Drive Volkswagen Touareg Used Car Review

2 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Drive Volkswagen Touareg Used Car Review отключены
Volkswagen Touareg Electric Cars

David Morley

Make VOLKSWAGEN Model TOUAREG Series Year 2007 Body Group 4WD

Porsche twin at a Volkswagen price

The merits, or otherwise, of Volkswagen’s Touareg four-wheel-drive vehicle depend entirely on how you look at it. Even disregarding the issue of whether big, heavy soft-roaders have a place in a $1.20-a-litre world, the Touareg’s legitimacy will vary from person to person.

The Touareg shares its basic structure and platform with the Porsche Cayenne, so it can be viewed as either a poor relation to — or the thinking person’s version of — the Cayenne. The overall proportions of each and much of the floorpan and basic structure are shared.

The Touareg is a very capable off-roader. It is cheaper than Porsche equivalents; it has an engine for everyone; and it is worth considering as a family car because it’s not as boofy as conventional four-wheel-drive wagons.

The Touareg was launched in Australia in 2003 with a base model powered by a 3.6-litre petrol V6 engine.

The next step up was to a version with the same V6 engine but with luxury trim, which was expected to be the volume seller.

Next was a 4.2-litre petrol V8 at almost $100,000 brand-new but it wasn’t the headline act. No, that honour fell to the 5.0-litre V10 turbo-diesel version that had as much torque as a couple of family cars. Designed to take on the likes of BMW’s X5 and the Mercedes-Benz ML models, the V10 Touareg was priced at $138,500.

Driving the V10 turbo-diesel is a revelation. The sheer torque of the thing makes you wonder why all cars aren’t diesel-powered.

Frankly, if the budget will cope, the V10 is by far the pick of the bunch.

All versions of the Touareg were well appointed and you can expect lots of convenience items and safety gear. Six airbags are standard.

All versions of the Touareg get stability and traction control, and the all-wheel-drive system is full-time. It owes quite a bit to Audi’s celebrated quattro system.

The Touareg is a big vehicle by any standards, particularly across the rump where it’s as wide as many a conventional off-roader.

It also means the Touareg is fairly heavy duty but its four-wheel disc brakes, featuring anti-lock braking, electronic brake-force distribution and Brake Assist, haul it up well.

The lesser models were conventionally sprung but the V10 turbo-diesel came with air suspension (optional on the V8). As well as giving the vehicle more ride control, it also allowed for differing ride heights to suit the prevailing conditions. At the push of a button, the ride height could be jacked up to give 300 mm of ground clearance for tricky off-road stuff, or dropped for 180 mm for high-speed, on-road work.

Perhaps the biggest limiting factor off-road is the Touareg’s use of a space-saver spare tyre — although, to be fair, Volkswagen did offer a tailgate-mounted full-sized spare wheel at a pricey $2100. We’ve never seen one fitted to a Touareg, suggesting that buyers either didn’t care or never took their Touaregs off-road.

It’s a bit of a shame, because unlike most soft-roaders with on-demand all-wheel-drive systems, the Touareg’s full-time set-up incorporates a centre differential.

Volkswagen Touareg Electric Cars

The big VW also gets a proper set of low-range gear ratios so it will keep trundling on when the hills are now called mountains and the rocks have turned to boulders.

It’s all button-operated, no levers, and it works virtually seamlessly. It also gives the Touareg true off-road ability even though most owners have never used it.

But this is good for used-car buyers. Surely a vehicle designed for rock-hopping, but which never has, is a fair chance to be unscathed by the suburban duties imposed upon it.

Throw in the price that is a fraction of that being asked for second-hand Porsche Cayennes of the same vintage and the Touareg starts to seem even more attractive.

The best value is now in early V6 cars that have dipped below $50,000. Some of them are even around the low-40s if you shop smartly and talk to private sellers. Dealers probably have the best range of stock, however, and you can still easily pay well over $100,000 for a later V10 turbo-diesel.

Still looks cheap next to a Cayenne, though, and Porsche didn’t even offer a diesel option.

The competition

Porsche’s Cayenne is the most mechanically similar to the Touareg but it’s much more expensive pound for pound. Other vehicles to consider alongside a Touareg would be the Benz ML wagons and BMW’s class-leading X5.

Volkswagen Touareg Electric Cars

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