Touareg hitch

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Project Mercedes-benz E320 Cdi -

While look­ing for a new tow-car to drag the tin tent down to the south of France for the sum­mer, I nat­u­rally cast a crit­i­cal eye at the pre­mium Volk­swa­gen Touareg 4x4.

Sav­age ini­tial de­pre­ci­a­tion and a glut of nearly-new ex­am­ples means that these cars are read­ily avail­ably from deal­ers and car su­per­mar­kets who are keen to deal.

The Touareg should be a bit of a bar­gain as high-end ver­sions bear­ing badges from Audi or Porsche cost tens of thou­sands more than the peo­ple’s vari­ant. Be­ing a VW al­lows you to have main dealer ser­vic­ing for sur­pris­ingly mod­est sums. As ever with ser­vic­ing plans, how­ever, check what is in­cluded and what is rec­om­mended – two very dif­fer­ent things. Nev­er­the­less, the VW ser­vic­ing of­fer is def­i­nitely worth­while, even if a sun­roof ser­vice costs an ex­tra £180.

Speak­ing to a friend who owns one, he vouches for the ter­rific driver ap­peal of these cars. It’s a full size 4x4, but does with­out the com­pro­mis­ing third row of seats – a mas­sively over­rated fea­ture of other 4x4s.

I could have lived with the car’s ap­petite for Ad­blue, but what as­ton­ished me was the warn­ing from my VW dealer  about fit­ting a tow­bar. West­falia man­u­fac­tured the tow­bar specif­i­cally for VW, but fit one in the af­ter­mar­ket and you’ll in­val­i­date your war­ranty. That’s be­cause the cool­ing fan isn’t up to the job if you’re run­ning the air­con while tow­ing up­hill in a warm cli­mate. Un­likely con­di­tions, I know, but the is­sue prompted VW to send own­ers a sup­ple­men­tary page to go into the hand­book.

Ap­par­ently, you need to buy a new 800-watt cool­ing fan to re­place the un­der-spec­i­fied 600-watt item fit­ted at the factory. You could ar­gue this is a belts-and-braces ap­proach to tow­ing, but I’ve been stuck in a queue on a French mo­tor­way toll road too many times to risk it.

The Touareg cool­ing fan is not fit for tow­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.