A sensibly luxurious SUV.
With the exterior out of the way, let’s get to the juicy interior, where you’ll be showered with all the comfort of modern day tech you’ll need.
Inside our test Touareg came with beige and black leather upholstery; the seats were holed for easy heating as well as cooling. The rest of the dash and panels are lined with soft black material and a good mix of silver and wooden trims.
In the driver’s seat, pretty much everything you want to control is within your hands reach. Our test Touareg didn’t come with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, so the only time you’ll take your hands off it will be to switch gears between Normal and Sports mode.
The steering has all the keys for navigating through the various menus and as well as direct control of media playback and your telephone (connected via Bluetooth). Interestingly the multifunction display between the RPM and speedometer is controlled separate from the main Navigation system screen.
So selecting the songs, making calls, adjusting the volume levels and other real-time information about the Touareg can be controlled by the driver, while the passenger can adjust the A/C temperature, or check out the GPS system, or try to fight for the control over what radio station/song is currently being played.
Apart from all the fun things, the Touareg comes with multiple driving assists to make your life easier and safer on the roads. First off is the Adaptive Cruise Control, whereby once you have set the cruise speed, the Touareg will automatically slow down if a vehicle comes too close in front of you. Once that slow vehicle is out of the way (it moved or you changed lanes) the Touareg will accelerate until it hits your preset cruising speed. In extreme cases the ACC will actually apply the emergency brakes and tighten the tension on seatbelts to minimize damage before collision. Although I never tried that last feature with earnest.
The Side Assist feature basically monitors other cars around you, so that if you’re changing lanes and some other vehicle is (or will be) too close to you, the side mirrors will start flashing yellow to alert you. The downside to this feature is that you may rely more on the Side Assist rather than actually checking your shoulder.
Lastly, there’s the Lane Assist feature which uses the internal cameras to monitor lanes. If the driver tries to change lanes without giving an indicator above 65 km/h, the steering wheel will start vibrating. Now this vibration is rather subtle, so much so, in fact, that the first few times it happened I didn’t realize it was happening. However, once you do notice the vibration, your mind will always be alerted to it every time the Lane Assist works, even if music is playing loudly. It’s just muscle memory I guess.