Large and lux­u­ri­ous

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan COVEN­TRY TELE­GRAPH

THE Touareg is a big bear of a mo­tor – but un­like Baloo in the Jun­gle Book it of­fers far more than the bare ne­ces­si­ties as it is packed with tech­nol­ogy. Once aboard the third gen­er­a­tion of Volk­swa­gen’s SUV global flag­ship, you ini­tially won­der where all the but­tons have gone.

Well, in the top of the range R-Line Tech model they’ve been con­sumed by VW’s ‘In­no­vi­sion Cock­pit’ which of­fers what ap­pears to be a huge cen­tral screen – it is ac­tu­ally two slabs of glass sub­tly di­vided be­hind the steer­ing wheel – con­tain­ing fancy dig­i­tal di­als next to a cen­tral in­fo­tain­ment pack­age.

There is a 12-inch multi-mode in­stru­ment panel that merges with a 15-inch touch­screen in the cen­tre of the dash that is an­gled to­wards the driver.

The sys­tem is smart­phone friendly thanks to com­pat­i­bil­ity with both An­droid Auto and Ap­ple CarPlay and fea­tures a wifi hotspot so up to eight de­vices can be con­nected.

There are mul­ti­ple menus to choose from – ac­cessed ei­ther through steer­ing-wheel-mounted but­tons or from the touch­screen – but the whole thing is sim­ple to set up with more fre­quently used func­tions able to be brought to the fore­front.

An op­tional head-up dis­play was also fea­tured here, but con­sid­er­ing the ex­cel­lence of the di­als al­ready do­ing the job I won­der if many will pay the £1,000-plus it costs.

A raft of other neat fea­tures to help the driver in­clude traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion, lane as­sist, park­ing sen­sors and a rear view cam­era while four-zone cli­mate con­trol – al­low­ing rear-seat pas­sen­gers the chance to also con­trol their en­vi­ron­ment – elec­tri­cally heated and ad­justable door mir­rors, key­less en­try, pow­ered boot and park as­sist fur­ther en­hance the lat­est Touareg’s cre­den­tials.

Other tech op­tions in­clude ‘Night Vi­sion’ to de­tect hu­mans and an­i­mals us­ing a ther­mal imag­ing cam­era and 360-de­gree cam­eras. In­deed there is a raft of safety kit in­cluded to help keep you from harm while pro­tect­ing all should an ac­ci­dent oc­cur.

The cabin is a qual­ity af­fair. Yes, if you want seven seats you will have to shop some­where else, but VW make the most of the five-seat con­fig­u­ra­tion, es­pe­cially as the lat­est Touareg is big­ger than the model it re­places.

There is plenty of room for five adults and if only two seats are needed in the rear the mid­dle back rest drops down to pro­vide an arm rest and handy cup hold­ers. The rear doors also open wide mak­ing the some­times oner­ous task of fit­ting child seats a cinch.

The boot is huge at 810 litres with the rear seats in place while fold­ing ev­ery­thing flat cre­ates a Grand Canyon-like space.

Top notch ma­te­ri­als are used through­out with leather fes­toon­ing the in­te­rior while high-qual­ity plas­tics and bright splashes of chrome are pleas­ing on the eye.

The Touareg be­lies its size on the road be­ing a sur­pris­ingly ag­ile beast that han­dles well and largely avoids body roll thanks to the op­tional adap­tive air sus­pen­sion. It is a good per­former off-road while those want­ing to tow car­a­vans will like its 3.5-tonne ca­pac­ity.

The 3.0-litre V6 diesel uses its 286ps to pro­pel this big SUV from 0-62mph in a shade over six se­conds with the help of a slick eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box which can also be con­trolled man­u­ally with pad­dle shifters flank­ing the steer­ing wheel.

The power unit’s fuel econ­omy is rated at 42.8mpg with emis­sions of 173g/km and in a week of mixed mo­tor­ing I wasn’t far off that, re­turn­ing a fig­ure in the high 30s.

It all adds up to a fast, large, lux­ury SUV that many fam­i­lies will un­doubt­edly find to be a bare ne­ces­sity in their mo­tor­ing lives.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.