VW 2012 Touareg V8 Review

By on January 20, 2012
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A sensibly luxurious SUV.

Good: Comfortable interior, Multiple Driving assists, Fully integrated driver's multifunction display, Height adjustable air suspension, Sports mode makes the heavy SUV perky
Bad: Looks unexciting, Sluggish performance in Normal mode
Price: AED 230,884 (starting) / AED 285,000 (as tested)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

A couple of months back we reviewed the new Touareg V6, and came out fairly impressed with VW’s second generation SUV. Our biggest concern then was its slightly underpowered V6 engine that just missed the mark on delivering enough performance desired from a car this heavy.

Well, today I’ll be looking at the V8 Touareg to see if the extra displacement and cylinders are enough to keep this 3 ton vehicle running on and off road with the power we all so desire.

So let’s take a walk around the car then. As you can see, our fully loaded V8 test car looks rather humble from the outside, belying the tech and luxury inside.  The Campanella White solid color actually makes the Touareg look dull. Literally any of their other metallic paint offerings are better than this.

There’s not much to talk about the overall styling of the new Touareg. You’ll either appreciate its subtle build, or find it boring compared to its cousins the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.  So let’s start with the lights. These bi-xenon headlights surrounded by the always on LED lights give the Touareg a very unique look. Assisting the headlights are the cornering lights that turn on whenever you turn the Touareg. This doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re driving on the sandy beaches of Fujeirah with naught but the starlight to guide you, these corner lights are a real blessing.

One of my favorite features of the headlights has to be the adaptive beam regulation system. This is where a camera continuously monitors lights from cars ahead of you, or oncoming traffic, and automatically lowers the beams for that specific side so that people don’t get dazed. As someone who normally drives a sedan, I cannot tell you the number of times I have cursed at how inconsiderate people are when their SUV’s high beams are blinding me from the rearview or side mirrors. It’s good to know that Touareg owners don’t have to feel bad about this surprisingly overlooked driving etiquette.

Our full options Touareg V8 came with the complete panoramic sliding rooftop with its own sunblind of course. Speaking of which, even though the rear passenger windows are all tinted, they also have foldable sunblinds.

The rear lights are picked up directly from the Golf GTI, just stretched out a bit more to fit the wide body of the Touareg. The rest of the Touareg is simple enough, with silver colored panels on the bumpers and side rails. The same color follows on the respectably sized five-spoke 20-inch rims wrapped in Goodyear 275/45 all-terrain tires.

Our full options test Touareg came with air suspension, which allows you to choose from Sports, Normal or Comfort modes. In Comfort mode that ride height can be increased by as much as 30cm, allowing for a 30° approach angle. More on that inside the car.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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