New VW Touareg review, test drive
1st Feb 2012 4:11 pm
Our first impressions of VW's all-new Touareg.
Volkswagen’s luxury SUV, the Touareg hasn’t found the limelight or the starry air like its siblings from Porsche and Audi. With Volkswagen ready to launch the all new Touareg will the story change? We took a first drive to find out.
Even in its all new form the Touareg keeps a low profile. Make no mistakes this is a big SUV, having gained 40 millimetres in length now. Its design though keeps from making a big deal about it. The headlights and tail lights make it seem like a Passat on stilts. The LED daytime running lights are the only brash bit on this near 2.2 ton SUV. The Touareg can boast of its weight too after all the new platform, and extensive redesign of its 4x4 mechanicals and suspension bits has resulted in weight reduction of over 200kgs.
On the road the Touareg feels sprightly. A massive 56.1kgm dose of torque makes sure the Touareg has enough grunt to really leap off the line. The 8-Speed gearbox is also amazing, delivering shifts that are as smooth as they are quick. Keep the throttle pressed and the SUV will blaze into the triple digits in a single, unrelenting stride.
With adjustable air suspension at each corner the Touareg also dishes out great ride quality. In comfort the ride is most absorbent with the damping becoming firmer in Normal and Sport. However, even in Sport the ride isn’t uncomfortable, but then the drive isn’t exactly scalpel sharp either. However, the Touareg is easy to drive fast the direct steering and controlled body movement giving the driver ample confidence.
The Touareg does well as a long distance mile muncher. The updated cabin feels more luxurious, with Volkswagen packing in reversing camera, panoramic sunroof and fully kitted music system on the India spec Touareg. The seats are very supportive and there’s ample space too. However, the lack of a third row of seats limits the Touareg’s appeal for large Indian families.
The Touareg proved its off-road credentials amply on a purpose built course too. The lack of reduction gears didn’t hamper progress in the loose muddy surfaces, climbing in and out of trenches at all angles. The adaptive air suspension raised to the maximum provided massive clearance and improve departure and angles of approach.
The Touareg is a versatile and competent luxury SUV. While it can be blamed of lacking the sense of occasion associated with a vehicle of this class, the Touareg defense is reposed in its sensible & unpretentious package. Despite lacking a third row of seats, a sensible price point might still provide the Touareg a very warm welcome at its launch in April this year.
Watch video review here