Auto Review by Veeno Dewan

2016-volkswagen-touareg.JPEGThe Touareg has always been one of my favourite SUVs with its elegant, restrained, handsome lines and tight, refined styling. Big 20-inch alloy wheels on the top Execline nicely make the Touareg look purposeful.

For 2017 there few apparent changes from some minor 2016 revisions to the Touareg with either a 240-hp 3.0L TDI diesel V6 engine (Check for availability) or the tried and proven 3.6-litre gas VR6 engine as its powerplant. Transmission is via Volkswagens 4Motions AWD system teamed with an eight-speed transmission, coupled with electronic stability control. The basic suspension and steering systems are the same, as are other technical specs. The Touareg range starts at an affordable a starting MSRP of $51,960 for the base Comfortline and increases with the upper range Highline, Execline and R-Line versions. All trim lines are well equipped with as standard bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front light system, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated power front seats, power and heated exterior mirrors, multi-function trip computer, park distance control, power tailgate, a cooling glove box and more.

Our fully loaded top-level Moonlight Blue Pearl Execline added all the above features, plus:  20-inch “Metropolitan” wheels, LED taillights, manual rear sunshade, park distance control, power adjustable steering wheel, comfort opening cargo cover, Front assist with City Emergency brake, Area view, and a Dynaudio 620 watt audio system with 12 speakers. The Execline interior also features: Engineered Ebony wood interior trim, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, HomeLink, Leather seating surfaces, power rear seat backrest release. Also added was an Easy Open power tailgate, the large panoramic sunroof and Homelink.

With a solid, refined exterior, the interior is a standout to match. The fit, finish and feel of the Touareg cabin is very impressive with high quality aluminum switchgears, buttons and controls. It is all very Audi-like with great detailing, ergonomic design, and workmanship. The seats are super comfortable, and the interior is airy and light filled thanks to the huge panoramic sunroof which features two sliding panels,

The rear cabin is also nice and large with split 60/40 seats. Note, the rear seat cushions tilt forward and the seatbacks go down leaving a large 2000-litre storage space.

The interior dimensions are ideal for tall people and allow for ample head, leg and shoulder room. Safety is also high on the Touareg; as our tester featured such features as Autonomous Emergency braking, rear view camera, Lane Assist, Side assist system, automatic post collision braking, and the full complement of airbags.

On the road, the Touareg offers impressively sporty handling and agility, thanks to a stiff chassis inspires much confidence on all road conditions. The Touareg 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system performed wonderfully in the slippery rain caused by heavy rain and melting snows in B.C. this year. Volkswagens 4MOTION can be driver tuned to either on-road or off-road settings via a number of modes using a console mounted dial. Slippery icy conditions were handled with ease thanks to the 4MOTIONS superior grip, and the slightly firm steering and tactile steering. The big Touareg dies not feel light or wallowy like some of the competition – and remains pleasingly satisfying and safe to drive.

Overall the VW Touareg is a classy, premium family hauler with comfort and space. Fuel economy is rated at City – 13.8 L/100 km and 10.3 L/100 km on the highway. Down sides? Well, ordering the options packs jacks up the price up. Nothing new with German imports and you can end up paying a lot of money for the fully loaded version as we tested…but then again you won’t see too many Touareg’s on the road. Highly impressive.

2017 Volkswagen Touareg Execline 4MOTION

Base price: $68,575 Plus Freight and PDI $2,095