prefer the vw duds better). There are definitely more practical suvs out there in this class, but the reason I bought the treg is the interior (best in its class) and the exterior styling. In my opinion the fx is even less practical than the treg, although the v6 hauls. I am very pleased - so far...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anyone else with opinions please leave a comment or two.

Thanks to the contributors to this thread. My wife and I test drove both vehicles today...V8 Treg and FX45. As expected we face a tough decision!!

The early lean is toward the Treg because it seems like the car that fits us best. The car-like drive of the FX was attractive to my wife and I thought it was nice to toss it about without feeling the extra weight. The Treg handled very well but there was a noticable difference between its performance and that of the FX at speed in curves.

Treg's finish crushed that of the FX.

The FX is a great car made by a great company with solid service BUT we are unsure of whether we would like this vehicle a year from now...the styling may be too aggressive for us and the interior space just seems tight.

Currently, our biggest concerns with VW are the service and first year kinks.

We'll test drive the Lexus RX 330 and Honda Pilot this weekend so my wife can close the loop and confirm that she doesn't want a fluffier SUV. Then hopefully make a decision.
 

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Swami,

For whatever it's worth, my treg was manufactured 12/03 and I picked it up late Feb. I have not experienced most of the problems detailed on this site. My only issues so far with the treg are: power in the v6 (not a prob for you if you are going with the v8), gas mileage is lower than I expected, and the electrical/computer system in the vehicle can be a nuisance. There just seem to be a lot of chimes and warning sounds. My other vehicle is a Lexus car and it seems more user friendly and less obnoxious with regard to these cabin warnings. I know I am really digging here, but this stuff bothers my wife more than me. I am all about the look and feel of the car and am very pleased...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
BigT-

I appreciate your contribution here. If we go with the Treg, I'm HOPING that we will avoid some of the issues here as well. I sense that what we are looking for in terms of options and colors is unavailable on lots and we cannot take delivery until late June anyway so the car will have to be built then shipped. We were told three months.

Basically, if we go with the Touareg I am expecting a few kinks and am trying to prepare my wife for that possibility as well.

The real issue is whether or not we like the car SOOOOOOO much better than others that we are willing to risk spending 45k or so on a vehicle that is not perfect.

Where in NJ are you? We test drove the car at Princeton VW (which is mainly an Audi dealer).
 

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Swami,

I'm in fair lawn, nj - right near paramus - 8 mi from the bridge. Earlier in this string I detailed my dealer experience which was terrible. If you do choose the treg, make sure you go to a dealer that treats you well. I have noticed that my wife disregards some of the vehicle's quirks, but just won't forget the rude sales guy. Happy shopping and let us know what you choose...
 
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