A sensibly luxurious SUV.
Now let’s move on to the center console area. The whole space continues rom the main dash with the Nav screen, going down to the climate controls, to the gearbox, to the terrain controls, to the cup holders and finished off by the arm rest, behind which is the climate control for the rear passengers.
Taking it from the top, the main Nav screen is the one area that basically houses all the other features of the car not essential while driving. Well, the GPS system itself is quite important, depending on how lost you are, but the rest of the screen is quite useful for multimedia and climate control options. While the latter two are standard expectations, the main screen is also useful for another key safety feature of the Touareg: the Area View.
The Area View is basically a combination of four cameras housed around the outside of the Touareg, which help you give a full 360°, or bird’s eye view if you will, of the area surrounding the Touareg. This comes in quite handy when parking; especially parallel parking, in extremely tight spots. The rearview camera is standard from most VWs, with a complete overlay of gridlines to show you the angle of approach and how far objects are from the rear bumper.
Moving down we see the gearbox itself which is has the Sports mode built-in, rather than appear as a separate button. Speaking of buttons, the engine start/stop button and the handbrake switch are also located right next to the gearbox. And below it we see the fun stuff that’s relegated to 4 wheel drives.
First off there’s the On Road and Off Road knob, which can be activated anytime while driving. On Road the car behaves normally, as any respectable urban SUV would, but Off Road things change a bit. In this mode the differential lock is activated, providing better traction on rough terrains, while the gear ratios are simultaneously reduced, ensuring better torque delivery at low speeds. This is also the place where you can set the aforementioned ride height of the Touareg, in the Comfort, Normal and Sports modes. Further increments or reductions in ride height can be made using the knob on the right; allowing for a maximum of 30cm to play around with. Additionally the rear suspension can be lowered by a further 6cm which VW claims is for ease of loading and unloading; however, I don’t see how that much height can really help in real life.