Volkswagen South Africa and its advertising agency has certainly delivered some memorable television commercials over the years. Through campaigns like the famous Red, Yellow, Blue Citi Golf spots to the David Kramer Kombi series and some pretty spectacular GTI commercials, VWSA has certainly been able to strike a cord with South African audiences.
One of my favourite VW commercials, though, celebrating the rekindling of the bond between father and son during a road trip featured a Touareg in full flight. Backed by Arno Carsten’s catchy “Another Universe” single, a father takes his sullen son on an off-the-beaten-path journey across South Africa in Volkswagen’s answer to the luxury SUV vogue.
Four years into the second-generation Touareg lifecycle, the brand has chosen the occasion of a minor facelift to adjust the already comprehensive standard specification equipment available throughout its local range.
A subtle redesign of the front and rear bumpers on the updated vehicle is complemented by additional chrome accents on the grille and the inclusion of new bi-xenon headlamps and LED technologies front and rear.
Upgrades to the cabin include the fitment of aluminium-look switches and a fresh range of colour options for the now standard leather upholstery. Also standard on V6 models is a new infotainment screen with USB connectivity, climate control and ESP stability control.
Unchanged is the Touareg engine line up. This means the V6 FSI Elegance (in line with the adjusted spec) remains the only petrol option, while the 180 kW/550 N.m V6 TDI is available in either Luxury or Escape spec. The latter includes a more off-road attitude, including low range and lockable differentials.
The 250 kW/800 N.m V8 TDI remains the flagship model.
Reunited with the best-selling V6 TDI Luxury on a Garden Route road trip, it’s impossible not to be impressed by how well the Touareg, despite its relatively low-key position within the at-times-flashy luxury SUV market, simply gets on with business. Comfort levels (whether riding on an optional air suspension or standard steel pins) are as good as any of the competition and there’s no shortage of presence both on the open road and around town.
With the pricing structure remaining impressively competitive (the top-of-the-range V8 is below the R1 million mark), the Touareg, especially with its underdog status even amongst vehicles based on its same architecture (Cayenne and Q7), runs the likes of the equally impressive (and capable) Land Rover Discovery close for top honours in this segment.
Model: Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI Luxury
Engine: V6, 3,0-litre, turbodiesel
Power: 180 kW at 4 000 r/min
Torque: 550 N.m at 2 000 r/min
0-100 km/h: 7,6 seconds
Fuel consumption: 6,5 L/100 km
CO2: 189 g/km
Top speed: 250 km/h
Price: R796 500
Maintenance plan: 5 year/100 000 km
Engine:V6, 3,0-litre, turbodiesel
Power:180 kW at 4 000 r/min
Torque:550 N.m at 2 000 r/min
0-100 km/h:7,6 seconds
Top Speed:250 km/h
Fuel Consumption:6,5 L/100 km
Maintenance Plan:5 year/100 000 km