VW has focused on making the new Touareg 4×4 comfortable to drive on the road which is backed up by hi-tech kit making it a luxurious drive. They have done a good job for the most part, it has to be said.
The car has a high driving position, comfortable leather seats and a spacious cabin which make any journey an exercise in relaxed luxury. What helps is that VW has designed the Touareg especially for journeys on the road, so it is comfortable and stable through tight bends. Allowing you to adjust the ride from Comfort to Normal to Sport mode is a rotating switch situated at the front of the gearbox, which helps get the most out of the surface you are on or your driving mood.
When the 4.2-litre V8 was tested it was found to be no slouch, hitting 60mph in less than six seconds. It’s not surprising that the engine provided loads of fast acceleration power making overtaking easy, even at speed. The 3.0-litre model also packs a punch, however fuel economy improves and the car is in a lower tax bracket.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and there is an option of having Tiptronic, enabling you to control gear changes simply by flicking the gearstick forwards or back. The Auto Hold feature, engaging the handbrake if the car starts to roll, is great for driving in traffic. Slow-moving traffic is simple to drive through when you combine this with the automatic gearbox.
Visibility is an issue when driving such a large car, particularly of other vehicles. A range of systems have been designed by VW which make driving far safer not only for you but for other road users too. The best option is the Driver’s Assistance pack, costing from £2,095, and provides most of the things you will want.
Included in the pack are radar sensors for blind-spot elimination, warning you via a light in the wing mirror if another vehicle is approaching you from behind when you indicate to pull out. Also included in the pack is Lane assist which scans the road ahead and warns if you drift out of the correct lane. It does not, however keep the car in the correct lane as the system on the new Ford Focus does.
The Front assist system uses a radar sensor enabling it to monitor traffic in front of the vehicle which lets the car keep a constant from the vehicle in front yet keeps the car to a set speed limit. This works well and is easily adjusted by both distance and speed via a control stalk near the steering wheel.
Fitted as standard are front and rear parking sensors which makes parking in tight spaces so much easier. These can be activated so that they automatically come on, however in some situations this can be annoying. It may be best to switch the system so that it is only activated when you put the car in reverse.
The same control system, which is touchscreen, is used for the built in satnav system. This is clear and easy to follow, and has postcode and town searches. The driver’s information screen can be used to display the next instruction which leaves the main screen free for other uses.