Touareg 2015-2017

The Touareg, Volkswagen’s first venture into the luxury off-road market, was launched in the UK in 2003. Since then and having undergone a substantial update in 2007, the Touareg has built up a loyal following both in the UK and across the world, with over 500,000 models sold.

The latest iteration of the Touareg was revealed in April 2014 at the Auto China Show in Beijing. UK Retailers began taking orders for the vehicle in August and the first customer deliveries took place in November.

While it retained all the virtues of space, comfort, refinement and off-road and towing ability that made the Touareg so popular, the refresh took the model forward thanks to the use of lightweight construction techniques, more fuel-efficient engines and new technologies.

The front-end design of the Touareg gained larger headlights with bi-xenon standard across the range. There was also a deeper radiator grille with four instead of two horizontal fins, and a reprofiled bumper. All of this gave the Touareg a wider appearance.

At the rear as at the front, the redesigned bumper gave the Touareg a wider look than before, with a revised rear diffuser between the twin tailpipes and LED rear foglights integrated in the bumper. New door mirror caps, a range of new wheel designs and new paint colours completed the exterior makeover. Inside, the Touareg also gained the option of new colours for the standard leather upholstery, new design accents and new lighting.

The drive in efficiency is epitomised by the 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine that debuted with the 2014 refresh of the model. The Touareg returns a combined figure of 42.2 mpg and emits 176 g/km of CO? when paired with the 3.0-litre V6 TDI producing 204 PS.

There 3.0-litre V6 TDI twinned to a new eight-speed tiptronic gearbox is more frugal and greener than ever before. With the 3.0-litre 262 PS TDI engine, the Touareg returns 41.5 mpg on the combined cycle, while emitting 180 g/km of CO?, and is the volume seller in R-Line trim.

All Touaregs feature a number of economy enhancing features including battery regeneration (recuperation or energy recovery during braking phases) and a Stop/Start function.

Standard equipment on the Touareg across the three trim levels – SE, R-Line and R-Line Plus – is comprehensive. On the entry-level SE model, leather trim, touchscreen satellite navigation with DAB radio, six airbags, burr walnut interior trim, 2Zone climate control and 4MOTION four-wheel drive are all standard.

Summary

  • Original Touareg was launched in 2003 and marked Volkswagen’s first venture into the luxury 4x4 market – since then over 500,000 examples of the Touareg have been sold worldwide
  • Refreshed Touareg revealed in April 2014 at the Auto Show China in Beijing; UK ordering opened in August; first customer deliveries in November
  • Entry-level 3.0-litre V6 TDI produces 204 PS while a 262 PS version of this engine is also available
  • New safety kit includes adaptive cruise control, dynamic light assist, automatic post-collision braking system and lane assist
  • On the inside the Touareg is fitted with a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel making it easy to operate the entertainment controls without having to take hands off the wheel. All models also benefit from 2Zone electronic climate control
  • Maintains all the same virtues of space, comfort, refinement and off-road and towing ability that have led the original Touareg to build up a loyal following since launch
  • Overall length has grown by 6 mm to measure 4,801 mm. Width is 2,208 mm (68 mm wider than the previous car) while height remains the same as before
  • The Touareg is versatile thanks to rear seats which can slide through 160 mm with adjustable backrest angles; boot measures from 580 litres to 1,642 litres depending on the seating arrangement
  • New Touareg features an eight-speed auto tiptronic transmission. Maximum speed is achieved in 6th gear with 7th and 8th being overdrive ratios to reduce fuel consumption. Top gear is 34 per cent longer than 6th gear
  • All models feature Stop/Start technology as well as battery regeneration systems to enhance economy and reduce emissions
  • Three trim levels are available in the UK: SE, R-Line and R-Line Plus. All have four-wheel drive
  • Built at Volkswagen’s Bratislava plant in Slovakia 

Market Information

The Touareg is a large 4x4 and competes in the luxury off-road class, a direct rival to vehicles such as the BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery and Lexus RX 450.

Forty per cent of sales are predicted to be by retail buyers, with the remaining 60 per cent sold into the fleet market.

The most popular trim and engine combination is the 3.0-litre diesel with 262 PS in R-Line trim.

Production

The new Touareg, like the previous generation, is produced at the Bratislava plant, one of two sites which make up Volkswagen Slovakia in the Slovak Republic. The Bratislava site covers 2,100,000 square metres. Its production portfolio includes not only the Touareg, but also the Volkswagen up!, Volkswagen e-up!, Audi Q7, ŠKODA Citigo, and SEAT Mii, as well as the body of the Porsche Cayenne.

Many components used at the Bratislava plant come from the other Volkswagen Slovakia site in Martin. Founded in 1991 (Martin in 2000) and wholly owned by Volkswagen International Finance, Volkswagen Slovakia is one of the biggest employers in the country.

Production has steadily increased since the plant was established. In 1998 the company celebrated its 100,000th vehicle; in 2000 the number grew to 500,000. In 2007 the two millionth vehicle, a Touareg V6, rolled off the production line.

In 2008 Volkswagen Slovakia was awarded the National Productivity Award of the Slovak Republic for the second consecutive year, and in the same year was given a special prize by the Minister for the Environment.

In 2013 the plant in Bratislava launched the first all-electric vehicle of the Volkswagen Group – the Volkswagen e-up!  The same year, the Volkswagen Group's most powerful press shop was commissioned.

The Martin plant also produces components. Over 400 million have been built here, more than 90 per cent of which were shipped to a variety of Volkswagen Group factories in other countries.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants. By 2018, the aim was to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 per cent. But these aims were met two years early, in 2016. Specifically, this means 25 per cent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants compared with just a few years ago.

DESIGN

Dimensions

The Touareg has always had an imposing kerbside presence thanks to its relatively low height and wide, dynamic stance. This appearance has been reinforced in the new model which is even longer and wider. Rear space is enhanced by the seating arrangement which allows the rear bench to slide through 160 mm to give extra legroom or boot space as required and adjustable backrest angles.

Exterior

The team, led by Volkswagen design chief, Klaus Bischoff, set out to give the Touareg a significantly more elegant appearance based on the so-called Volkswagen ‘Design DNA’. In the Touareg this applies as much to the new horizontally-aligned front end with its distinctive headlights as it does to the rear section where the Touareg’s unmistakable rear light design combines with a leaner, more cohesive shape. The two together produce a 4x4 which features a timeless elegance and style with dynamic proportions and an imposing presence.

The latest Touareg features a redesigned front end with larger headlights (with bi-xenon standard across the range), a deeper radiator grille with four instead of two horizontal fins and a reprofiled bumper, all of which lend the Touareg a wider appearance.

Top-of-the-range Touareg R-Line Plus features body kit with bespoke bumpers, sill and wheel arch extensions; 20-inch ‘Tarragona’ alloy wheels; lowered sports suspension; LED daytime running lights and panoramic glass sunroof. Inside is a black roof lining; R-Line seats and aluminium-look pedals. Equipment includes heated steering wheel; electrically operated tailgate and keyless entry and start.

Thanks to the Touareg’s lowered body height, short overhangs, the dynamic line of the side windows and clean, simple surfaces, the car does not appear excessively large. Many of the design features – such as the tapering around the doors – are akin to those on a sports car and hence give the Touareg an athletic and lean, rather than a boxy, appearance. This character is reinforced by the precise edges of the wheelarches and the rear side section where the side windows seem to taper towards the rear of the car.

Interior

Inside, the front seats come with lumbar support and there’s also two optional wood trims on offer – Sapelli Mahogany and Engineered Ebony. Choose the R-Line model and Nappa leather upholstery in two-tone grey and black is available as an option. Combining comfort and safety and in a package which is designed to provide not only the ruggedness of a 4x4 but also the ambience of a luxury vehicle, the Touareg’s cabin is built to the highest standards.

Facing the driver is a clearly laid-out and high quality cockpit. All key information – including the rev-counter, speedometer, engine temperature and fuel gauge – is displayed within the driver’s visual field in the instrument cluster. These classic, round analogue instruments have electroplated chrome bezels and illuminated red pointers; they are backlit by white LEDs and have a three-dimensional look showing a real attention to detail and giving a feeling of timeless elegance. They are all positioned behind anti-reflective glass covers, making them easier to read.

In the centre of these instruments is the clearly visible and intuitive-to-use multifunction computer display. In the UK, all Touaregs have as standard an eight-inch colour display which offers a wide variety of display options without overburdening the driver with information. The driver can have specific information shown or hidden by selecting from self-explanatory and colour-coded menus: Navigation, Audio, Telephone, Vehicle, Assistants. Keyless entry and start is standard on the R-Line trim and is available as an option on all other models.

The upper area of the centre console houses a neat storage compartment, and below, the new eight-inch colour touchscreen for the standard RNS 850 Connect satellite navigation / radio system. This touchscreen gives access to all the car’s key controls – Radio / Media / Nav / Traffic / Phone / Climate / Car / Setup – and they are clearly displayed in a bar along the lower border of the screen. Alternatively they can also be controlled via a large rotary knob. Naturally this large screen also displays 3D mapping when in navigation mode, as well as the images transmitted by the car’s Area View surroundings monitoring system or the Rear Assist rear-view camera.                      

Directly below the infotainment unit are the basic controls for the draft-free two-zone climate control system as well as – depending on trim level – integrated seat heating or ventilation switches.

The gear shift grip for the eight-speed auto tiptronic is positioned ergonomically between the front seats, and behind it the dials for controlling the running gear and all-wheel drive modes. Integrated next to the gearshift lever are keys for the Stop/Start system and the switch for the electric parking brake and auto hold function. Behind this is a two-part armrest with storage, allowing the driver and front passenger to position their armrests independently. Cupholders are naturally incorporated, while in the driver’s door it is possible to carry larger items including a 1.5-litre drink bottle (1.0-litre in the passengers’ doors). The glovebox is cooled and lockable – plus it features a special compartment for glasses which is coated in a soft material to prevent scratching.

Throughout the cabin, the surfaces have clearly been manufactured using so-called ‘slush’ technology, meaning all plastics are high quality and soft to touch. Chrome, wood or aluminium highlights are also incorporated tastefully into the interior depending on colour choice and specification level.

The front and rear seats of the Touareg have been designed to offer significantly improved comfort on long journeys.

The Touareg’s maximum boot capacity ranges from 580 to 1,642 litres (to ceiling height) depending on the positioning and adjustment of the rear bench seat.

The optional cargo management system, net partition plus cargo area mat and luggage net, make it possible to stow objects securely on the loading surface. Even if this is not specified all Touaregs have bag hooks, four load-lashing points and a variable height loading floor.

ENGINES

The Touareg comes with one engine and a choice of two power outputs: a 3.0-litre V6 TDI common rail diesel with 204 PS or a high powered 262 PS unit. All models have a standard eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox.

3.0-litre V6 TDI, 2697 cc, 24-valve 6-cyl, 204 PS

Producing 204 PS at 3,200 rpm and 450 Nm (332 lbs ft) of torque, this engine uses common rail technology and injection pressures of up to 1,800 bar to return low fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining good performance: zero to 62 mph takes 8.7 seconds while top speed is 128 mph.

The engine has been tuned for efficiency: a Start/Stop system, battery regeneration and the new standard eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox all contribute to a combined fuel economy figure of 42.2 mpg and 176 g/km of carbon dioxide emissions.

3.0-litre V6 TDI, 2697 cc, 24-valve 6-cyl, 262 PS

This is the most popular engine in the Touareg line-up. Producing 262 PS at 3,800 rpm and 580 Nm (428 lbs ft) of torque, it uses common rail technology and injection pressures of up to 1,800 bar to return low fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining strong driving performance: zero to 62 mph takes 7.3 seconds while top speed is 140 mph. It will average 41.5 mpg on the combined cycle and emits 180 g/km of CO?.

Start/Stop technology

Start/Stop technology strikes a balance between the highly focused BlueMotion vehicles, available in the Golf, Passat and other ranges, and the conventional products on which they are based. Start/Stop technology combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain. All new Touareg models are equipped with Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems.

The Touareg’s automatic Start/Stop system is operated via the brake pedal. When the vehicle is stationary but in gear, and the driver’s foot is on the brake pedal, the engine shuts down and a ‘Stop/Start’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display. To move away, the driver simply moves their foot from brake pedal to accelerator, as normal, and the engine restarts. The system can be deactivated via a switch, if necessary.

Battery regeneration – also known as a regenerative braking system – helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery. Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed. It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

Gearbox

All new Touaregs feature a standard eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox, a development of the six-speed transmission. The gearbox is designed for torque values of up to 850 Nm (627 lbs ft). Due to the two extra gears, a 20 per cent larger gearing range can be attained between first and eighth gears, meaning the engine can operate more efficiently and responsively across the vehicle’s speed range. Seventh and eighth can act as overdrive gears, leading to fuel savings.

Engineers have also used a low-friction transmission fluid (Automatic Transmission Fluid / ATF) and a newly developed heat exchanger, so further fuel economy improvements were achieved by lowering friction losses – especially in the cold running phase of the automatic transmission. The so-called plate heat exchanger has been mounted on the back of the transmission, and both coolant from the engine cooling system and ATF circulate through it. The heat exchanger serves two purposes: as soon as the ATF exceeds a predefined temperature, the heat exchanger is used to cool the oil. If further cooling is needed, an auxiliary ATF air heat exchanger in the front end is also activated. This ensures that optimal temperatures are maintained in the transmission even under extreme conditions, for example off-roading.

To implement the Touareg’s smoothly transitioning Start/Stop function in every driving phase, the transmission must be provided with sufficient oil pressure to ensure slip-free power transfer within the gear elements. Conventional automatic gearboxes only accomplish this once the engine has reached a specific idling speed, so that the mechanically driven transmission oil pump can build up sufficient oil pressure and flow rate. This is different in the Touareg’s eight-speed automatic: here the system is supplemented by an electrically driven pump, which is able to maintain a stable oil pressure level within the hydraulic system during the engine’s stopped phase.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Touareg. They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months.

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner. In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx.) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes. An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

 

RUNNING GEAR

All Touareg models are equipped with permanent four-wheel drive. For off-road use, the Touareg features 4MOTION four-wheel drive. By using the 4MOTION system, the Touareg maintains substantial off-road capability as well as safe and dynamic on-road performance, while substantial weight gains can be made, leading to a corresponding reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.

4MOTION

All Touaregs have an all-wheel drive system with limited-slip Torsen differential (climbing gradient 31 degrees) and electronic differential locks (EDS) for all four wheels. The Touareg also has an ‘off-road’ setting which − at the press of a button − tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points.

With the 4MOTION system, it is possible to deactivate the Stop/Start system manually in off-road driving.

Off-road performance

The Touareg’s suspension layout provides long wheel travel (157 mm) in off-road driving. The front approach angle is 25.2 degrees; the rear has a departure angle of 26 degrees. Allied with ground clearance of 220 mm the Touareg thus cuts an excellent figure away from made-up roads too.

Air suspension: CDC (Continuous Damping Control)

As on the previous generation, air suspension is offered as an option on all Touareg models. The system features an automatic ride height adjustment system as well as electronic damper control and self-levelling. The air suspension guarantees comfort and class-leading dynamics on-road, plus enhanced off-road performance thanks to its variable ride height.

As an alternative to the standard ‘Normal’ mode (lower ride height for on-road driving with reduced aerodynamic drag) the driver can select ‘Comfort’ or ‘Sport’. When ‘Comfort’ is selected, the system provides the best possible ride, while in ‘Sport’ mode, the ride height is lowered by 25 mm, reducing the vehicle’s centre of gravity and optimising handling.

Dynamic air suspension

As a further alternative, buyers can specify a Touareg with an enhanced CDC package. In this case it features lowered air suspension (by around 25 mm) with strengthened anti-roll bars and dampers, an automatic levelling system with ride height adjustment and electronic damper control. Like the standard CDC (see above) it offers a choice of three settings – Normal, Comfort and Sport. If the driver intends to use the Touareg principally for on-road applications with a bias towards more driving performance rather than off-road applications, this is a more appropriate option.

ABSPlus

ABSPlus was developed specifically for off-road vehicles and can reduce braking distance on loose surfaces such as sand or gravel by up to 20 per cent.

To reduce braking distance on loose driving surfaces the ABS must recognise the composition of the substrate and select the optimal control strategy via ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) sensors – and this is a complex task. Loose driving surfaces exhibit friction values ranging from µ = 0.4 to µ = 0.65.

On these loose substrates maximum deceleration is achieved with all wheels locked. In this condition the vehicle is unstable and cannot be steered. This is where ABSPlus intervenes. Taking into account various parameters including pedal effort, wheel speeds and vehicle deceleration it induces alternate phases of full locking of the wheels and wheel turning, and this makes it possible to achieve reduced braking distance, braking stability and steering control. When the higher friction levels of on-road driving are sensed the system reverts back to a traditional programme where the locked phase is much shorter.

Hydraulic Brake Assist – HBA

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop. In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions. The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by 25 per cent.

Trailer stabilisation

This system greatly improves stability when towing by sensing the onset of a snaking motion and then neutralising it. It is a software extension of the normal Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and does not require additional sensors.

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESC module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle / trailer combination. When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control. During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

Rollover sensors

The Touareg’s safety and ability off-road is boosted by rollover sensors. The system monitors vehicle acceleration, yaw angle and yaw speeds. Should the system detect that a rollover is imminent the head / thorax airbags are automatically deployed to reduce the risk of injury.

Electronic parking brake with auto-hold function

A new electro-mechanical parking brake (EPB) is standard on all Touaregs. Thanks to electronic control and CAN networking with other in-vehicle control modules, the functional range of the braking system has been extended considerably. New functions include a dynamic hill start assist, the so-called auto-hold function and a dynamic emergency braking function.

Via an electronic function in the gearbox, the hill start assist prevents downhill movement before moving off. On very steep descents (more than 20 per cent), an automatic downhill assistant activates at speeds below 12 mph (with ESP switched on) to maintain steady and safe downhill progress. 

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Each model within the Touareg range is generously equipped. Highlights of each of the trim levels are shown below, while full details can be found in the latest price list:

SE 3.0-litre V6 TDI

  • ABSPlus (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution) and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including trailer stabilisation, EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation)
  • curtain airbag system; driver and front passenger airbags with passenger airbag deactivation switch; front seat side impact airbags; rollover protection system
  • alarm with interior protection; electronic engine immobiliser; electric child security locks in the rear doors
  • Isofix child seat preparation
  • 2Zone electronic climate control
  • electrically adjustable, heated and foldable body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • RNS 850 touchscreen DVD satellite navigation/DAB digital radio system with integrated voice control, 8-inch colour screen; 2 x SD card readers and 3D landmarks; MDI (Multi Device Interface) with iPod connection cable
  • multifunction computer with eight-inch colour screen in instrument cluster
  • cruise control
  • electric windows, front and rear; heated windscreen washer jets
  • dusk sensor; rain sensor; automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror; automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
  • Stop/Start function; battery regeneration
  • hill descent assist; hill start assist
  • 4MOTION permanent four-wheel drive with limited slip Torsen differential and electronic differential lock on all four wheels
  • front and rear parking sensors, ultrasonic, optical and audible
  • power assisted steering, speed sensitive; height and reach-adjustable steering column
  • heated front seats
  • 9J x 19-inch ‘Salvador’ alloy wheels with 265/50 R19 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts; tyre mobility kit, 12V compressor and tyre sealant
  • bi-xenon headlights with range adjustment and daytime running lights
  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • chrome side window surrounds and door trims; stainless steel load sill protector
  • roof rails, matt chrome finish
  • leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel with controls for multifunction computer and stereo options
  • modular rear seat system with sliding and reclining function
  • ‘Cricket’ leather upholstery; ‘Burr Walnut’ interior trim      

R-Line 3.0-litre V6 TDI

  • ‘R-Line’ body styling kit
  • unique ‘R-Line’ badging on front grille
  • rear tinted glass from B-pillar back, approx. 65 per cent tinted
  • rear roof spoiler
  • headlight cleaning system
  • bi-xenon 35W headlights for dipped and main beam, automatic range adjustment, dynamic curve lighting, static cornering function, LED daytime running lights and rear LED tail lights
  • 20-inch ‘Tarragona’ alloy wheels with 275/45 R20 110W low rolling resistance tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • lowered sports suspension (approx. 25 mm lower than standard suspension)
  • aluminium-look pedals
  • Black rooflining
  • ‘Gloss Black’ surrounds in dash and centre console
  • multifunction heated ‘R-Line’ steering wheel with paddle shift, leather trimmed with controls for multifunction computer and stereo options
  • ‘Silver Lane’ decorative inlays in dash, centre console and doors
  • unique door sill protectors with ‘R-Line’ logo
  • automatic electric opening and closing of rear tailgate
  • keyless entry and keyless start, button in chrome finish
  • panoramic electric glass sunroof

R-Line Plus 3.0-litre V6 TDI

  • four 21-inch ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels with 275/40 R21 107Y low rolling resistance tyres
  • ‘Piano Black’ decorative inlays in dash, centre console and doors
  • seating in ‘Vienna’ leather
  • four-way adjustable head restraints
  • 14-way electrically adjustable front comfort seats
  • 40:60 split folding backrest
  • Area View – 360-degree camera system

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

In addition to the high standard specification, there is an extensive range of optional equipment available for the Touareg. This includes items such as alternative alloy wheels (up to 20-inch), 4Zone climate control, air suspension, additional airbags, and a Driver’s Assistance Pack (incorporating a number of safety and assistance features).

Continuous Damping Control (CDC) air suspension

This feature ensures further comfort and, thanks to automatic speed-sensitive ride height adjustment, provides sporty dynamic characteristics while on the road as well as improved off-road handling. Please see separate Running Gear section for details.

Driver Assistance Pack

The Touareg is available with a number of innovative driver assistance systems which make driving safer and easier. All are optional extras – see price list for prices and availability – with explanations of each given below.

Area View

Area View is a surroundings monitoring system which, via four cameras (in the tailgate, wing mirrors and radiator grille) transfers images of the Touareg’s surroundings to the central touchscreen in the centre console. Through the use of a split screen, several images can be displayed at once.

The control module also creates a high-resolution composite image of the surroundings from the four individual camera images – from the bird’s eye perspective of a virtual camera located above the vehicle. Depending on the selected view, static and dynamic auxiliary lines are shown. These auxiliary lines are used to help the driver better assess distances, to determine the best driving path based on the steering angle or to show a recommended driving manoeuvre.

In off-road driving, front and side cameras are used by Area View to transfer images from directly in front of and next to the vehicle − which is extremely useful for seeing low-lying rocks, trees or hidden ditches for example. Thanks to a ‘Trailer View’ mode, the movements of a trailer in response to steering inputs can also be displayed.

Also incorporated is ‘Cross Traffic’ view, a function made possible by the 180 degree wide-angle lens of the front and rear cameras, which lets the driver see 90 degrees to the left and right at points located at the very front and rear of the Touareg. It also allows the driver to view traffic situations that would otherwise only be perceptible by moving the vehicle – potentially into danger – for a better view.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) adjusts the speed to that of the vehicle in front, maintaining the distance specified, and warning the driver if they get too close. Front Assist warns if the driver approaches the vehicle in front too quickly and, if necessary the City emergency braking system will exert enough brake pressure to reduce the severity of a collision or even avoid it altogether. PreCrash preventive occupant protection identifies a critical driving situation and automatically closes the windows and sunroof, as well as tensioning the front seat belts as a precautionary measure.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

An innovative feature which made its debut on the seventh-generation Golf is an award-winning Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision.

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors. Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g. This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking. The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.

The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration. Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 6 mph is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Lane Assist

If there is a danger of the car changing lane without indicating, the Lane Assist lane departure warning system alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel and by depicting the detected lane markings that the car has crossed on the instruments' multifunction display. The system consists of a camera between the rooflining and rear-view mirror and a vibration motor inside the steering wheel. The camera recognises visible lane markings (markings on one side suffice) and, using a special algorithm and taking into account driving dynamics data, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. Lane Assist is activated at speeds of 40 mph and above – i.e. outside of urban areas. When the car's speed drops below 37 mph, the system automatically deactivates.

Side scan

This is a radar sensor controlled warning system working in conjunction with Lane Assist (above) for changing lanes and monitoring blind spots, which incorporates a visual warning via a light in the door mirror housing when it is not safe to change lanes. Two 24 GHz radar sensors scan the approaching traffic at the rear of the Touareg, and LEDs in the door mirrors inform the driver when other vehicles are approaching in the blind spot. If the indicator light is activated during this informational stage, this suggests an intentional lane change and therefore a hazard. The bright flashing of the LED in the door mirror signals the danger to the driver.

Panoramic sunroof

Available on all Touaregs and standard equipment on R-Line trim is a panoramic glass sunroof. Measuring 990 mm by 1,452 mm, the tilt/slide roof occupies almost the entire roof area above the occupants, and thereby conveys a unique feeling of open space.

In many cars, such a large opening – a full 350 per cent larger than a normal sunroof – would have a negative impact on the car’s rigidity. This is not the case for the Touareg thanks to its fundamental rigidity and a reinforcing subframe that is securely fitted with a high-tech adhesive joint. This offers the best combination of rigidity and crash performance with low weight construction. It consists of tailored blanks (sheet metal parts of different material grades) with symmetrical thicknesses, which elevate the so-called torsional rigidity of the Touareg with panoramic sunroof almost to the level of the full-roof variant without the need for reinforcements.

Thanks to the insulated safety glass, heat permeability was reduced to 12 per cent and light permeability to 13 per cent, with only four per cent of the UV radiation passing through. Moreover, the panoramic sunroof is equipped with an electrically operated shade. The glass roof and sunshade are each activated by a separate electric drive and safety is ensured thanks to an obstruction detection sensor. 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Volkswagen’s intention with the first Touareg – and which naturally extend to later generations – was to set the highest possible standards for active and passive safety, and to prove that the safety levels of a luxury saloon can be replicated in a luxury off-road vehicle.

The strength of the Touareg’s construction, its incorporation of the very latest in electronic safety features and the inherent stability of its four-wheel-drive and traction control systems raise standards to a significant new level.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its safety and security systems, the Touareg has the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers). These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system. The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

SE

3.0-litre V6 TDI 204 PS   40E
3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS   43E

R-Line

3.0-litre V6 TDI 204 PS   40E
3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS   43E

R-Line Plus

3.0-litre V6 TDI 204 PS   40E
3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS   43E

WARRANTIES

The Touareg has a three year or 60,000 mile mechanical warranty, the first two years of which are covered by the manufacturer. The final year’s cover is a retailer warranty. In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year body protection warranty, three year paintwork warranty and three years membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes pan-European breakdown cover.

 

JB-06-17

The Touareg, Volkswagen’s first venture into the luxury off-road market, was launched in the UK in 2003. Since then and having undergone a substantial update in 2007, the Touareg has built up a loyal following both in the UK and across the world, with over 500,000 models sold.

The latest iteration of the Touareg was revealed in April 2014 at the Auto China Show in Beijing. UK Retailers began taking orders for the vehicle in August and the first customer deliveries took place in November.

While it retained all the virtues of space, comfort, refinement and off-road and towing ability that made the Touareg so popular, the refresh took the model forward thanks to the use of lightweight construction techniques, more fuel-efficient engines and new technologies.

The front-end design of the Touareg gained larger headlights with bi-xenon standard across the range. There was also a deeper radiator grille with four instead of two horizontal fins, and a reprofiled bumper. All of this gave the Touareg a wider appearance.

At the rear as at the front, the redesigned bumper gave the Touareg a wider look than before, with a revised rear diffuser between the twin tailpipes and LED rear foglights integrated in the bumper. New door mirror caps, a range of new wheel designs and new paint colours completed the exterior makeover. Inside, the Touareg also gained the option of new colours for the standard leather upholstery, new design accents and new lighting.

The drive in efficiency is epitomised by the 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine that debuted with the 2014 refresh of the model. The Touareg returns a combined figure of 42.2 mpg and emits 176 g/km of CO? when paired with the 3.0-litre V6 TDI producing 204 PS.

There 3.0-litre V6 TDI twinned to a new eight-speed tiptronic gearbox is more frugal and greener than ever before. With the 3.0-litre 262 PS TDI engine, the Touareg returns 41.5 mpg on the combined cycle, while emitting 180 g/km of CO?, and is the volume seller in R-Line trim.

All Touaregs feature a number of economy enhancing features including battery regeneration (recuperation or energy recovery during braking phases) and a Stop/Start function.

Standard equipment on the Touareg across the three trim levels – SE, R-Line and R-Line Plus – is comprehensive. On the entry-level SE model, leather trim, touchscreen satellite navigation with DAB radio, six airbags, burr walnut interior trim, 2Zone climate control and 4MOTION four-wheel drive are all standard.

Summary

  • Original Touareg was launched in 2003 and marked Volkswagen’s first venture into the luxury 4x4 market – since then over 500,000 examples of the Touareg have been sold worldwide
  • Refreshed Touareg revealed in April 2014 at the Auto Show China in Beijing; UK ordering opened in August; first customer deliveries in November
  • Entry-level 3.0-litre V6 TDI produces 204 PS while a 262 PS version of this engine is also available
  • New safety kit includes adaptive cruise control, dynamic light assist, automatic post-collision braking system and lane assist
  • On the inside the Touareg is fitted with a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel making it easy to operate the entertainment controls without having to take hands off the wheel. All models also benefit from 2Zone electronic climate control
  • Maintains all the same virtues of space, comfort, refinement and off-road and towing ability that have led the original Touareg to build up a loyal following since launch
  • Overall length has grown by 6 mm to measure 4,801 mm. Width is 2,208 mm (68 mm wider than the previous car) while height remains the same as before
  • The Touareg is versatile thanks to rear seats which can slide through 160 mm with adjustable backrest angles; boot measures from 580 litres to 1,642 litres depending on the seating arrangement
  • New Touareg features an eight-speed auto tiptronic transmission. Maximum speed is achieved in 6th gear with 7th and 8th being overdrive ratios to reduce fuel consumption. Top gear is 34 per cent longer than 6th gear
  • All models feature Stop/Start technology as well as battery regeneration systems to enhance economy and reduce emissions
  • Three trim levels are available in the UK: SE, R-Line and R-Line Plus. All have four-wheel drive
  • Built at Volkswagen’s Bratislava plant in Slovakia 

Market Information

The Touareg is a large 4x4 and competes in the luxury off-road class, a direct rival to vehicles such as the BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery and Lexus RX 450.

Forty per cent of sales are predicted to be by retail buyers, with the remaining 60 per cent sold into the fleet market.

The most popular trim and engine combination is the 3.0-litre diesel with 262 PS in R-Line trim.

Production

The new Touareg, like the previous generation, is produced at the Bratislava plant, one of two sites which make up Volkswagen Slovakia in the Slovak Republic. The Bratislava site covers 2,100,000 square metres. Its production portfolio includes not only the Touareg, but also the Volkswagen up!, Volkswagen e-up!, Audi Q7, ŠKODA Citigo, and SEAT Mii, as well as the body of the Porsche Cayenne.

Many components used at the Bratislava plant come from the other Volkswagen Slovakia site in Martin. Founded in 1991 (Martin in 2000) and wholly owned by Volkswagen International Finance, Volkswagen Slovakia is one of the biggest employers in the country.

Production has steadily increased since the plant was established. In 1998 the company celebrated its 100,000th vehicle; in 2000 the number grew to 500,000. In 2007 the two millionth vehicle, a Touareg V6, rolled off the production line.

In 2008 Volkswagen Slovakia was awarded the National Productivity Award of the Slovak Republic for the second consecutive year, and in the same year was given a special prize by the Minister for the Environment.

In 2013 the plant in Bratislava launched the first all-electric vehicle of the Volkswagen Group – the Volkswagen e-up!  The same year, the Volkswagen Group's most powerful press shop was commissioned.

The Martin plant also produces components. Over 400 million have been built here, more than 90 per cent of which were shipped to a variety of Volkswagen Group factories in other countries.

With its “Think Blue. Factory.” initiative, the Volkswagen brand set itself clear targets for the environmentally sustainable positioning of all its plants. By 2018, the aim was to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 per cent. But these aims were met two years early, in 2016. Specifically, this means 25 per cent lower energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all plants compared with just a few years ago.

DESIGN

Dimensions

The Touareg has always had an imposing kerbside presence thanks to its relatively low height and wide, dynamic stance. This appearance has been reinforced in the new model which is even longer and wider. Rear space is enhanced by the seating arrangement which allows the rear bench to slide through 160 mm to give extra legroom or boot space as required and adjustable backrest angles.

Exterior

The team, led by Volkswagen design chief, Klaus Bischoff, set out to give the Touareg a significantly more elegant appearance based on the so-called Volkswagen ‘Design DNA’. In the Touareg this applies as much to the new horizontally-aligned front end with its distinctive headlights as it does to the rear section where the Touareg’s unmistakable rear light design combines with a leaner, more cohesive shape. The two together produce a 4x4 which features a timeless elegance and style with dynamic proportions and an imposing presence.

The latest Touareg features a redesigned front end with larger headlights (with bi-xenon standard across the range), a deeper radiator grille with four instead of two horizontal fins and a reprofiled bumper, all of which lend the Touareg a wider appearance.

Top-of-the-range Touareg R-Line Plus features body kit with bespoke bumpers, sill and wheel arch extensions; 20-inch ‘Tarragona’ alloy wheels; lowered sports suspension; LED daytime running lights and panoramic glass sunroof. Inside is a black roof lining; R-Line seats and aluminium-look pedals. Equipment includes heated steering wheel; electrically operated tailgate and keyless entry and start.

Thanks to the Touareg’s lowered body height, short overhangs, the dynamic line of the side windows and clean, simple surfaces, the car does not appear excessively large. Many of the design features – such as the tapering around the doors – are akin to those on a sports car and hence give the Touareg an athletic and lean, rather than a boxy, appearance. This character is reinforced by the precise edges of the wheelarches and the rear side section where the side windows seem to taper towards the rear of the car.

Interior

Inside, the front seats come with lumbar support and there’s also two optional wood trims on offer – Sapelli Mahogany and Engineered Ebony. Choose the R-Line model and Nappa leather upholstery in two-tone grey and black is available as an option. Combining comfort and safety and in a package which is designed to provide not only the ruggedness of a 4x4 but also the ambience of a luxury vehicle, the Touareg’s cabin is built to the highest standards.

Facing the driver is a clearly laid-out and high quality cockpit. All key information – including the rev-counter, speedometer, engine temperature and fuel gauge – is displayed within the driver’s visual field in the instrument cluster. These classic, round analogue instruments have electroplated chrome bezels and illuminated red pointers; they are backlit by white LEDs and have a three-dimensional look showing a real attention to detail and giving a feeling of timeless elegance. They are all positioned behind anti-reflective glass covers, making them easier to read.

In the centre of these instruments is the clearly visible and intuitive-to-use multifunction computer display. In the UK, all Touaregs have as standard an eight-inch colour display which offers a wide variety of display options without overburdening the driver with information. The driver can have specific information shown or hidden by selecting from self-explanatory and colour-coded menus: Navigation, Audio, Telephone, Vehicle, Assistants. Keyless entry and start is standard on the R-Line trim and is available as an option on all other models.

The upper area of the centre console houses a neat storage compartment, and below, the new eight-inch colour touchscreen for the standard RNS 850 Connect satellite navigation / radio system. This touchscreen gives access to all the car’s key controls – Radio / Media / Nav / Traffic / Phone / Climate / Car / Setup – and they are clearly displayed in a bar along the lower border of the screen. Alternatively they can also be controlled via a large rotary knob. Naturally this large screen also displays 3D mapping when in navigation mode, as well as the images transmitted by the car’s Area View surroundings monitoring system or the Rear Assist rear-view camera.                      

Directly below the infotainment unit are the basic controls for the draft-free two-zone climate control system as well as – depending on trim level – integrated seat heating or ventilation switches.

The gear shift grip for the eight-speed auto tiptronic is positioned ergonomically between the front seats, and behind it the dials for controlling the running gear and all-wheel drive modes. Integrated next to the gearshift lever are keys for the Stop/Start system and the switch for the electric parking brake and auto hold function. Behind this is a two-part armrest with storage, allowing the driver and front passenger to position their armrests independently. Cupholders are naturally incorporated, while in the driver’s door it is possible to carry larger items including a 1.5-litre drink bottle (1.0-litre in the passengers’ doors). The glovebox is cooled and lockable – plus it features a special compartment for glasses which is coated in a soft material to prevent scratching.

Throughout the cabin, the surfaces have clearly been manufactured using so-called ‘slush’ technology, meaning all plastics are high quality and soft to touch. Chrome, wood or aluminium highlights are also incorporated tastefully into the interior depending on colour choice and specification level.

The front and rear seats of the Touareg have been designed to offer significantly improved comfort on long journeys.

The Touareg’s maximum boot capacity ranges from 580 to 1,642 litres (to ceiling height) depending on the positioning and adjustment of the rear bench seat.

The optional cargo management system, net partition plus cargo area mat and luggage net, make it possible to stow objects securely on the loading surface. Even if this is not specified all Touaregs have bag hooks, four load-lashing points and a variable height loading floor.

ENGINES

The Touareg comes with one engine and a choice of two power outputs: a 3.0-litre V6 TDI common rail diesel with 204 PS or a high powered 262 PS unit. All models have a standard eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox.

3.0-litre V6 TDI, 2697 cc, 24-valve 6-cyl, 204 PS

Producing 204 PS at 3,200 rpm and 450 Nm (332 lbs ft) of torque, this engine uses common rail technology and injection pressures of up to 1,800 bar to return low fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining good performance: zero to 62 mph takes 8.7 seconds while top speed is 128 mph.

The engine has been tuned for efficiency: a Start/Stop system, battery regeneration and the new standard eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox all contribute to a combined fuel economy figure of 42.2 mpg and 176 g/km of carbon dioxide emissions.

3.0-litre V6 TDI, 2697 cc, 24-valve 6-cyl, 262 PS

This is the most popular engine in the Touareg line-up. Producing 262 PS at 3,800 rpm and 580 Nm (428 lbs ft) of torque, it uses common rail technology and injection pressures of up to 1,800 bar to return low fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining strong driving performance: zero to 62 mph takes 7.3 seconds while top speed is 140 mph. It will average 41.5 mpg on the combined cycle and emits 180 g/km of CO?.

Start/Stop technology

Start/Stop technology strikes a balance between the highly focused BlueMotion vehicles, available in the Golf, Passat and other ranges, and the conventional products on which they are based. Start/Stop technology combines efficiency with comfort and equipment to create vehicles that deliver greater economy and produce fewer emissions yet are practical as well as conventional to drive, service and maintain. All new Touareg models are equipped with Start/Stop and battery regeneration systems.

The Touareg’s automatic Start/Stop system is operated via the brake pedal. When the vehicle is stationary but in gear, and the driver’s foot is on the brake pedal, the engine shuts down and a ‘Stop/Start’ symbol illuminates on the multifunction display. To move away, the driver simply moves their foot from brake pedal to accelerator, as normal, and the engine restarts. The system can be deactivated via a switch, if necessary.

Battery regeneration – also known as a regenerative braking system – helps to utilise energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. In deceleration and braking phases, the alternator’s voltage is boosted and used for bulk recharging of the car’s battery. Thanks to alternator control, it is possible to lower alternator voltage, for example during deceleration or driving at a constant speed. It is even possible to switch off the alternator entirely which reduces engine load and improves fuel consumption.

Gearbox

All new Touaregs feature a standard eight-speed automatic tiptronic gearbox, a development of the six-speed transmission. The gearbox is designed for torque values of up to 850 Nm (627 lbs ft). Due to the two extra gears, a 20 per cent larger gearing range can be attained between first and eighth gears, meaning the engine can operate more efficiently and responsively across the vehicle’s speed range. Seventh and eighth can act as overdrive gears, leading to fuel savings.

Engineers have also used a low-friction transmission fluid (Automatic Transmission Fluid / ATF) and a newly developed heat exchanger, so further fuel economy improvements were achieved by lowering friction losses – especially in the cold running phase of the automatic transmission. The so-called plate heat exchanger has been mounted on the back of the transmission, and both coolant from the engine cooling system and ATF circulate through it. The heat exchanger serves two purposes: as soon as the ATF exceeds a predefined temperature, the heat exchanger is used to cool the oil. If further cooling is needed, an auxiliary ATF air heat exchanger in the front end is also activated. This ensures that optimal temperatures are maintained in the transmission even under extreme conditions, for example off-roading.

To implement the Touareg’s smoothly transitioning Start/Stop function in every driving phase, the transmission must be provided with sufficient oil pressure to ensure slip-free power transfer within the gear elements. Conventional automatic gearboxes only accomplish this once the engine has reached a specific idling speed, so that the mechanically driven transmission oil pump can build up sufficient oil pressure and flow rate. This is different in the Touareg’s eight-speed automatic: here the system is supplemented by an electrically driven pump, which is able to maintain a stable oil pressure level within the hydraulic system during the engine’s stopped phase.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Touareg. They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking

In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months.

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner. In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx.) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes. An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

 

RUNNING GEAR

All Touareg models are equipped with permanent four-wheel drive. For off-road use, the Touareg features 4MOTION four-wheel drive. By using the 4MOTION system, the Touareg maintains substantial off-road capability as well as safe and dynamic on-road performance, while substantial weight gains can be made, leading to a corresponding reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.

4MOTION

All Touaregs have an all-wheel drive system with limited-slip Torsen differential (climbing gradient 31 degrees) and electronic differential locks (EDS) for all four wheels. The Touareg also has an ‘off-road’ setting which − at the press of a button − tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points.

With the 4MOTION system, it is possible to deactivate the Stop/Start system manually in off-road driving.

Off-road performance

The Touareg’s suspension layout provides long wheel travel (157 mm) in off-road driving. The front approach angle is 25.2 degrees; the rear has a departure angle of 26 degrees. Allied with ground clearance of 220 mm the Touareg thus cuts an excellent figure away from made-up roads too.

Air suspension: CDC (Continuous Damping Control)

As on the previous generation, air suspension is offered as an option on all Touareg models. The system features an automatic ride height adjustment system as well as electronic damper control and self-levelling. The air suspension guarantees comfort and class-leading dynamics on-road, plus enhanced off-road performance thanks to its variable ride height.

As an alternative to the standard ‘Normal’ mode (lower ride height for on-road driving with reduced aerodynamic drag) the driver can select ‘Comfort’ or ‘Sport’. When ‘Comfort’ is selected, the system provides the best possible ride, while in ‘Sport’ mode, the ride height is lowered by 25 mm, reducing the vehicle’s centre of gravity and optimising handling.

Dynamic air suspension

As a further alternative, buyers can specify a Touareg with an enhanced CDC package. In this case it features lowered air suspension (by around 25 mm) with strengthened anti-roll bars and dampers, an automatic levelling system with ride height adjustment and electronic damper control. Like the standard CDC (see above) it offers a choice of three settings – Normal, Comfort and Sport. If the driver intends to use the Touareg principally for on-road applications with a bias towards more driving performance rather than off-road applications, this is a more appropriate option.

ABSPlus

ABSPlus was developed specifically for off-road vehicles and can reduce braking distance on loose surfaces such as sand or gravel by up to 20 per cent.

To reduce braking distance on loose driving surfaces the ABS must recognise the composition of the substrate and select the optimal control strategy via ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) sensors – and this is a complex task. Loose driving surfaces exhibit friction values ranging from µ = 0.4 to µ = 0.65.

On these loose substrates maximum deceleration is achieved with all wheels locked. In this condition the vehicle is unstable and cannot be steered. This is where ABSPlus intervenes. Taking into account various parameters including pedal effort, wheel speeds and vehicle deceleration it induces alternate phases of full locking of the wheels and wheel turning, and this makes it possible to achieve reduced braking distance, braking stability and steering control. When the higher friction levels of on-road driving are sensed the system reverts back to a traditional programme where the locked phase is much shorter.

Hydraulic Brake Assist – HBA

Working in conjunction with the other elements of the braking system, HBA recognises from the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed whether it is a ‘normal’ braking situation or an emergency stop. In the event of an emergency stop, HBA automatically increases braking pressure, activating ABS and ensuring the level of braking meets the needs of the conditions. The application of brake assist makes it possible even for unskilled drivers to reduce braking distances by 25 per cent.

Trailer stabilisation

This system greatly improves stability when towing by sensing the onset of a snaking motion and then neutralising it. It is a software extension of the normal Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and does not require additional sensors.

When the onset of yawing of a trailer is detected by the ESC module the system automatically reduces or cuts engine power and applies the brakes to appropriate wheels dynamically in phase with the yawing to oppose the snaking motion and stabilise the vehicle / trailer combination. When stability is achieved the brakes and engine power return to normal control. During the automatic braking process the brake lights are turned on even though the driver may not be touching the brake pedal.

Rollover sensors

The Touareg’s safety and ability off-road is boosted by rollover sensors. The system monitors vehicle acceleration, yaw angle and yaw speeds. Should the system detect that a rollover is imminent the head / thorax airbags are automatically deployed to reduce the risk of injury.

Electronic parking brake with auto-hold function

A new electro-mechanical parking brake (EPB) is standard on all Touaregs. Thanks to electronic control and CAN networking with other in-vehicle control modules, the functional range of the braking system has been extended considerably. New functions include a dynamic hill start assist, the so-called auto-hold function and a dynamic emergency braking function.

Via an electronic function in the gearbox, the hill start assist prevents downhill movement before moving off. On very steep descents (more than 20 per cent), an automatic downhill assistant activates at speeds below 12 mph (with ESP switched on) to maintain steady and safe downhill progress. 

EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Each model within the Touareg range is generously equipped. Highlights of each of the trim levels are shown below, while full details can be found in the latest price list:

SE 3.0-litre V6 TDI

  • ABSPlus (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution) and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including trailer stabilisation, EDL (Electronic Differential Lock) and ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation)
  • curtain airbag system; driver and front passenger airbags with passenger airbag deactivation switch; front seat side impact airbags; rollover protection system
  • alarm with interior protection; electronic engine immobiliser; electric child security locks in the rear doors
  • Isofix child seat preparation
  • 2Zone electronic climate control
  • electrically adjustable, heated and foldable body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators
  • RNS 850 touchscreen DVD satellite navigation/DAB digital radio system with integrated voice control, 8-inch colour screen; 2 x SD card readers and 3D landmarks; MDI (Multi Device Interface) with iPod connection cable
  • multifunction computer with eight-inch colour screen in instrument cluster
  • cruise control
  • electric windows, front and rear; heated windscreen washer jets
  • dusk sensor; rain sensor; automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror; automatic coming/leaving home lighting function
  • Stop/Start function; battery regeneration
  • hill descent assist; hill start assist
  • 4MOTION permanent four-wheel drive with limited slip Torsen differential and electronic differential lock on all four wheels
  • front and rear parking sensors, ultrasonic, optical and audible
  • power assisted steering, speed sensitive; height and reach-adjustable steering column
  • heated front seats
  • 9J x 19-inch ‘Salvador’ alloy wheels with 265/50 R19 tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts; tyre mobility kit, 12V compressor and tyre sealant
  • bi-xenon headlights with range adjustment and daytime running lights
  • front fog lights with static cornering function
  • chrome side window surrounds and door trims; stainless steel load sill protector
  • roof rails, matt chrome finish
  • leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel with controls for multifunction computer and stereo options
  • modular rear seat system with sliding and reclining function
  • ‘Cricket’ leather upholstery; ‘Burr Walnut’ interior trim      

R-Line 3.0-litre V6 TDI

  • ‘R-Line’ body styling kit
  • unique ‘R-Line’ badging on front grille
  • rear tinted glass from B-pillar back, approx. 65 per cent tinted
  • rear roof spoiler
  • headlight cleaning system
  • bi-xenon 35W headlights for dipped and main beam, automatic range adjustment, dynamic curve lighting, static cornering function, LED daytime running lights and rear LED tail lights
  • 20-inch ‘Tarragona’ alloy wheels with 275/45 R20 110W low rolling resistance tyres and anti-theft wheel bolts
  • lowered sports suspension (approx. 25 mm lower than standard suspension)
  • aluminium-look pedals
  • Black rooflining
  • ‘Gloss Black’ surrounds in dash and centre console
  • multifunction heated ‘R-Line’ steering wheel with paddle shift, leather trimmed with controls for multifunction computer and stereo options
  • ‘Silver Lane’ decorative inlays in dash, centre console and doors
  • unique door sill protectors with ‘R-Line’ logo
  • automatic electric opening and closing of rear tailgate
  • keyless entry and keyless start, button in chrome finish
  • panoramic electric glass sunroof

R-Line Plus 3.0-litre V6 TDI

  • four 21-inch ‘Mallory’ alloy wheels with 275/40 R21 107Y low rolling resistance tyres
  • ‘Piano Black’ decorative inlays in dash, centre console and doors
  • seating in ‘Vienna’ leather
  • four-way adjustable head restraints
  • 14-way electrically adjustable front comfort seats
  • 40:60 split folding backrest
  • Area View – 360-degree camera system

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

In addition to the high standard specification, there is an extensive range of optional equipment available for the Touareg. This includes items such as alternative alloy wheels (up to 20-inch), 4Zone climate control, air suspension, additional airbags, and a Driver’s Assistance Pack (incorporating a number of safety and assistance features).

Continuous Damping Control (CDC) air suspension

This feature ensures further comfort and, thanks to automatic speed-sensitive ride height adjustment, provides sporty dynamic characteristics while on the road as well as improved off-road handling. Please see separate Running Gear section for details.

Driver Assistance Pack

The Touareg is available with a number of innovative driver assistance systems which make driving safer and easier. All are optional extras – see price list for prices and availability – with explanations of each given below.

Area View

Area View is a surroundings monitoring system which, via four cameras (in the tailgate, wing mirrors and radiator grille) transfers images of the Touareg’s surroundings to the central touchscreen in the centre console. Through the use of a split screen, several images can be displayed at once.

The control module also creates a high-resolution composite image of the surroundings from the four individual camera images – from the bird’s eye perspective of a virtual camera located above the vehicle. Depending on the selected view, static and dynamic auxiliary lines are shown. These auxiliary lines are used to help the driver better assess distances, to determine the best driving path based on the steering angle or to show a recommended driving manoeuvre.

In off-road driving, front and side cameras are used by Area View to transfer images from directly in front of and next to the vehicle − which is extremely useful for seeing low-lying rocks, trees or hidden ditches for example. Thanks to a ‘Trailer View’ mode, the movements of a trailer in response to steering inputs can also be displayed.

Also incorporated is ‘Cross Traffic’ view, a function made possible by the 180 degree wide-angle lens of the front and rear cameras, which lets the driver see 90 degrees to the left and right at points located at the very front and rear of the Touareg. It also allows the driver to view traffic situations that would otherwise only be perceptible by moving the vehicle – potentially into danger – for a better view.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) adjusts the speed to that of the vehicle in front, maintaining the distance specified, and warning the driver if they get too close. Front Assist warns if the driver approaches the vehicle in front too quickly and, if necessary the City emergency braking system will exert enough brake pressure to reduce the severity of a collision or even avoid it altogether. PreCrash preventive occupant protection identifies a critical driving situation and automatically closes the windows and sunroof, as well as tensioning the front seat belts as a precautionary measure.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

An innovative feature which made its debut on the seventh-generation Golf is an award-winning Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision.

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors. Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g. This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking. The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.

The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration. Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 6 mph is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Lane Assist

If there is a danger of the car changing lane without indicating, the Lane Assist lane departure warning system alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel and by depicting the detected lane markings that the car has crossed on the instruments' multifunction display. The system consists of a camera between the rooflining and rear-view mirror and a vibration motor inside the steering wheel. The camera recognises visible lane markings (markings on one side suffice) and, using a special algorithm and taking into account driving dynamics data, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. Lane Assist is activated at speeds of 40 mph and above – i.e. outside of urban areas. When the car's speed drops below 37 mph, the system automatically deactivates.

Side scan

This is a radar sensor controlled warning system working in conjunction with Lane Assist (above) for changing lanes and monitoring blind spots, which incorporates a visual warning via a light in the door mirror housing when it is not safe to change lanes. Two 24 GHz radar sensors scan the approaching traffic at the rear of the Touareg, and LEDs in the door mirrors inform the driver when other vehicles are approaching in the blind spot. If the indicator light is activated during this informational stage, this suggests an intentional lane change and therefore a hazard. The bright flashing of the LED in the door mirror signals the danger to the driver.

Panoramic sunroof

Available on all Touaregs and standard equipment on R-Line trim is a panoramic glass sunroof. Measuring 990 mm by 1,452 mm, the tilt/slide roof occupies almost the entire roof area above the occupants, and thereby conveys a unique feeling of open space.

In many cars, such a large opening – a full 350 per cent larger than a normal sunroof – would have a negative impact on the car’s rigidity. This is not the case for the Touareg thanks to its fundamental rigidity and a reinforcing subframe that is securely fitted with a high-tech adhesive joint. This offers the best combination of rigidity and crash performance with low weight construction. It consists of tailored blanks (sheet metal parts of different material grades) with symmetrical thicknesses, which elevate the so-called torsional rigidity of the Touareg with panoramic sunroof almost to the level of the full-roof variant without the need for reinforcements.

Thanks to the insulated safety glass, heat permeability was reduced to 12 per cent and light permeability to 13 per cent, with only four per cent of the UV radiation passing through. Moreover, the panoramic sunroof is equipped with an electrically operated shade. The glass roof and sunshade are each activated by a separate electric drive and safety is ensured thanks to an obstruction detection sensor. 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Volkswagen’s intention with the first Touareg – and which naturally extend to later generations – was to set the highest possible standards for active and passive safety, and to prove that the safety levels of a luxury saloon can be replicated in a luxury off-road vehicle.

The strength of the Touareg’s construction, its incorporation of the very latest in electronic safety features and the inherent stability of its four-wheel-drive and traction control systems raise standards to a significant new level.

Line-up with insurance groups

Thanks to its safety and security systems, the Touareg has the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers). These ratings are based on the ABI’s 1-50 system. The ‘E’ denotes that the vehicle exceeded the co-called Thatcham (ABI) requirements.

SE

3.0-litre V6 TDI 204 PS   40E
3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS   43E

R-Line

3.0-litre V6 TDI 204 PS   40E
3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS   43E

R-Line Plus

3.0-litre V6 TDI 204 PS   40E
3.0-litre V6 TDI 262 PS   43E

WARRANTIES

The Touareg has a three year or 60,000 mile mechanical warranty, the first two years of which are covered by the manufacturer. The final year’s cover is a retailer warranty. In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year body protection warranty, three year paintwork warranty and three years membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes pan-European breakdown cover.

 

JB-06-17

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