Volkswagen Touareg 3.6 FSI Review
Tour de force

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
24 Oct 2010

The maker of the people's car takes a second stab at making a luxury SUV. Raymond Lai sizes up the second generation Touareg.

Introduction, styling

When Volkswagen decided to enter the luxury and high-end sector in the early 2000s, it decided to do so with a two pronged attack to go head-to-head with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Volkswagen's strategy was led by both the Phaeton luxury limo and the Touareg large SUV.

The latter was Volkswagen's first ever full sized luxury SUV. Co-developed together with Porsche and its successful Cayenne, the Touareg, unlike the Phaeton limo, proved to be a big success for the brand, so much so that about half a million examples of the first generation model were sold around the world.

Eight years since it was first launched, the Touareg is now into its second incarnation. In terms of styling, the new model is not immediately distinguishable from the old from some angles, especially along the flanks. The overall styling of the new car is more of an evolution of the outgoing model's rather than a revolutionary, a bit like the way the latest generation Golf morphed from its Mk V predecessor so to speak.

The new Touareg is most obviously different from the old when viewed head on thanks to the adaptation of the Scirocco-style Volkswagen corporate face. The characteristic narrow radiator grille aperture is flanked by distinctive headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights within. The latter features 15 separate LEDs arranged in a distinctive ‘U' pattern, thus giving a distinctive light pattern when lit. The new nose treatment is not all aesthetics though as Volkswagen claims that the Touareg's body is altogether more slippery through the air than its predecessor's, a Cd improvement of 0.03 to 0.35 to be exact.

Bar some minor and hardly noticeable details, the new model looks pretty much similar as the outgoing car from the sides. The profile and the shape of the side windows are virtually similar while the alloy wheels hardly look memorable in terms of their design. At the rear, the new Touareg once again look familiar even though the tail lamps that feature distinctive light patterns are all new. Disappointingly for such a high-end model, the latter don't feature LED technology. The new twin trapezoidal exhaust outlets not only look purposeful but also help lessen the visual bulk at the rear.

Just like most recent Volkswagen models, the new Touareg isn't exactly drop dead pretty or has that ‘wow' factor in the way it looks, especially when compared to the model it supersedes but purposeful looking and well-proportioned it definitely is.


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Engine Capacity 3597cc
Engine Type V 6
Power 280bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 360Nm @ 3200rpm
Power to Weight 137.6 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 228 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 9.6 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type F4


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4795 x 1940 x 1709) mm
Wheelbase 2893 mm
Kerb Weight 2035 kg