Volkswagen Touareg: Prim and proper

By: Brian J. Ochoa August 04,2015 - 01:01 PM

When one mentions Volkswagen, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the iconic Beetle.

But there’s actually more than just the Beetle in the present lineup of Volkswagen in the country.  One of them is the Touareg midsize luxury crossover.

Yup, Volkswagen makes crossovers, and this one’s so well-built, we didn’t want to stop driving it when Volkswagen Cebu lent it to us for a weekend.

The fact that the Touareg was developed by Volkswagen Group, Audi, and Porsche (which explains the similarity with the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7) already gave us goose bumps prior to the test drive. Being able to finally drive it around Cebu led us to think that this is one of the best luxury crossovers in the market today.

At the top of our most-liked feature list is the Touareg’s simple yet dominant exterior styling that really catches attention on the road.  It’s like the kind of attention we get when driving a flashy sports car.

But the Touareg’s beauty isn’t flashy. It’s simple yet so elegant and dominating on the road.

The Touareg’s handsome looks reminds us of the prom king who we were so jealous of. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The Touareg’s handsome looks reminds us of the prom king who we were so jealous of. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

It may be because of several eye-catching details such as the beautifully laid out LED taillights and LED front daytime running lights or probably its large 255/55 R18 all-terrain tires.

We really can’t pinpoint the exact characteristic that makes it a head-turner but believe us when we say this crossover really is worth every cent.

The other quality that impressed us was its power, which comes from the VW Group’s familiar 3.0 TDI V6 CRDi diesel engine with hotside/inside turbo technology.

German engineering at its best here. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

German engineering at its best here.

This huge powerplant produces a whopping 241.64 horsepower and 550 Newton-meters of torque. The engine is paired with VW Group’s eight-speed tiptronic-style automatic transmission, which is also used in almost all of the VW-owned brands from Bentley, Porsche and Audi.

It also comes standard with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

From this view, it’s clear this is a premium vehicle. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

From this view, it’s clear this is a premium vehicle. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The smooth but aggressive V6 diesel rumble sounds so good, it actually feels more like a petrol-fed powerplant than an oil burner.  And it behaves the correct way, too, making it a confident drive wherever you take it.

Inside, one may criticize its manually-operated driver side leather seats. Of course there’s a logical explanation for that. There are just some features a company has to sacrifice to cut cost. These are those features that are less important anyway.

But the driver’s seat is very comfortable and well-supported, so that getting stuck in an hour of traffic doesn’t feel stressful.

The interior is also as elegant as its exterior. And it’s got all these high-tech features. The cockpit is full of buttons and knobs. The most interesting was the knob for the adaptive chassis control, an adjustable self-leveling air suspension. The air suspension also allows you to adjust ride height, perfect when Cebu City’s streets get flooded during the rainy season.

Cooling the interior is via a quad-zone climatronic climate control system, so every passenger gets a chance to have his or her own way with the air conditioner.


Styling inside is highlighted with chrome inlays and soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door panels.

Safety? Let’s just put it this way: the fact that I am able to finish this article is proof that the safety features really work.

The lifesaving features include anti-lock braking system with emergency brake assist, electronic stabilization program with anti-slip regulation and engine drag torque control. It also has driver, driver knee, passenger, front and rear side, and curtain airbags.


Parking isn’t a problem for this huge vehicle as it is equipped with sonar sensors all around and a rearview camera.

Now the next time someone says Volkswagen only makes Beetles, tell them it actually has more to offer such as the Touareg. And tell them it’s really, really cool.

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TAGS: cars, comfort, motoring, Porsche, transportation

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