VW Touareg continues to evolve


VW Touareg continues to evolve

Friday, June 12, 2020

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Believe it or not, there are some among us who would rather not have their wealth on display. That doesn't mean they want to be slumming it either. They want to retain the trappings of luxury without the unwanted attention. It's at this moment the Volkswagen Touareg, the brand's largest sport utility vehicle (SUV), steps in.

From the outside, the Touareg is attractive with its conservative styling. It looks similar to several other upmarket rivals, and will fit in well with whatever is filling those upper St Andrew parking lots, but it won't pull the unnecessary attention. The Touareg saves that for the inside.

The keyless entry system that operates on all four illuminated doors takes owners into a world like no other. The multi-way electronically adjustable driver's seat moves to aid entrance and exit before returning to one of its memory positions. Ignore, if you can, the stylish dashboard with its sharp lines, soft-touch materials, leather, stitching, decorative burr walnut inserts, and piano gloss black trim. However, you can't ignore that in the middle of these odes to old-school luxury is the future. One operates the major functions of the Touareg through the largest infotainment system in the business. In front of the power adjustable steering wheel is VW's Innovision Cockpit. No physical dials here, the 12-inch high-definition screen shows plenty and is user configurable. That then flows perfectly into the 15-inch main screen. Touch, speak, swipe, use the steering wheel controls, or just move through menus with a wave of one's hand with the Gesture Control system. It feels like one is using a tablet, not some smartphone glued to the dashboard.

Modern luxury is also about refinement and convenience. There's plenty of space for five and their cargo. All major functions can be set to operate automatically and forgotten. Many other features are controlled electronically for ease of use, like a rear kick operated tailgate. The interior keeps the exterior out, to the point that the eight zones of climate control can make the air coming into the vehicle cleaner through an allergen filter. Noise levels while driving are low. Add in the excellent audio from the several method of connectivity from the infotainment system, and the panoramic roof and the cabin is as refined as anyone needs. For even more bourgeoisie moments, one can slide up the rear door screens during the day or adjust the ambient lighting as wanted during the night.

The isolationist nature of the Touareg is evident in its driving. It's not slow, with a 340bhp turbocharged V6 it couldn't be. However, it takes the sportier drive modes to get the best performance out of it. The chassis reactions aren't sharp because vehicle attempts to separate passengers from the varying levels of moon surface tarmac that passes for our road network to provide a smooth comfortable drive. Still it can be driven with confidence and those more competent at the wheel can find themselves in an enthusiastic rhythm matching Touareg's natural weight transfer and the grip from its 4MOTION all-wheel drive system. That last piece of technology means it can also be taken off-road if necessary.

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