The new VW flagship. The smartest, most technologically advanced production car to ever come out of Wolfsburg, no less. Now in its third generation, Volkswagen’s large SUV has sacrificed its off-road character to become more of a high-tech premium SUV for the road.
In a nutshell, it’s Volkswagen’s incredibly stylish answer to the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes GLE and BMW X5. It is now a heavyweight battle if ever there was one.
Built from the incredibly flexible “MLB Evo” matrix of parts, the Touareg uses the same architecture as the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. This means that there is already a suspension in aluminum, a body that is also largely made of aluminum, and beaucoup d’autonomies de poids dans le groupe motopropulseur, le refroidissement, l’échappement, l’électricité, les sièges, little matter.
The somewhat chunky look of the Touareg has been refined with more powerful and lean lines that add an air of sophistication and modernity. Thanks to the new shared platform, the car increased in size but lost 106 kg. Compared to the last car, it’s 44mm wider and 77mm longer, but lower than its second-generation sibling; helping her proportions and making her a little more pleasing to the eye. Another bonus is that there is even more boot space, up from 113 liters to 810 total with the rear seats in place. So you can throw just about anything you can think of on that side of a medium sized elephant in there and it will probably fit.
Back in 2003, when the first Touareg was launched, it was the V10 TDI with outrageous torque that had everyone talking. As well as uneven ride quality. This time it’s about technology. Inside saw one of VW’s biggest cabin overhauls in decades, completely repositioning the Touareg and putting it in line with and even ahead of its fiercest competitors. Some interior materials seem to have suffered in quality to help finance the incredible dual screen, but you’ll forgive that, because it looks fantastic, it’s incredibly minimalistic and it has a technological artillery to back it up.
These include: ‘Night Vision’ to detect (and hopefully avoid) humans and animals in the dark via a thermal camera; Roadwork Lane Assist, to drive, brake and accelerate up to 37 mph; four-wheel steering to make it more agile than it really is; active roll stabilisation, to magically reduce body roll, and a head-up display projected directly onto the windshield. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but it will start at £49,000 and, we suspect, go quickly north from there.
Our choice of the range.
What’s the verdict?
The Touareg has had its biggest makeover yet. Both inside and out it has been completely modernized and really has something to write home about. Fully loaded, it’s a proper tech powerhouse and the flagship VW will be on display for quite some time. But this technology is expensive, so be careful what you specify. Still, the big VW has always been the thinking person’s big SUV, more understated and less ostentatious than its rivals, it’s more than capable of holding its own on the road, now in sheer refinement. Even if he sacrificed his off-road ability for him. But honestly, how many of you are looking to tackle the hard stuff anyway?
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Source : topgear.com