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Volkswagen Touareg

The independent definitive Volkswagen Touareg video review
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    HIGH, WIDE AND HANDSOME (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Volkswagen's heaviest hitter looks a stronger proposition in third generation form. Jonathan Crouch reports

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 94

    Volkswagen's third generation Touareg is a large luxury SUV that's now smarter looking, safer, better-equipped and more efficient. As before, this car's dynamically better than you expect it to be, both on road and off it. True, it can't offer more than five seats, but then neither can key rivals like BMW's X5, Mercedes' GLE, Jeep's Grand Cherokee, the Lexus RX or Porsche's Cayenne. If you're looking at one of those contenders in this segment, then this under-rated Touareg offers a very complete package with a value proposition that could prove hard to resist.

    Backgroundword count: 154

    Large luxury SUVs tend to be more about style than substance. Here's one that's different, Volkswagen's much improved third generation Touareg. The original version of this car, launched in 2003 and named after a North African tribe, represented the Wolfsburg brand's first venture into the luxury SUV market and struck a chord with quite a few buyers in this segment. The second generation version, introduced in 2010, was less successful; Wolfsburg hopes to regain momentum with this, that model's successor. The prospects seem quite promising; this MK3 Touareg does, after all, use the same MLB Evo platform you'll find in Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini large SUVs. And, unlike them, it's actually quite at home off road. As before, the idea is to provide an appealing compromise between the extreme 'SUV'-ness of, say, a Toyota Land Cruiser or a Jeep Grand Cherokee. And more paved-surface-orientated large SUVs like the BMW X5 and the Mercedes GLE.

    Driving Experienceword count: 254

    Most versions of this third generation Touareg uses 3.0 V6 TDI power mated to an eight-speed automatic Tiptronic gearbox and 4MOTION all-wheel drive. This unit's an uprated version of the powerplant offered in this model's predecessor, this time round putting out 231 or 286PS. In the perkier variant, 0-62 mph takes 6.1 seconds, and the top speed is 146mph. A 340PS 3.0-litre V6 TSI turbocharged petrol engine is the alternative and you can also talk to your dealer about a top Touareg R PHEV petrol variant with 462PS. Pulling power remains a Toureg strongpoint, the 286PS 3.0 V6 TDI unit developing up to 600Nm of torque, which will make it ideal for towers who'll particularly like Volkswagen's handy 'Trailer Assist' technology that facilitates simple slow-speed manoeuvring. For on road use with this MK3 model, Volkswagen has (for top variants) developed an active all-wheel steering set-up and a roll stabilisation system with electromechanically controlled anti-roll bars. Plus there's two-chamber air suspension too, a set-up you can control via various driving modes. These range from 'Eco' and 'Comfort', through 'Individual', to 'Snow', 'Sand' and 'Off-road Expert'. Select the right setting and you'll be able to go surprisingly far off the beaten track. That'll be further aided by a centre differential lock with asymmetric dynamic torque distribution that acts as a transfer box for the flow of forces between the front and rear axle. A maximum of 70%t of the drive force reaches the front axle and up to 80% can be sent to the rear axle.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-62 mph (s):

    7.3

    8.7

    Combined mpg:

    40.9

    42.8

    Extra urban mpg:

    44.8

    47.1

    Height (mm):

    1732

    Length (mm):

    4801

    Max Speed (mph):

    128

    140

    ... and 6 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    60%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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