When I looked at my notes for the 2021 Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI Wolfsburg Edition, I’d written at the top of the page, ‘it’s almost perfect in every way’.
While no car or SUV is perfect, the Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI presents a compelling case, with a host of positives and near as we could find, few meaningful negatives.
So what exactly is the ‘Wolfsburg Edition’?
In short, it’s a badge applied to a host of Volkswagen vehicles, usually indicating a level of equipment and distinctive styling flourishes to set them apart from regular run-of-the-mill cars in the range. In the past, we’ve had Wolfie Golfs, Passats, Tiguans and Touaregs bearing the crest of the city of Wolfsburg on their flanks. For those who don’t know, Wolfsburg is the German city where VW is headquartered.
The 2021 Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI Wolfsburg Edition carries on the tradition, cramming even more tech and equipment inside its handsome countenance, while adding some external flair to set the Wolfie apart from regular Touaregs.
|2021 Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI Wolfsburg Edition|
|Engine||3.0-litre, V6 turbo diesel|
|Power and torque||210kW @ 4000rpm, 600Nm @ 1750–3000rpm|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Fuel claim combined (ADR)||6.8L/100km|
|Fuel use on test||7.4L/100km|
|Boot volume (seats up/down)||810L / 1800L|
|ANCAP safety rating (year tested)||Five star (tested 2018)|
|Warranty (years / km)||Five years / unlimited km|
|Main competitors||Audi Q7, Genesis GV80, BMW X5, Volvo XC90|
|Price as tested (ex on-road costs)||$122,090|
Those embellishments don’t come cheap, though, the 210TDI Wolfsburg asking for $119,990 plus on-road costs. That’s a whopping $20,500 more than the entry point into the 210TDI range (Elegance, $99,490) and a hefty $11,000 premium over the 210TDI R-Line ($108,990). But you do get exclusivity for that extra spend, the Wolfsburg Edition in 210TDI limited to just 200 examples in Australia.
Those after even more exclusivity could consider the Touareg 310TDI Wolfsburg Edition powered by VW’s 4.0-litre turbo-diesel V8. Just 100 examples have made their way to Australia with a hefty $139,990 sticker price.
One of the selling points of the Touareg 210TDI in any trim is its lusty 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6. It’s good for, as the name suggests, 210kW, but its real party trick is the 600Nm of torque available at a very usable 1750–3000rpm. Matched to an eight-speed automatic sending drive to all four wheels, VW claims the Wolfsburg can hustle from 0–100km/h in just 6.1 seconds. That’s proper hot hatch quick from a vehicle tipping the scales well north of two tonnes (2169kg tare mass).
That healthy torque dollop also lends the Wolfsburg a tow rating of 3500kg braked (or 750kg unbraked), and plenty enough for a decent caravan or horse float with a couple of gee-gees on board.
Externally, the Wolfie is easily distinguished from other Touaregs thanks to some aggressive styling. The Black Style R-Line Package adds a blacked-out front grille that flows through to the LED Matrix headlights, gloss-black mirror caps, window surrounds and roof rails. There’s also privacy glass and some imposing 21-inch gloss-black alloy wheels dubbed ‘Suzuka’.
Inside, the 210TDI Wolfsburg gains R-Line Savona leather-appointed trim, heated and cooled front seats with massage and memory function, heated outboard seats in the second row, a heated R-Line steering wheel with paddle-shifters, stainless steel pedals, a gloss-black centre console and black headliner.
The Wolfsburg certainly cuts an imposing figure on the road, especially in our test car’s Moonlight Blue paint (a $2100 option, one of three optional colours, with only Pure White not commanding a premium). The only other option available is a $3000 panoramic roof.
The rest of the Wolfsburg’s extensive list of equipment comes standard. And there’s a lot.
There’s the Sound and Comfort pack that brings a 360-degree camera, a premium Dynaudio sound system, four-zone climate control, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, tyre pressure monitor, soft-close doors, a memory function for the steering column and auto-dimming mirrors.
The Innovision package brings a monster-sized 15-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, ambient lighting, a head-up display, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster running VW’s Digital Cockpit Pro. That last item is, in our opinion, the new standard-bearer for digital instrument displays, configurable to suit your needs and with graphics as crisp and as sharp as any we’ve seen.
|2021 Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI Wolfsburg Edition|
|Tow rating (braked / unbraked)||3500kg / 750kg|
|Warranty||Five years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months / 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$3619 over five years / 75,000km|
|Options as fitted||Moonlight Blue metallic paint ($2100)|
Volkswagen’s comprehensive suite of active safety technology, bundled under the IQ Drive moniker, brings autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assists with lane guidance, adaptive cruise control, front and rear cross-traffic assist, driver fatigue monitoring, as well as front and rear parking sensors.
This generation wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, awarded in 2018, with the Touareg rated at 89 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 72 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 78 per cent for safety systems.
Slide inside the cabin and you’re greeted by an unashamedly premium looking and feeling interior. The two-tone leather trim is exquisite, while the clean and uncluttered layout of the cabin is appealing to minimalists everywhere.
Most of the car’s functions are controlled via that enormous touchscreen, and while we’ve been critical of exactly that in the past in other cars, the Volkswagen implementation is clean and easy to use, offering minimal distraction while also remaining functional. Features such as climate control, accessed via the touchscreen, are on permanent display at the bottom of the screen, so there’s no swiping through menus and sub-menus needed to change the cabin’s comfort levels.
But if you like your radio played digitally, you’ll need to use an app on your smartphone, the Touareg, even in in this highly specified model, bereft of DAB+ radio. It makes no sense.
Helpfully, though, a nicely knurled scrolling dial on the centre console adjusts volume or, if you prefer, use the steering-wheel-mounted controls.
There’s a pair of cupholders up front as well as a wireless phone charging tray, while the glovebox is cooled in case you need to keep your road-trip chocolate from melting.
The second row is generous, in terms of size and equipment, with back seat occupants scoring their own two-zone climate controls and vents as well seat heating for the outboard pews.
There are two USB-C charging points in the second row, joining the two up front for a total of four, which is generous by any measure.
Where the Touareg Wolfsburg, or any Touareg for that matter, loses a little of its shine is in the third row. Because there isn’t one. It seems a touch incongruous that if your needs stretch to a seven-seater and your tastes run to Volkswagen, then you’re resigned to the Tiguan Allspace – a full segment smaller than the Touareg, even if it has been stretched to accommodate persons six and seven.
One can’t help but wonder how many potential sales are drifting to other brands with seven-seat options in their large SUV line-ups.
The upside is that the Touareg packs an impressive 810L of cargo space, expanding to 1800L with the second row stowed away (almost flat) in 40:20:40 fashion. A temporary space-saver spare lives under the boot floor.
The big question, though, is how does it drive? And the simple answer is any way you bloody well want it to.
Around town, the big diesel V6 purrs along quietly, so quietly I had to remind myself this was, in fact, a diesel. It doesn’t sound like a diesel but it certainly acts like one. In a good way.
Thanks to that generous lashing of torque available as early as 1750rpm in the rev range, the Touareg is more than capable of hustling quickly. Acceleration is brisk and predictable, while the eight-speed auto works away with little fanfare or, it seems, effort.
There’s no labouring, instead the Wolfie glides along the road with ease. That’s only heightened out on the highway, the big nuclear family hauler settling into a relaxed lope, the powertrain barely raising a sweat as it chews up the kays with ease and a quietude you’d not expect from a diesel, even a modern diesel like this one. It is, in a word, refined.
But, the 2169kg large SUV is also a more than capable performance SUV. That 6.1-second 0–100km/h claim is not a flight of fancy. Instead, with some eager acceleration, the Touareg simply hunkers down and surges forward. Merging onto motorways has never been easier or more relaxing.
Air suspension keeps things nice and relaxed inside, especially in Comfort mode, the Touareg dispatching the grubbiness of our roads with aplomb. Throw the drive selector into Sport and there’s a firmness to the suspension, which is at once tactile without being overly harsh. There’s also active anti-roll helping to keep your Wolfsburg flat-ish under harder cornering, should you choose to treat your large SUV that way.
And Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which continuously apportions torque between the front and rear axles depending on where it’s needed most, provides a surety of grip sometimes lacking in larger vehicles such as this.
Despite its weighty heft, the Touareg is surprisingly adept at navigating tighter inner-urban confines. That’s partially down to the standard four-wheel steering that helps keeps things nice and tight. A turning circle of just 11.9m kerb-to-kerb is testament to the system’s veracity.
Volkswagen claims the Euro 6 compliant diesel will use just 6.8L/100km. Our week with the Wolfie returned an indicated 7.4L/100km over a variety of conditions and driving styles. That’s a commendable number for such a big SUV.
The Touareg is covered by VW’s standard five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, while servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. Servicing isn’t cheap, though. You’ll need to budget for a total of $3619 for the first five years, 75,000km of scheduled workshop visits.
And while that dulls, just a little, the sheen of Touareg Wolfsburg edition ownership, the simple fact remains that Volkswagen has entered the premium mainstream with its large SUV.
It’s loaded with standard inclusions, looks sharp and stylish, is supremely comfortable and spacious inside, and an absolute joy to drive. Whether around town or out on the highway, the Touareg 210TDI Wolfsburg Edition is an accomplished, comfortable and high-performing family SUV.