With its baby brands Audi and Porsche having accomplished records in the SUV market, it was time for the German automaker to come up with something exceptional. Volkswagen brings to you a mid-size crossover SUV that is more masculine than the Cayenne and Q7 and yet is based on the same flexible platform.
The German auto-giant introduced the Touareg crossover SUV to the world in 2002. Touareg V10 boasts a world record of having pulled a Boeing 747 as a part of advertisement campaign. However, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg is the same rugged SUV with a more handsome appeal.
Volkswagen has positioned the Touareg in luxury SUV segment going against the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. Unlike the forerunning model, the 2012 Cayenne looks fierce on its stance. Its massive appeal would give chills to a person seeing the Touareg follow him in his RVM. On the front, the SUV features an elegant chrome finish around the prominent radiator grille that graces the glorious VW badge. The total chrome package includes side windows, sills, rear bumper, and air intake spaced out from the grille. Its radical design follows the familiar VW face with headlights like Passat that now feature LED daytime running lights, with cornering lights for high and low beams, dynamic and static cornering lights. More recently developed technology like bending on corners for improved vision is also featured in the headlight.
The SUV is featured with enhanced 7-spoke alloy wheels. On the top are roof rails that go along with the sporty masculine appeal of the Touareg and also very practical. Other features include sliding/tilting sunroof that can be controlled via remote from the outside. Body color doors are incorporated with indicator lights and can be folded and adjusted from inside the car.
From the rear end, the SUV looks spectacular especially with the spare wheel projecting on the boot-lid. In addition, the exhaust pipes sticking out at the two ends of the rear looks fierce, however, the taillights look traditional VW with white strip on red light.
The German automaker designed the SUV with great off-road ability, rugged built and roomy interior. Its interior is so comfortable, that miles of journey feel like a trip around the neighborhood. Coming as a five-seater, the Touareg features top-notch interior themes and fine fabric. You can never make out the luxury and comfort of the interior from its tough exterior appearance. It is akin to a very practical SUV with comfort of a spoiled saloon.
Putting in numbers, the Touareg features Nappa leather upholstery in a pure Beige theme going along with the Burr-walnut wood inserts and a lavish dashboard. For the passengers comfort, the Touareg features AC with climate control and audio system with 6 CD-changer. The audio element features 10 loudspeakers generating an output of 20 watts each. The speakers are placed evenly at the front and rear that makes this SUV an orchestra on wheels. In addition, the entertainment supports FM and AM together with auxiliary support of CD, MP3 and WMA.
While the driver enjoys two-color instrument cluster displaying time, fuel level, speed and engine rev. The leather finished steering wheels have several keys mounted on it, enabling the driver to control audio and several other in-car functions. Other leather finishes includes the gear-shift knob that sits between the two front seats. The doors are dressed with reflectors giving an elite look.
The Touareg offers a lot for its spacious interior. While the glove compartment features refrigeration, the two cup holders in the front centre console can be used for storing glasses. You can get a glimpse of the practicality in the interior with the passenger armrest having a storage compartment within it. For the front occupants, the SUV features electric adjustable and heating seats, while the electric Panoramic sunroof can be enjoyed by the rear seat passengers.
Though the Touareg is packed with features, its commanding driver position and steering feel doesn’t let you get carried away by them. While the entertainment stuff and comfort will keep the passengers busy on the mile long journey.
In terms of safety, the Touareg features 8 airbags, including one for the driver and front passenger featuring curtain airbags for flawless safety. Moreover, the airbag can be activated or deactivated from the glove box in the front dash. Park Distance control provides parking assistance to the driver, giving audio and visual guidance. The SUV receives all discs with front ventilated discs. Other safety features include, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), ISOFIX, seat belt warning and tone lamp, Safety headrest system, engine immobilizer, wheel locks and remote central locking.
Finally it is time to take a peek under the hood. Its’ not just the massive appeal and design of the Touareg that make it such a functional SUV, there are some pretty big numbers under its hood. Powering the Touareg is a 2967 cc diesel motor spitting 242 bhp and a massive 550 Nm of torque. The V6 TDI engine built on traditional German technology and loaded with electronics gives the Touareg the spectacular rally winning performance. The unique blend of common rail diesel and piezo in-line injectors facilitates five accurately metered injection processes per stroke. This gives a more refined output, while improving exhaust emissions.
Moreover, this combination improves the fuel economy by improving fuel burning in the combustion chamber. Running on all four, the Touareg sports an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox. For handling the massive amount of torque, the regular DSG transmission was not the best option. Moreover, it dumps the regular dual clutch transmission for a more improved torque converter.
Speaking of fuel-economy, the Touareg gives 8 kmpl in city and 11 kmpl on highway. Not very impressive figure, but looking at the humongous size of the SUV and the glorious 3-litre diesel, the price ain’t a killer.
Volkswagen Touareg doesn’t just look like a big bad SUV, it drives like one too. We are not a fan of DSG transmission, but the Touareg sports a tiptronic gearbox for its benefits. This was a necessary replacement looking at the enormous torque flowing from the flywheel. The 8-speed tiptronic works like a regular automatic transmission, while allowing the driver to override the gearshift with a manual upshift/downshift feature.
On stretches and plain roads, the SUV is quiet and calm. Though you have plenty of entertainment packed in the vehicle, it doesn’t disconnect you from the sheer pleasure of driving. Moreover, this SUV is not built to stay on roads. What felt like a quiet and calm engine, just growls soon as you put your feet on the pedal. Its 3-litre V6 gives a pounding 242 bhp and 550 Nm torque, which makes it a very efficient off-roader. Running on all four, the car just goes through thick and thin on the road, seamlessly shifting through eight speeds and gathering speed effortlessly. Unlike the BMW X6, the Touareg can tackle steep climbs thanks to its electronic differential.
The Touareg has independent wishbone, car-like suspensions that keep the SUV well under control. Air suspension comes standard with three modes – Sport, Normal and Comfort. For starter, select the Normal mode for great on-road driving pleasure and somewhat impressive off-road ability. While the adjustable ride height gives true dominance in city traffic, its road manners don’t play large out on the trail. It has a remarkable 305 mm of ground clearance. The electronics have a large role to play when it comes to Touareg’s off-road handling. Its transmission and suspensions just work in a flawless manner to keep the SUV on all four, while tackling every obstacle the earth can offer. If you’re facing some seriously broken territory, just shift to comfort mode, and the severe beatings of the road just fade away significantly. While tackling severe bumps in road, you might here a thump but there is no noticeable rolling thanks to the stiff chassis.
The Touareg is a unique blend of tough off-road quality in a luxury saloon like function. Unlike its predecessors, the new VW SUV has presence and shows it. The tough German quality follows inside with the passengers enjoying comfort and never-ending features. Its engine is not so big in numbers, but it does make a statement when it comes to performance. It is disappointing though, with such a humongous SUV offering only five seats. But the Touareg promises to take the five across the most unforgiving trails on the face of the planet.
- Displacement: 2967cc, V6
- Engine Type: Diesel
- Maximum Power: 225 Bhp @ 4000 rpm
- Maximum Torque: 510 Nm @ 1750 rpm
- Transmission: 8-speed triptonic
Driven wheels AWD:
- Length: 1726 mm
- Width: 1928 mm
- Height: 4754 mm
- Wheelbase: 2855 mm
- Boot Space: 555 Ltr.
- Ground Clearance: 199.00 mm
- Kerb Weight: 2312.00 kgs.
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Tyre Size: 255/55 R18
- Suspension: Independent double wishbone with steel springs
- Brakes: Front Ventilated, Rear Disk
- Fuel Tank: 100.00
- Safety: ABS, ESP, TCS, EBD, EDL, 8 airbags
- Price: Rs 52-64 lacs (ex-showroom)