In April VW Touareg will launch its new petrol engine model. Motoring journalist Sue Cooke takes the high-tech car for a test drive…
Facts at a Glance:
Model: VW Touareg R-Line Tech | Price: £58,295 otr | Engine: 3 litre V6 TDI 4 Motion 286 PS 8 speed auto tiptronic | Performance: 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 146mph | Combined fuel consumption: 33.6mpg | CO2 emissions: 173g/km(NEDC)
I had to be careful when seated inside the technology packed VW Touareg, because I am one of those people who talks with their hands. I was sitting in a queue of traffic and said to my passenger that someone constantly had their head in the clouds, whizzing my hand in the air to demonstrate. The electrically operated sunblind obligingly closed across the panoramic sunroof. Amazing.
This gesture operated technology is one of a range of innovations which can be found on the third generation luxury SUV. The Touareg is also the first VW model available with Night Vision, a thermal imaging camera which can detect people and wild animals at night sooner than any human being. When objects which are up to 130 metres away in the dark are detected, the system will warn the driver and activate the braking system.
And night time driving is almost like driving in daylight with very bright full headlights which are pure art. The LED light show will automatically test the height adjustment on start up and wave from side to centre. In the cabin, the R Line ambient lighting pack, which will cost you an additional £350, comes with 30 colour options.
The new Touareg is wider and longer than the one before and has one of the largest digital cockpits in its class with luxurious black leather, black gloss and light strips surround. The attractive exterior of the R-Line drew appreciative comments from my young daughter and her friend with its own body styling kit of side skirts, side sills and silver roof rails.
When this large car was delivered I was slightly concerned as to how easy it would be to park in a multi storey but the new all-wheel steering system makes this SUV as manoeuvrable as a compact car, helped by the full colour rear view camera. The R Line was equipped with the largest head up display offered by VW, which projects information directly onto the windscreen but will cost an additional £1080. I found it very useful to see the vehicle’s current speed, the maximum permitted speed and the sat nav route, directly at eye level.
The 5 seater is an agile beast that handles well with no body roll and is supremely comfortable. The R-Line has air suspension with rear axle steering, but this will cost an additional £2,370.
Out on the motorway the 3 litre diesel I road tested is capable and powerful at 286PS with instant acceleration when needed. There is a second diesel engine choice and VW has just launched a 3 litre petrol with 340PS, making it the fastest variant in the Touareg range. First cars arrive in the UK in April.
Power is delivered to all four wheels via Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. Towing weights for the petrol unit remain unchanged over the diesel models, with a maximum weight of 3,500 kg possible for all three powertrains.
Standing at the top of the model range, the VW Touareg shows off all of the brand’s power with its innovative technologies and dynamic handling properties.