Generally we get to drive evaluation vehicles that have done about 1000km, just run in then. However, we jumped into the top Touareg recently, the $136k V8 TDI, and bugger me if it hadn’t done 10,000km.
Despite that, the only sign of wear was the patina of the two-tone leather, and a minor dash buzz. Otherwise, it was like new.
With big easy-going V8 diesels, the more miles the better and in this case it almost met its 0-100 performance claim of 5.8sec. For a vehicle weighing nearly 2400kg that’s quite something. Not that many will try; it’s how it goes in general use that’s of more interest. Out of town it likes a few revs for best performance and occasionally you notice some turbo lag, but anything above 2000rpm is sufficient. Kick back and in top gear, 8th, it’s pulling 1300rpm at 100km/h. Fuel efficiency for such a solid machine is decent too, in the 12s when pushed, in single figures otherwise, and with a claimed overall figure of 9.1L/100km.
This one has on- and off-road traction control settings, and height adjustable air suspension and although there’s no lo-range, it can go adventuring. We didn’t but on road it fares surprisingly well. As it should, fitted with massive Pirelli Scorpion Verdes, measuring 275/40R21.
This is a big rig but with a weight split of 55/45 it doesn’t feel leaden up front, and with those swathes of rubber beneath it pushes through bends in more exacting fashion than you’d suspect, especially as the steering is hydraulic. Oh joy, the weighting and the feel come flooding through, just like they still don’t with electric helms. Making the big rig even more wieldy is adaptive damping; select Sport mode and never touch that button again. Ride is only ever sumptuous and body control more assured in that mode than Normal or Comfort.
It may not be all new but it comes with just about every conceivable comfort and convenience item, along with many of the active safety bits like blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, active cruise that works to a standstill (good for the big city motorway grind) and autonomous braking. Recently added to the specification list are a powered panoramic sunroof, LED taillights, and a stonking Dynaudio 620wpc sound system issuing forth through 12 speakers. The price is unchanged.
Other standard features include a power tailgate, surround camera with front and rear parking sensors, R line interior bits (fancy aluminium finish on the dash etc), and even a chilled glove compartment. Seats are heated and power operated. Braked tow capacity remains an almighty 3500kg. There’s room aplenty too, and the hold takes up to 697L, or 1642L with the seatback gone.
So it’s a good thing, an almighty tow rig, a well honed muscular luxo SUV, though for this sort of money you can buy more modern metal like a 200kW Q7. However, for those wanting a TDI V8 the options are limited to way more expensive items (Cayenne S diesel, SQ7, RR Sport) or to the bigger, heavier, slower Land Cruiser 200 Ltd.
All too much? You can get into a Touareg from $89,990 if that’s closer to the budget.
|Model||Volkswagen Touareg TDI V8||Price||$135,990|
|Engine||4134cc, V8, TDI, 250kW/800Nm||Drivetrain||8A, AWD|
|Fuel Use||9.1L/100km||C02 Output||239g/km|