TOUAREG

VW's Star, A Boy's View

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - REGULAR - WORDS GE­OFF WIT­TON

Volk­swa­gen now has a new flag­ship ve­hi­cle – the Touareg. It is the most in­tel­li­gent and tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced pro­duc­tion car to come out of Ger­many and is now in its third-gen­er­a­tion. I had the plea­sure of driv­ing the TDI V6S 5-seater Touareg for a few days and it is a gi­ant of a ma­chine. I am not a petrol head and will not talk about torque and stuff like that, but what I can com­ment on is the sheer power of this ve­hi­cle.

When you en­ter the driver’s door and sit in front of the steer­ing wheel you are faced with a mas­sive 15” screen. It is the cen­ter­piece of the cock­pit and it has all sorts of fea­tures such as the nav­i­ga­tion, ges­ture con­trol and so much more. I could write for ages on this!!!!

What all this means in real terms is a mas­sive, user friendly and eas­ily read­able touch screen that you can use your hands and fin­gers to nav­i­gate through. It is dy­namic, fun and very skill­fully de­signed. It is also fit­ted with ad­vanced voice con­trol func­tion­al­ity as well.

It can be set up into a num­ber of dif­fer­ent driv­ing modes. Econ­omy, Sport, Off Road, Com­fort, Hills and Snow and of course NOR­MAL! This ba­si­cally, in terms of per­for­mance and re­ac­tion to the driver, of­fers up seven dif­fer­ent sus­pen­sion set­tings giv­ing dif­fer­ent driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Some of the changes are sub­tle some not so. Take for ex­am­ple Sport Mode, wow that is very quick and pow­er­ful, so much so you can be pushed back in your seat. If I drove this car on my own it would be per­ma­nently locked into the Sports Mode!!

So, this is NOT a ve­hi­cle you can eas­ily step into and drive off. There is a lot of un­der­stand­ing and set up be­fore you can safely go on your way. The car seats need to be ad­justed to suit your frame, and

there are a num­ber of op­tions here for other reg­u­lar driv­ers to choose their own set­tings as well.

The Touareg also comes with just about ev­ery con­ceiv­able com­fort and con­ve­nience item, along with many of the ac­tive safety bits like blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, ac­tive cruise that works to a stand­still (good for the mo­tor­way grind) and au­ton­o­mous brak­ing. Re­cently added to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion list are a pow­ered panoramic sun­roof, LED tail­lights, and an enor­mous Dy­nau­dio sound sys­tem op­er­ated through 12 speak­ers.

Other stan­dard fea­tures in­clude a power tail­gate, a full sur­round cam­era with front and rear park­ing sen­sors, and even a chilled glove com­part­ment. I live in a part of Auck­land where the night time road light­ing is not the best and this is one area where this car ex­celled. The LED beams of the op­tional night vi­sion sys­tem in the car can gen­er­ate a ther­mal im­age of the sur­round­ings, in­clud­ing peo­ple and an­i­mals, in the cock­pit.

Put sim­ply, it’s Volk­swa­gen’s in­cred­i­bly stylised an­swer to the other premium ve­hi­cles of its type, like the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes GLE and BMW X5. Now, that’s a tough market, so can the Touareg cut it.

YES IT CAN!

This ve­hi­cle ticks all my boxes. It is so com­fort­able, it fits all my golf clubs, it is safe and well pro­tected from other cars and for the price at just un­der $110,000 it is very well po­si­tioned in this lux­ury SUV market.

Would I buy one YES I WOULD!

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