BETTER BY DESIGN (some text hidden)
By Andy Enright
Introductionword count: 128
Buying a used SUV ought to be easy. There's no shortage of stock to choose from and it's a buyer's market. The thing is, getting that choice exactly right is a more nuanced thing than many realise. With big 4x4s, image is key and while there are some who want the most blinged-up truck imaginable, while others want an old Land Rover 110 with its chassis held together by hay for that 'authentic' look, there's a middle ground of people who want something not too shouty but which retains a degree of class and comfort. That's where a second-generation post-2010 Volkswagen Touareg makes such an interesting used buy. Prices seem a bargain at the moment and it still feels right up to scratch. Here's what to look for.
Modelsword count: 14
5dr large SUV (3.0, 4.2 diesel, 3.0 petrol/electric [SE, Escape, Altitude, Altitude V8, Hybrid])
Historyword count: 215
The Volkswagen Touareg is a vehicle that never really escaped a slow start to life. When the car was first shown at the Paris Motor Show in September 2002, its limelight was stolen by a car that shared most of its underpinnings; the Porsche Cayenne. Then Volkswagen got a simple decision wrong with engines. Nobody in this country bought the 3.2 and 4.2-litre petrol engines on offer, which left two diesels to choose from. The 5.0-litre V10 was hugely expensive and thirsty, while the 2.5-litre TDI diesel that ought to have been the volume seller struggled to get out of its own way. Remedial action arrived in 2004 with the vastly superior 3.0-litre V6 TDI but by then the damage was done. The Touareg was seen as a bit of an also-ran in the super SUV stakes. It's struggled to shake off that reputation ever since. A revised first generation car debuted in 2007 with a facelift and better technology, but it wasn't until the all-new second-generation car that we look at here that the Touareg started to become a bit more self-confident. This time round, Volkswagen hinged the range around a pair of strong and relevant diesels with a petrol/electric hybrid also offered. It lasted through to 2014, when a series of updates arrived.
What You Getword count: 171
Despite being bigger than its predecessor, the sleeker styling of this Touareg means that it looks a little less slab-sided. An extra 40mm has been grafted into the wheelbase, bumping the vehicle's overall length up to 4,758mm. The car is no wider than its MK1 predecessor, which will help when parking it, and is 20mm lower but more germane is the fact that this larger Touareg is actually 200kg lighter than the previous model. The styling borrows from the latest Volkswagen themes at the front end with a wide grille, LED lighting and slatted air intakes. The interior follows the usual understated but classy Volkswagen design language and the Touareg stands comparison with the best that the luxury 4x4 sector can offer in terms of its fit and finish. Unlike some of its contemporaries which have a seven-seat option, it's only offered in five-seat guise but those seats do slide and recline to make occupants more comfortable. The boot is a hefty 580-litres, extending to 1,642-litres with the rear seats folded.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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