What is it?
VWSA’s Ms Siyasanga Madikizela, their PR genius and my brother Mr William Kgatla, Brand Co-ordinator handed me the keys to the VW Touareg 3.0 V6 TDi Executive R-line. It came with black rims, black grille that swallowed up the lights in a vast grin of black chrome. On Easter weekend, I decided to drive to the picturesque Wilderness, giving my kids a break during the COVID-19 strained times. Covering the distance between Pretoria and Graff Reinet on a single tank of fuel was amazing. A distance of approximately 900km before we filled up the tank. Impressive. Of course I was sensitive on the throttle with my right foot. The V6 turbocharged 3.0 engine pushing out 190kW at 600nM power proved useful overtaking sluggish trucks. But I was so much looking forward to the sea and sand over the Easter weekend. Claimed fuel-consumption of 7.5l was realistically around 8.4km/100km southbound to the Garden Route on the N1 and then northbound route back to Johannesburg was approximately (8.4l/100kms). What a weekend to uplift our spirits. Made me realise how important it is to appreciate the simple things in life. My kids frolicking in the sand and collecting sea shells. Total bliss.
Aptly described above in the blurb. Plush leather abound. Giant digital banks of centre console screens to navigate through the vehicle’s climate control, front seat heating, entertainment, map and vehicle settings which is relatively user friendly. Expansive panoramic glass roof gave a sense of spaciousness bathing the interior with natural light. The rear seats “bench” is wide enough allowing adult passengers to sit comfortably, with sufficient legroom. Night driving was more enjoyable for them as they wished upon all those falling stars. When opened they pulled the famous Titanic pose. Shouting the immortal words “I am on on top of the world.” I felt on top of the world driving the Touareg. The roof’s automatic tint adjusted light as the African sun traversed across the sky. Front passenger you can spend hours figuring what settings to choose from. From the basic air-con, seat warmer to the more advanced Adoptive Cruise Control and other tech features. The rear sun screens came in handy when the sun got uncomfortable blinding. Despite the air suspension, long journeys lead to some mild cramps. The front heats offer massages proved useful. The seats can be heated and cooled off.
The Night Vision feature is probably the most impressive for me, with its ability to detect people that are nearly invisible in the dark. An example driving on the unlit R55 that connects Centurion and Midrand, the car suddenly applied brakes and displayed a collision icon on the HUD (heads up display). Discomfort overcame me as I wasn’t sure what was happening, glancing on the Night Vision screen I saw a ghostly apparition. Impressive. Active lane assist system, another nice feature which actively counter steers the car when it is going over another lane without indicating. Talk about staying in your lane. The unintended downside with it is that the active counter steer also happens when going into lanes that split into two lanes or merge into one lane, when you don’t engage the indicator. The driver needs to remain in control, alert and not fully delegate decision making to the car’s artificial intelligence. The Touareg’s ActiveIntelligent Light blocks beam on cars directly in front of it or oncoming traffic as not to blind. I observed that a number of cars would flash their lights to deem down the lights suggesting that the intelligence lights are not always intelligent enough to detect oncoming traffic adjusting the beam accordingly.
Likes: Enormous 810 litre boot. The 14V charger for my laptop while sitting comfortably watching my amazing offspring playing in the sand.
Dislikes: The plastic window buttons I found jarring. Should have been in leatheror brushed aluminium. The diameter of the steering could have been thicker. It felt a bit flimsy for the 2 ton luxury SUV.
For more details on The VW Touareg 3.0 V6 TDi visit https://www.vw.co.za/en/models/touareg.html
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