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Volkswagen Touareg R50 (copyright image) Volkswagen Touareg R50

Road Test

by Stephen Walker

30th December, 2008

The Volkswagen Touareg has a reputation of being an over achiever. In fact, that's how I first described the Touareg R50 when Next Car published a road test on this new model on 11th September, 2008. You can read that report here.

Always on the lookout for a good drive, we managed to find an excuse for another excursion in this big and delightful SUV.

Our previous drive was just 281 kilometres around Melbourne and Bacchus Marsh. But this time we ventured out for a real drive! Yes, loading up the Touareg in Melbourne we cruised north along the Hume Highway to Sydney and beyond. On this occasion, we covered more than 1,200 kms in just a few days.

Thus, once again, we were able to comfortably enjoy this mobile powerhouse.

And that's the point with this car. The accelerator commands a powerful 258 kW and a massive torque rating of 850 Nm. This is enough power to make your average backbencher dizzy! They can only dream about such power. The engine is a 5 litre V10 diesel with turbocharging.

The authoritive performance characteristics of the R50 are outstanding. There is much more performance than any drama queen could ever conjur up. In fact, Volkswagen suggest the R50 can manage 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds. Let me tell you that I readily accept this suggestion. And therein tells the story of just how empowering this vehicle is.

Stephen Walker with the Volkswagen Touareg R50 (copyright image)

The standard air suspension of the Touareg V10 diesel models makes managing the performance an easy task. Actually, all the components effecting the driving dynamics (steering, braking, suspension, drivetrain and weight distribution) each contribute to make the VW Touareg R50 a pleasantly 'mannered' vehicle.

Yet the fuel gauge moves with a degree of sympathy with your bank account. Fuel consumption with this bi-turbo diesel is a credible 12.6 litres per 100 kms on the so called combined cycle. Be assured there are many SUV drivers who wish their fuel guzzler could achieve a figure as low as the Touareg diesels!

As you would expect with a car priced from $134,990 (RRP), the standard equipment list provides an extensive list of interior fitments for the comfort of the occupants. That way, options are limited to just a few items.

Safety equipment, too, is comprehensive. The Euro NCAP organisation awarded the maximum of 5 stars to the Touareg in November, 2004, for crash testing in frontal impact and side impact collisions.

Our past experience with the Volkswagen Touareg R50 indicates we speak of this vehicle in glowing terms. That's because that is the only way one can speak about the Touareg R50.

Click here for the Touareg R50 image gallery

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