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Is the VW Touareg for you?

When the first VW Touareg was released in 2003, more than half a million units were sold worldwide. An impressive number given that it was far from being the perfect ride. However, it was successful because it had space like the BMW X5 and performed like it as well at a dramatically lower price. The new MK2 model can be riding on the same level of success as the first Touareg given the same recipe but it looks like it’ll fair better since it is based off of the new Porsche Cayenne, making it roomier, lighter, and more economical.  There are engine options available and a new suspension system in place as well so the new Touareg is definitely poised to overtake the original model and take it farther than it’s ever been.

Pros

Given that it has a longer wheelbase now, the new VW Touareg is actually lighter, with all versions weighing at least 203kg less compared to the earlier model. What’s even more impressive is that while it is indeed lighter, the Touareg has increased fundamental rigidity by more than 5% to make it as one of the stiffest models in its class. This stiffness in turn allowed the new steel suspension system to be put in place, claimed to improve ride and handling for the Touareg while being 43kg lighter than the old suspension system that the Touareg had. Better handling though may have been affected by the completely redesigned four-wheel drive system slapped on to the Touareg that increases off-road performance and overall efficiency as well.

Everyone appreciates a car that keeps you safe as you drive. The VW Touareg takes safety a step further though by using a new deformable plastic for its front bumper, exceeding the requirements set by current laws to protect pedestrians. Bi-xenon lights in place (as an option) also offer “curve lighting” which improves vision around curves and corners, making it safer for you to drive at night or when conditions are dark.

Installed equipment are generous, with standard trims getting you satellite navigation, burr walnut finishing, parking sensors, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, and ‘Cricket’ leather seats. Aside from bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights are also available as an extra. LED daytime running lights work just like bi-xenon headlights in that they offer dynamic curve lighting.

Cons

For the exteriors, the VW Touareg didn’t move forward as much as it did with the things under the hood. Rather, it stuck with conservative styling that at best brings the model up-to-date with other Golf-faced vehicles in the VW fold. Nothing radical; just plain old neat and modern.

Though the Touareg is spacious, with a rear bench that slides to you can use load space to increase legroom and load space that totals 1642 litres with the rear seats down, there are no extra seats in the rear. Even as simply an option, the Touareg could have seated five with the kind of cabin space it had. However, it strictly remains a five-seater, limiting its appeal to certain portions of the market.

What do you think?

(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 2 )

A History of the VW Touareg

The VW Touareg is a crossover SUV manufactured by Volkswagen since 2002 through a joint venture with Audi and Porsche. The aim of the venture is for VW Group to cut into the mid-size segment luxury cars. The Touareg shares the same Volkswagen Group PL71 Platform with Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. This platform is the result of VW Group’s goal of creating an off-road SUV. The car won Best Luxury SUV in 2003 and Sport/Utility of the Year in 2004 from American auto magazines Car and Driver and Motor Trend.

In 2006 and 2007, VW introduced the Touareg with updated designs and improved technology. In 2007, and “R” model was also released at the Australian International Motor Show. The Touareg R50, with a 5.0-L diesel engine, is the third VW vehicle to be given an R edition. Within 2007 to 2010, the TDI, TDI Clean Diesel and TSI Hybrid versions were also introduced, which offered better fuel efficiency.

The second generation Touareg was revealed at the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show. This generation introduced the “glare-free high beam” headlight technology, the first of its kind. A hybrid version is also being produced staring 2010. The Touareg is also raced in motorsports since 2003.

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