Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Touareg Loses the Guilt

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Touareg Loses the Guilt

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER KEENAN

THE green brigade have long seen red over big 4x4s - and they are unlikely to be mollified by recent moves to reduce the impact offroaders have on the environment. Take the Volkswagen Touareg. It is now lighter with a raft of hi-tech gadgets designed to reduce its carbon footprint - but this won''t cut much of what''s left of the Arctic''s ice when it comes to the average eco-warrior.

So who will the changes impress? More than likely it will be someone who wants a 4x4 sport utility vehicle but not the guilt trip that often goes with it.

So when VW boasts that the Touareg has shed an impressive amount of weight, making it leaner both in terms of bulk and the amount of fuel used, it is giving buyers a defence when the dinner party critics sally forth with accusations of environmental vandalism. With new-found confidence the starters can be served with an explanation of the Touareg''s smooth-shifting eightspeed automatic transmission set up to maximise fuel economy and reduce the likelihood of Siberia growing satsumas.

Statistics showing an average fuel economy figure of 38.2mpg for the 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel powering the Touareg I tried can be deployed - not brilliant in terms of a supermini, but a massive improvement on some of the frightening figures off-roaders have been responsible for in years gone by.

And as the icing on the cake all Touaregs - except the V8 versions which no responsible parent would buy anyway - feature VW''s BlueMotion technology which is at the cutting edge of environmental protection.

Any semblance of a counter-attack over the cheese and biscuits can be rebuffed by mention of the Stop/Start system - which cuts the engine when you come to a standstill and starts it again when you release the brake - again saving fuel and reducing emissions. …

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