Volkswagen Touareg: The People’s SUV

Volkswagen Touareg

Everyone in the Volskwagen Group seems to be making SUVs, Porsche’s Cayenne and Audi Q7 spring to mind. Now this may not be the Group’s flagship, but the Volkswagen Toaureg is VW’s flagship SUV. The Touareg is not doing as well as VW would have liked, however that isn’t to say that it’s an awful SUV. The main chagrin with it is that there are other cheaper offerings that offer relatively the same features in the market.

What’s in a Name?

The Touuareg are a nomadic people that inhabit the Sahara in North Africa.

The History

The Touareg which is internally named as the Typ 7L was a joint venture developed by the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche. As a result of this the PL71 platform was created. Through this platform SUVs like the Q7 and the Cayenne came to being. Though the aforementioned were offered up as upmarket cars, while the Touareg was placed in the market as a car for everyone. The Touareg does come with some upmarket trims that are meant to compete with high-end brands like Benz, BMW and Land Rover.

The Typ 7L became available from the dealers in 2002. Interestingly, it had a strong marketing campaign which involved towing a Boeing 747. It went on to have a facelift in 2007 before production lasted until 2010.

Current Model

Currently, the Touareg has reached its second generation. It was unveiled on February, 2010 in Munich and went on later to feature at the Beijing International Auto Show.

The Variants

The Volkswagen Touareg comes in a number of trims:

  • V6 Sport
  • V6 Sport with Technology
  • Technology
  • V6 Lux
  • TDI Lux
  • V6 Executive
  • TDI Executive

Volkswagen Touareg

The Powertrain

Powering the Touareg is a set of V6 and a pair of V8 engines. The most powerful petrol engine is the 4.2L V8 engine that produces 355 hp and 430 Nm of torque. When it comes to climbing from 0-100 km/h, it’s able to that in 6.2 seconds. However, if you are looking for the most powerful performance you’ll get that from the Hybrid, which couples in a supercharged 3L V6 and an electric motor to produce a combined output of 355 hp and 580 Nm of torque. As for the most powerful diesel engine, it’s the 4.1L V8 turbo that knocks in 335 hp and 800 Nm of torque. Accelerating 0-100 km/h will take you 5.8 seconds. The whole range uses an 8-speed auto for transmission.

Interior

Inside the cabin, you’ll be happy with the vast amounts of space offered by the Touareg. The rear sets get plenty of headroom and legroom. Its interior is great but just doesn’t match its predecessor. Entering in it you’ll feel like you’re an in upmarket Passat rather than an SUV.

Exterior

The new Touareg offered Volkswagen the opportunity to premiere their new headlight technology, which they claim is “glare free” (“Dynamic Light Assist” as it is known at VW). Volkswagen marque is plastered on a four horizontal bar grille. On top the cabin, there are two rails which seem to make it look really practical. However, the car’s rear might have you confusing it with an X5.

Our Verdict

Affordability, is definitely out the window. All you are left with is a practicality, efficiency and reliability. This SUV seems to be stack somewhere in the middle, it drives well but doesn’t have a sporty nature. Its interior is okay but isn’t as plush. A good off roader but not as accomplished like some of its rivals like the Land Rover Discovery. Has loads of space but doesn’t come as a 7-seater, it is strictly a 5-seater two-row SUV. Thus, the Touareg feels like a product that is still searching for its identity. Concluding, this SUV doesn’t have a niche but is a good all-rounder.

Budgeting for the Touareg will have to start from $ 42,705.

As a luxury car does the Toureg stand any chance against its more elite competitors like Land Rover? Have your say, leave a comment.

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Cris Shaki

Passionate about cars, tech, people, business, history, art & writing. I also enjoy being a graphic designer and web designer.

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