The new Volkswagen Touareg may seem like a cheaper version of Audi’s orange beast of a Q8, but that hasn’t stopped VW throwing goodies into their flagship model for buyers with shallower pockets.
On sale on May 17, 2019, the new Volkswagen comes in three trim levels – Atmosphere, Elegance and R-Line – with differing equipment levels.
As at May 16, 2019, Atmosphere and Elegance go for $289,900, while R-Line bumps the sticker up to $321,900.
The ‘Atmosphere’ package – a ‘lounge-type’ interior – gets what VW calls ‘open-pore Fine Ash Grain’ wood decoration, while ‘Elegance’ is designed with 45o brushed aluminium decorative inserts.
The Touareg R-Line, meanwhile, elevates you very far cry from the camels of the Tuareg tribe, the nomads which the Touareg is named after.
The top-spec Touareg R-Line not only gets you a premium 13-speaker Dynaudio audio system, but you also get all-wheel steering system and Traffic Jam Assist with co-pilot thrown in.
The latter, as its name suggests, helps relieve driver strain in traffic jams by accelerating and braking the car semi-autonomously.
By combining Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control (only available on the R-Line), the Touareg can follow the traffic ahead in its lane in traffic jams and slow-moving traffic.
Depending on how traffic moves, the Touareg R-Line can also be brought to a standstill and – within a defined stop time – automatically
start again, VW says.
Powering the Touareg is a version of the 3-litre turbo V6 found underneath the Audi Q8’s bonnet, but with just that bit less power and torque at 335hp and 450Nm respectively.
The Touareg gets to 100km/h in just 5.9 seconds despite its two-tonne kerb weight (an estimate in the absence of official numbers on the spec sheet).
Inside, VW has given the interior a thorough makeover, getting rid of all climate control and radio buttons and grafting a computer onto the dashboard.
As standard, you get a laptop – excuse me – ‘Innovision Cockpit’ in the Touareg, consisting of a ginormous landscape-oriented 15-inch display paired with a 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit.
Also as standard is Lane Assist and Side Assist. Lane Assist keeps you in your lane by gently nudging you back in if it detects you drifting out of your lane, while Side Assist illuminates a side-mirror-mounted light to warn the driver if a car is in his/her blind spot.