The Volkswagen Touareg returns to Singapore



All-new third-gen version of VW’s big sports utility vehicle launches with a 3.0-litre V6 and three trim levels; prices start from S$290k with COE

SINGAPORE

Nearly two years after it was last seen on local pricelists, the Volkswagen Touareg has now made its return to our sunny island. It’s the new top dog for the VW range, with list prices starting at S$289,900 with Certificate of Entitlement.

That would be for the Atmosphere and Elegance trims (they differ only in terms of decorative interior trim and paint/upholstery colour options), but a more extensively equipped R-Line is also available at S$321,900 with COE.

All versions are powered by the same engine here, the familiar turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 that’s also found in Audi’s larger products like the A6, A8 limo, and Q8 coupe-SUV. It produces 335hp and 450Nm of torque, and will get the Touareg from nought to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds.

The old Touareg looked perhaps a bit anonymous, but that’s most definitely not the case for this new car. It sports the new Volkswagen design language that made its debut in the company’s erstwhile flagship, the Arteon.

Like the four-door “grand tourer”, the Touareg’s massive grille blends directly into the headlights, there’s a sharp crease running down the flank of the car, forming a muscular bulge over the rear wheels, and even the taillights are a similar shape.

Matching the wow factor of the new front grille is an equally preposterously-sized standard infotainment screen. At a MacBook Pro-rivalling 15 inches across, it’s the largest such screen of any car officially on sale in Singapore, beating out the Mercedes E and S-Class, as well as the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne, which all feature 12.3-inch screens. Only the parallel-imported Tesla Model X and S trump it, with a massive 17-inch unit.

This screen complements a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, is customisable, and controls all of the car’s functions, including the climate controls as well as the ventilated and massage front seats.

Based on the MLB evo platform like the rest of its corporate cousins, the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne, the new Touareg is longer (+77mm), wider (+44mm), yet lighter (-106kg) than before. The biggest gain is in terms of boot space, which swells to a commodious 810 litres, 113 more than before.

There is no seven-seater option as that would add cost, disrupt the roofline, and encroach into the Q7’s territory.

MLB underpinnings also means that the Touareg can make use of some clever tech from its more illustrious stablemates. For example, it has rear axle steering, which below 37km/h points the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts for better maneuverability.

We tried the system in a Cayenne at Sepang Circuit, and can certainly say it makes a difference compared to a car without it. The end result is a turning circle that’s just 20cm wider than a Golf’s.

This, as well as active dampers, air suspension, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist (the car goes, steers and stops itself in slow traffic), front cross traffic assist and 21-inch wheels, are exclusive to the R-Line.

Standard features also found on the Atmosphere and Elegance models include that huge touchscreen, 20-inch rims, a panoramic sunroof, double-glazed windows, hands-free tailgate, four USB ports, park assist, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

Fittingly for a brand that straddles the mainstream/premium divide, the Touareg is considerably cheaper, yet no less generously-equipped than its posher-badged rivals like the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes-Benz GLE, and Volvo XC90. Only time will tell though if that’ll be enough to overcome the lesser cachet of the VW roundel.

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We drove the new Touareg in Austria last year. You can read our first drive review (and look at prettier pictures) of it here.


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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.