Volkswagen Touareg R-Line 3.0 TDi by Bill McCarthy
NOT many brands have a full-fat SUV as their range topper. But sitting at the top of the VW tree, the Touareg gets better and better.
It’s a vehicle the group says is the best they can possibly build at the moment. So it needs to be good. And it is. A real executive model, it is capable of challenging the best.
On sale in the UK for 16 years, it has also sold one million worldwide.
The stable has now been joined by a third powertrain to the model’s previous line-up of 3.0-litre V6 TDI engines, with all three units available in SEL, R-Line and R-Line tech specs.
The 286ps power output on this model also delivers performance in spades.
Power is delivered to all four wheels via Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, with a limited slip differential combining with the system to give sharp road handling.
The last word in technology, it features the Innovision cockpit, where the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit with 12-inch display) and the top Discover Premium infotainment system (with 15-inch display) merge to form a digital operating, information, communication and entertainment unit that hardly needs any conventional buttons or switches.
The MDI, or multi device interface is the brains of the car controlling sat nav, infotainment and Apple and Android connectivity, telephone and audio connection for two compatible mobile devices, plus the dynamic eight speaker audio system speakers.
It is pretty sharp-featured for such a vehicle, with a large three bar chrome grille, slim headlights, large alloy wheels and integrated roof bars.
The R-Line body styling kit on this model has front and rear bumpers, side skirts and side sills with unique R-Line badging.There are further chrome surrounds to door sills and window frames.
Inside it does look like a cockpit with the touch screen layout, wide central console with auto gearshift lever and all-wheel drive selector, all with neat chrome finish, as there is on the multi-function steering wheel. It also has large storage box with a phone charging facility.
Fitting and finish are high quality with soft touch finish throughout and large, comfortable, electrically operated leather seats on this model.
The classy finish is enhanced with ambient lighting, door sill protectors and light strips below trim in front and rear doors and dashboard. Equipment is comprehensive as you would expect from a car of this nature.
These include 360 degree camera and parking aids, climate control, dimming mirror, and puddle lighting with integrated indicators and reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger’s door mirror; electric windows, front and rear automatic electric opening rear tailgate.
On the road, the V6 TSI 340ps is an impressive performer.
It powers the big vehicle to 62mph from a standstill in 5.9 seconds before going on to a top speed of 155mph where permitted. The uprated suspension with slip differential also means the car rides better and handles well enough even on twisty country lanes.
Economy is a claimed 42.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of 173 g/km.
It has four traction modes including normal, off-road, off-road individual and snow and a choice of four drive settings: Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport driving modes, depending what kind of mood you are in and who’s in the car with you.
Practicality is excellent, withis a maximum load capacity of 810 litres or 1,800 litres with the seats lowered and there are varous cubby holes and drinks holders throughout.
Towing is also no problem with a maximum weight of 3,500 kg possible.
Volkswagen Touareg R-Line 3.0 TDi 4MOTION
Mechanical: 286ps, 2,967cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automaticgearbox
Max Speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 42.5
Insurance Group: 41
C02 emissions: 173g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles