Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Slimmer SUV Goes Upmarket

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Slimmer SUV Goes Upmarket

Article excerpt

VOLKSWAGEN has taken a scalpel to its slow-selling Touareg SUV, cutting the weight, price and fuel consumption of the new model.

The new Touareg looks more lithe than its predecessor and it is, tipping the scales at about 90kg less, despite being longer, wider and taller.

The bold horizontal grille and squared-jawed bumper bar give the Touareg the now-trademark Volkswagen look, although it also resembles its siblings, the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.

Inside, the stylish finish continues a the large touch-screen display dominates the well laid-out centre console, while in front of the driver sits a new colour screen between the dashboard dials that offers the driver control (via the steering wheel) over the sat-nav, trip computer and Bluetooth-connected phone and audio controls (the phone can also be connected by a sim card insert the glovebox-mounted media box).

The cabin surfaces look and feel high quality, and there are plenty of useful storage compartments throughout the cabin.

The front seats offer plenty of adjustment, including bolsters that can be pumped up for body-hugging side support. Space is good up front, while in the rear there is plenty of head, leg, and shoulder space.

The boot of the Touareg is slightly larger than the old model, with a rear-seats-in-place cargo capacity of 580L (old model: 555L), though the rounded shape of the cargo hold means loading boxes or squared-off items could be more difficult. Upper-spec models feature a boot-mounted flip switch to drop the rear seat backs, freeing up 1642 litres of load space.

Our first local drive spanned more than 1200 kilometres, from Noosa down the Pacific Highway to Sydney, with a few school holiday traffic snarls thrown into the mix to keep things interesting.

And having spent an extended period of time behind the wheel of the new Touareg, we can confirm that it is indeed a contender in the highly competitive luxury SUV sales race.

The model we tested was the $77,990 V6 TDI model, which is fitted with a 3. …

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