2014 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line | Road Test

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 by
2014 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 340,000
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  • Touareg R-Line
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 11, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 80%
  • Interior
    Editor: 90%
  • Quality
    Editor: 85%
  • Features
    Editor: 90%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 65%

Review Summary:

The 2014 R-Line is everything you'd expect it to be. It's unique, quick and darn expensive, too.

Pros

* A capacious cabin allows for passengers' and their belongings to be transported safely and comfortably.

Cons

* For a car that costs AED 340,000 and portrays itself as being sporty, you'd expect to find adaptive cruise control and paddle shifters at the very least.

Introduction & Summary

The Volkswagen Touareg is somewhat of a test-tube baby; developed in the early 2000’s as a joint venture between Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, the project was aimed at creating an vehicle that would handle like a sports car. Over the years, the Touareg has grown into more than just a pretty face and now in its third generation, it is 200kg lighter than its predecessor and serves as the largest SUV in the brand’s lineup.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg front

Keen to see what the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg was all about, I snagged the newest addition to the AutoMiddleEast key holder, and while the others were caught up in their work, I proceeded to the basement on a warm Thursday afternoon. Tapping the key fob, the bi-xenon headlights illuminated the area and there it was, a muscular Pure White 2014 Volkswagen Touareg V8 R-Line, staring right back at me.

Styling & Design

Brawny, beefy, or flat out burly; call it what you may, but there’s no denying the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg is one good looking SUV, and even more so in R-Line attire. Featuring a broad visage that is composed of LED’s which race around to enclose the xenon bulbs, a two-tier chrome grille and horizontal slats on the bumper, the Touareg is at its peak of aggression and stylistically, that isn’t a bad thing at all.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg side

Towards the sides, it’s tapered creases that run the length of the vehicle and chrome strips that adorn the door panels, but look closely and you’ll notice the R-Line is quite different from its standard sibling. In addition to the R-Line insignia on the fenders, it flaunts bumpers that sit closer to the ground, side skirts that protrude from the door panels and a rear bumper which houses  a neat black diffuser. It’s all just that tad bit sportier, you see.

Features

Entering the cabin, it’s difficult not to be taken aback by the abundance of leather and soft touch materials, but lean back in the supremely comfortable 12-way power adjustable seats and it only gets better. Overhead, a panoramic sliding roof that starts at the front seats and extends well past the second row seats offers generous light into the cabin and unobstructed views of the beautiful skyscrapers spread across the city.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg interior

To please the high-fidelity inclined, there’s also a “Confidence” DYNAUDIO sound system which pumps out 620 watts through a 10 speaker set-up and is capable of playing your tunes through a 6 CD changer, a USB port, an AUX port, or an SD card slot. Producing plastic shuddering levels of bass and clarion treble, it’s a treat to the aural senses, but hold on a second because there’s a major flaw with the design. With audio playback through AUX ports replacing Bluetooth connectivity for the simplicity it offers, you’d have thought the designers would’ve known placing the AUX port in the glove box wasn’t the brightest of ideas. By doing so, the driver is no longer able to swap tracks off their iPod while cruising along the highway, since obviously, leaning over to the glove box, finding the iPod, and swapping tracks, all while doing a 100 km/h, isn’t exactly possible…or recommended.

Performance, Ride & Handling

Powered by a 4.2 litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg shuffles through an 8 speed automatic transmission to send 360 horsepower at 6,800 RPM and 440 Nm of torque at 3,500 RPM, to all four wheels. Digging deep into the footwell enables the Slovakian built SUV to dispatch a 0 – 100 km/h run in 7.2 seconds and continue all the way to its electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h, all while emitting a pleasant snarl from its twin chrome tailpipes. When left to do the shifting, the Touareg shifts early on in the RPM range to save fuel, but tap the gear lever to the right and knock into manual mode, and the beautiful SUV holds onto gears until a trippy 7,000 RPM’s have been achieved, before shifting automatically to prevent any damage to the powerhouse.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg side

Equipped with an air suspension set-up, the Touareg offers driver’s four adjustable height settings; Load, Normal, Off-Road, and Special Off-Road. While Load drops the SUV to the floor for a rather cool stance that is ideal for cruising the urban playground, the Special Off-Road setting rockets it to heights that could make some of the UAE’s most loved SUV’s feel threatened when you pull up alongside.

In addition to the air suspension, there’s also an adaptive damping system which allows for one of three modes to be selected; Comfort, Normal, and Sport. In Comfort, the dampers attempt to create a ride that would make passengers question if you were driving on packs of butter, by effortlessly gliding over speed breakers and minimizing the effects of undulations to their rear end. Roll the rotary dial over to Sport, however, and it’s a drastic improvement in the handling department. The dampers stiffen significantly to reduce body roll and allow the 4,795mm long and 1,732mm tall SUV to be driven notably more enthusiastically and confidently on a set of bends.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg interior

To ensure safety of the driver and passengers’ at all times, the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg has also been fitted with sensors in its front and rear bumpers. However, unlike other vehicles that only activate this system when it notices an intention to park, the ones on the Touareg have a mind of their own. Beeping when a car behind you pulls up too close in traffic, or when another car squeezes their way in during the rush hour race home, the Touareg tones down the music and adds an extra pulse with the beat of the sensors. Even if switched off through the button atop the dashboard, they automatically resume, leaving you with no other option but to simply enjoy the dubstep combination of high and low pitched beeps resonating through the cabin…

Taking safety a step further, there’s also a Lane Keeping Assist and a Blind Spot Monitoring system. While the former sends the mildest of vibrations through the steering wheel to alert the driver if the vehicle drifts out of the lane, the latter works in a lot more prominent fashion. Flashing harsh amber lights in the side mirrors to warn driver’s if another vehicle is in their blind spots, it could very well make you feel as though as you were in the midst of a LASIK surgery every time you changed lanes while another vehicle was nearing what the Touareg perceived as your “blind spot”.

Comfort & Practicality

Offering oodles of space for both front and rear seat passengers, the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg is undoubtedly comfortable, and even more so with the option of reclining rear seats. Likewise, practicality is mighty impressive, with boot space measuring 906 litres with the second row seats in use and 1,642 litres when stowed away. The electronic folding tow bar is also more than just a point to brag about in front of your mates, as when in use, it could tow loads of up to 3.5 tonnes!

2014 Volkswagen Touareg interior

Price & Verdict

The Volkswagen Touareg is part of the German empire in the automotive realm. What that translates to, is meticulous details, unparalleled engineering and the strive to be perfect. In simpler English, it’s quality you pay for and that’s why it doesn’t come cheap.

Starting out at around AED 160,000, the V6 version of the Touareg is well priced and well worth it too. Hop up to the V8 version and prices start getting dizzy at AED 310,000. Ask for the R-Line, which gets you a few badges, a body kit and ventilated seats, and it’s suddenly escalated to a ridiculous figure of AED 340,000.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg rear

But hold on a second, because how much is Audi asking for a Q7 in the showroom next door? Well, surprisingly a lot less! Granted, it may be a little long in the tooth now and doesn’t have a V8 under the hood, but it still produces 333 horsepower, offers two extra seats thanks to an extended wheelbase and saves you a whopping AED 55,000 for a similarly specced model. Oh, and it also gets you a lot more respect with the badge conscious crowd around the Emirates.

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