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Volkswagen Touareg review

Driven February 2012

Volkswagen Touareg review

Not a lot of you may have seen a Touareg before. But it really isn't your fault. The old one was so non-descript, you would have hardly noticed it even if it came and hit you in the face. But now there's a new one and we've driven it. As you may have guessed it's not a radical design, the Touareg follows the now familiar family face. The headlights are like in the Passat with those jewel-like daytime running lights. It isn't very aggressive, but its sheer size ensures it's got street cred.

Interiors are typical VW with understated lines and quality fittings. There's lot of space and the commanding driving position lets you get away with things you would think about only in a small car. And the equipment will keep you and your passengers occupied for quite a while. We love panoramic sunroofs and we can't lie.

But there's more to the Touareg than just girth and equipment. It comes with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel putting out 242bhp and massive 550Nm of torque. It's an all-time four-wheel drive and comes with an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox. It's not a dual clutch transmission that VW is known for, but a regular torque converter. And with the kind of torque the oil burner belts out, a DSG transmission wouldn't have been the best choice. On the road, it really doesn't matter, the Touareg seamlessly shifts gears and gathers speed without you noticing it.

Air suspension is standard with three modes to choose from – Sport, Normal and Comfort. Normal mode works best for most situations. Road manners are good and the Touareg doesn't feel as large as it looks. Ride height can be adjusted and in full offroad mode, the Touareg has a massive 305mm of clearance. We wished it had a low range gearbox like in the international model. But even without that, the Touareg can go offroad without feeling embarrassed thanks to the clever electronics. But owners will never do even half the things the Touareg can despite not having a low ratio. Prices are yet to be announced, but expect it slot below the Audi Q7.

Manish Sarser

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