Driving an SUV outside the city is basically the best way to see what it is up to. Truth is, we like this chapter the most because this is the only way to let our heavy foot act as it should when touching the throttle pedal. And the new Touareg really impressed us. So much that we also received a speed ticket (don't do this at home errr... on public roads, but we were caught speeding on a country road with only "a few kilometers per hour" over the limit).
We won't go further to describe our encounter with the donut eater, but the Touareg impressed him too. In open road environment, the new generation Touareg looks sportier and more modern and remains a head turner, just like its predecessor. Probably the first things that catches the eye when viewed from the front are the permanent LED daytime running lights that provide a really aggressive stance on the road. This is probably the main reason while slower drivers preferred to switch lanes and let us pass, rather than continue cruising with the Touareg's eyes in the rear-view mirror... Damn drivers, that's why we got caught speeding...!
We won't go so far to say that Touareg's V6 TDI engine doesn't feel like a diesel, but the V6 TDI doesn't really feel like a diesel. What did just happen? Oh well, this is the pure truth, Volkswagen managed to tweak it so good that it almost acts like a gasoline powerplant. It reaches the peak torque of 550 Nm from 2000 to 2250 rpm, with an almost instant response from the throttle pedal.
There are three predefined modes that modify the suspension setup depending on the type of driver that jumps behind the wheel. The "Comfort" function is obviously for calm drivers who'd like to reach their destination without breaking speed records, the "Normal" mode for normal drivers and, last but not least, the "Sport" setup for irresponsible drivers like us. OK, not quite so, but the "Sport" mode really makes a difference and the fun you'll enjoy on mountain curvy roads will be at least equal to what you feel in a roller coaster. Add to that some light rain, four summer sport tires and the curiosity to see how the car behaves at high speeds and you get the quickest nausea from the front passenger.
If you hope to feel like home in the new Touareg, you won't be too disappointed. A longer trip is quite pleasant and you won't feel any back- or leg pains after driving for several hundreds of miles. The leather-wrapped seats are just perfect, we really couldn't ask for more and, as we've told you already, we have pretty high expectations when it comes to this aspect.
Leaving the on-road aside, the Touareg is more than potent in off-road, with a ground clearance of 212 mm/8.3 inches (oh my God!), an approach angle of 28 degrees, a departure angle of 28 degrees, a breakover angle of 22 degrees and a lateral driving angle of 35 degrees. In plain English, all of these make the new Touareg an off-road friendly SUV and, although it doesn't manage to be as good as specific off-road cars, it really manages to beat its competition in this chapter.
We really don't know if talking about fuel consumption is worth our time, but we have to mention this too. Volkswagen says the V6 TDI engine should burn around 6,5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (36.1 mpg) but numbers are a bit different in reality. Probably driven by the anger we had to live with after we were forced to spend our money on the speed ticket and not on beer, we achieved 9.8 l/100km (24 mpg), but numbers could even drop to 7.4 - 7.8 l/100km (31.7 - 30.1 mpg) when cruising on country roads.
The new Touareg has basically all you'll ever need to tour through the country. Cruise control - check (oh yes, we were "recommended" to use the cruise control, it seems like policemen do learn a few things at the police academy), ESP - check, ABS - check, powerful audio system - check, navigation - check, large trunk - check.
We'll stop here before getting boring but the conclusion is the same as the one in the city chapter: the Touareg manages to do a pretty good job and it sometimes even exceeds expectations.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
Sweet mother of Jesus! Why is that Tyrannosaurus sitting there? I hope you're not asking me to testdrive that thing. Please, please tell me you're not expecting to see me driving that. I would do anything, just let me skip this one, please...
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