Volkswagen Touareg R-Line black-style package
Big luxury SUVs are becoming increasingly popular on our roads but the segment can be confusing. There are so many different options; one will even find some that offer supercar-like performance in sacrifice for off-road ability. The author of this article however feels that the ideal German SUV should good in all aspects. Is the Volkswagen Touareg then the ideal offering?
Introduced to the world back in 2002 the Volkswagen Touareg was always in the shadow of the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE (previously ML), and the Audi Q7 of which the two were very similar under the skin. In recent years the Touareg has become much better but so too has the competition. In 2018 Volkswagen introduced their latest offering and it elevated the Touaregs appeal substantially.
Auto Advisor managed to get its hands on the R-Line version which adds a host of sporty bits into the mix. Has the big Volkswagen finally become worthy to sit at the same table as the others? Let’s find out.
The Touareg R-Line with the black-styling package can be distinguished by the addition of R badges, a subtle body kit, and gloss black inserts, its 21-inch “Suzuka” alloy wheels. The front end features a large and eye-catching grille, the LED headlights feature black detailing and the lower bumper makes use of the gloss black elements mentioned above. Even when standing still the Touareg looks as if it is about to pounce. The strong character line down the side, its somewhat flared wheel arches, and sloping roof-line make this a very attractive and equally sporty looking vehicle.
The magic continues as you step inside with a driver-focused facia. One of the most noticeable elements is the Volkswagen Innovision infotainment system. Essentially, Innovision merges the digital dashboard with the Discover Pro premium infotainment system, to form one unit. There is plenty of customization options and themes to choose from and the 15-inch infotainment screen is beyond measure, as is the 12-inch digital instrument cluster which both offer crisp graphics and an easy-to-use interface.
Other elements worth mentioning include the solid build quality and visual appeal of the interior. The use of straight lines, quality black materials, and silver accents add a premium feel. The Touareg makes use of the MLB platform which lends itself to excellent practicality, and cabin space in the new Volkswagen Touareg is impressive as is the 810 litres of luggage space. Other features worth a mention include a night vision camera, the car features lane assist, there's a heads-up display (which is one of the better units we have experienced) and there's even active 4-wheel steering. For ultimate comfort, the seats are heated and cooled too.
Under the bonnet
That’s where you'll find a big 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel. We've seen this engine before in other applications such as Amarok V6 and it is a commendable engine due to its refinement and power delivery. Power is rated at 190kW, with 600Nm of torque, all going to the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This motor also delivers an impressive fuel consumption figure. We experienced figures in the high 9l/100km range.
Out on the open road, we made use of the car's various driving modes which include Comfort, Sport, and Offroad (including Snow, Gravel, and Sand). In Comfort, the suspension becomes soft and the car floats like a cloud over the tarmac. The air suspension is a decent setup and you can raise/lower the car to suit your needs. Activate one of the Offroad modes and the vehicle rises up to clear obstacles, which is handy. We will be honest, we hardly spent time in Sport mode as this car just gives off a vibe that it is best suited for comfort, however, if the mood takes you, Sport mode does sharpen things up. It hunkers down and we must say that when it is in its slowest suspension setting it looks absolutely gorgeous. Despite the mode, the engine has the power and won’t disappoint.
We have had many discussions with other members of the motoring media about the Volkswagen Touareg, especially in this R-line with the Black-Styling pack and they all seem to share our sentiments. When it comes to a big German SUV the Volkswagen Touareg should be at the top of your list as it is ours.