Can a Volkswagen be sexy, dance mambo in the deep sand and cut a good figure? We wanted to know exactly - so off to the test site in Horstwalde!
J now the revised VW Touareg also carries the family grill à la Passat and Eos. The sweat is likely to come on the forehead of those driving ahead when the all-terrain bull appears in the rearview mirror in full format. And in addition to the operated nose, there is a lot of new technology in the Touareg. Is that enough to pass the 4Wheel Fun Supertest?
Even on the way to the test site, the larger exterior mirrors and a few new buttons on the dashboard catch your eye. The cruise control got an 'eagle look' - a network of sensors monitors the surroundings and keeps the distance from the vehicle in front. If necessary, the vehicle automatically brakes to a standstill. Also new: the look to the side. With the side scan, two radar sensors are used to monitor the blind spot. Flashing yellow stripes in the mirror warn the driver of a possible collision when changing lanes. Inside, the Touareg reveals itself as a fine Volkswagen and a close relative of the elegant Phaeton. Everything looks like it was made from one piece. Rattling noises are unknown. The model update was only carried out in the interior for the newly foamed seats. The operation is usually unproblematic, but newcomers should study the operating instructions. And the powerful automatic selector lever looks as if it could transfer the 500 Newton meters of torque from the diesel engine alone.
V6 diesel with powerful thrust
The V6 common rail diesel engine quietly delivers its enormous thrust. If need be, it accelerates the 2,410 kilogram chunk from standstill to 100 km /h in just 8.6 seconds. With extensive exhaust gas treatment and a standard particle filter, it meets the Euro 4 standard despite its high weight. The basic version of the V6 TDI comes with a six-speed manual transmission. Our Supertest candidate is easy on the left foot and takes the test with the 2,250 euro six-speed automatic transmission. The optional air suspension also regulates the height level. Like the platform, the system is known from the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. Depending on the load, it lowers the car on the road as the speed increases and increases the ground clearance off-road. The distance to the ground can be reduced to 195enlarge an impressive 295 mm. However, the VW reacts quite insensitively on forest paths with deep holes or on cobblestones. At times, impact noises from the chassis can be heard in an intrusive way. Only at higher speeds does the air suspension allow significantly fewer impacts in the comfort position. On the twisting track, the VW has no problems getting through, at most the how is bothersome: Despite the stabilizer being unhooked, the axle articulation is not enough to keep all wheels on the ground. At times, the Touareg bobs from hill to hill with two wheels in the air. The control electronics have to do the hard work here.
The Touareg has a lot of trouble in deep sand
What we also didn't like is the excessive speed despite the gear reduction being engaged at idle. The Touareg has to be braked more often. Speaking of brakes: Have you ever thrown your anchor on gravel or in the sand? In such cases, the ABS does what it can to do, and some vehicles hardly come to a stop. Not so with the VW's optimized ABS. An improved slip control creates a brake wedge in front of the briefly locking wheel. The system can significantly shorten the braking distance on loose ground. On asphalt, the Wolfsburg-based man stops after an acceptable 41 meters with production tires.
After the test drive on a paved test site, we converted the VW to A /T tires from the Pirelli Scorpion brand (235/60 R 18). The tires find optimum traction on the solid scree slope and in the sand passages. In combination with the high-torque V6 TDI, the deep sand stages are easy and fluffy despite the high weight. As long as you can get enough momentum into the stage, everything is fine. But: starting on the steep, deep sand slope? The Touareg has a lot of trouble here. The traction control does not let the powerful engine work freely and intervenes noticeably. Only when the locks are engaged does the bolide dig its way to the summit at constant speed. It works best with the gear reduction engaged and the preselected second gear of the automatic.
The VW storms up the 65 percent steepest incline on the test site, completely relaxed. A short stop - the Hill Start Assist holds the Touareg in an exemplary manner. Despite the soft A /T tires, we continue to the high plateau without traction problems. Downhill, the Wolfsburg is already slowed down by the electronics on the 35 percent incline - but hardly noticeable: the big VW creeps downhill at a leisurely five kilometers per hour. On the other hand, the constant intervention of the hill descent assistant raises the question of which distances can be covered with this technology without the system overheating. On high mountain trails, this is definitely an issue where vehicles with more effective engine brakes generally have an advantage.
To cool off, a march through theWater basin
In the highest level of air suspension, VW approves a respectable 580 millimeter fording depth. The diesel draws fresh air from the inside fender protected against splashing water. The feet stay dry thanks to the triple seals, only one thing bothers you: the doors clatter and fill up to the level. After opening, the broth bubbles out again. You don't want to know what it looks like inside the door after a mud bath. It's a shame, that costs rating points. Positive: the headlights and taillights stay dry and don't turn into aquariums like in the Audi Q7.
Not very helpful: the tinted side windows in the VW Touareg
Then the trial to evaluate clarity and maneuverability. The tinted side windows are of little help here. But this special equipment (360 euros) is not included in the evaluation. Maneuvering between the gates causes much more problems - due to the immense dimensions. The huge exterior mirrors can be folded away, the missing view of the sloping bonnet remains. Thanks to the reduction and controllable development of power, after a few corrections, you will reach your desired goal.
Done and passed! A result that the Volkswagen can be proud of. At 200 km /h it’s later on the highway home - welcome to the other world.