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Published on January 6th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Can This VW Touareg 3.6 V6 Be Better Than Its Porsche Sibling

It’s been selling in VW showrooms nationwide for already some 2 months and yet there has been no media and advertising promotion on this next generation Touareg. Instead all the media hype has been concentrated on VW car models. So why this quiet release? Well possibly because VW Malaysia does not think a lot of Malaysians are going to be drawn to this large SUV, but we think differently. Sharing many parts and engineering with the all new Porsche Cayenne, this Touareg is some RM100k cheaper than the equivalent Cayenne and we think a better purchase option over the Cayenne. However what does RM100k more buy in the Cayenne. Let me tell you that you get a nicer more expensive interior. The Porsche branding and lastly a car key fob which is more respected over the VW badge.
This Touareg looks sleeker and more stylish over the previous model with a more pronounced shoulders and an athletic stance. There are daytime running lights included and a slimmer nose with a new corporate look. Its roofline is lower but the cabin is larger due to increased width.
Open the doors and the sense of occasion is all around the cabin with a wonderful mix of leather, metal and material covering the cabin.  A luxury sedan cockpit feel is introduced. Compared to the earlier Touareg, it is 41 millimeters longer, 12 mm wider, and 17 mm lower with a 38 mm extension of the wheelbase.The track is 3 mm wider in front and 11.5 mm wider at the rear, contributing to improved handling and stability. Rear accommodation has been given a boost with3 full sized seats and ample legroom. Knobs, buttons and shifters introduce a high sense of quality to the feel and no driver will be disappointed with the racy 2-pod instrument cluster. We liked the bright colour information display between the 2-pods.

The steering wheel has a meaty feel with easy to use function controls on them and gear shifters. The touch screen audio and climate control system is super user friendly (and gives the center console a less ‘busy’ feel over the previous Touareg). No instructions needed. A simple knob to select 2-wheel to 4-wheel drive sits to the bottom right of the gear shifter.Luggage space behind the rear seats has increased by 25 liters to 660 liters; and with both rear seatbacks folded flat, maximum cargo space is up by 72 liters to 1,642 liters.

Ignite the V6 and there is a slight rumble that invades the cabin serenity. It’s ready to excite us at city speeds but when we reach the open road just outside Klang Valley we let the V6 sing itsbest song as we reach for the upper limits of the revolution range in 2ndand 3rd gear just shy of limiting out the power band. There is no shortage of trust as we increase our progress and there is little hesitation from the smooth revving engine. The all new 8-speed gearbox is typically VW, smooth and intense.

Long sweeping corners are taken with ease with effectively no body roll or movement felt from inside the cabin with the chassis remaining very flat. As we approach some more adverse corners running up the hills around the back of Genting’s this Touareg did not fail us even insome hair raising conditions where we managed to get the best out of the well balanced chassis working hard with the tuned suspension. Do not think you need to be a professional driver to string together a series of quick corners as this VW SUV makes even the most mediocre driver feel like a weekend race driver.

We suppose a price of about RM430,000 might sound like a lot for a VW, but then it is a Cayenne sibling with all the handling and luxury possible buyers all looking for today.

Volkswagen Touareg 3.6 V6 PETROL Specifications
Engine: V6-cylinder Petrol Displacement: 3598ccMax power: 300bhp @ 6300rpmMax torque: 400Nm @ 3000rpm
0-100km/h: 7.8secs
Top Speed: 230 km/h
Transmission: 8-Speed

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