Volkswagen has announced an adventure-focused limited-edition variant of its large SUV, the Touareg, that offers compelling value for money.
Aptly named the Adventure, the new version is based on the V6 TDI model with Volkswagen adjusting the equipment list to maintain the must-have items and dismiss a couple of luxury features.
The result is a Touareg with the necessary all-wheel-drive layout, meaty 180kW/550Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel, eight-speed automatic transmission, 100-litre fuel tank, 3500kg tow rating and air-sprung suspension that at $79,990 plus on-road costs is $5500 cheaper than the $85,490 pricetag of the vehicle on which it is based.
What is doesn't have is the V6 TDI's 20-inch wheels, instead getting 19-inch wheels, and has a lower-grade of leather upholstery (Vienna, not Nappa), and misses out on cornering headlights though are still bi-Xenon units. It retains the roof rack crossbars as standard.
The Adventure will be available in showrooms next month and will – temporarily – be the fourth Touareg model and is priced beneath the V6 TDI 180kW but above the entry-level 150kW model.
Volkswagen Group Australia product planning manager Jeff Shafer said the Adventure was aimed at buyers wanting value for money in a practical and functional vehicle that was ideal for towing.
He said it would be offered with a discounted tow package, costing buyers $1650 for the pack, a saving of $300.
Volkswagen is expected to unveil its new Touareg model – the third generation – in Europe before June. It is heavily based on the T-Prime Concept that was shown at the Beijing motor show last year.
The new wagon will be based on the same MLBevo platform as the latest Audi Q7 and next-generation Porsche Cayenne.
It will be available only as a V6 or V8 diesel, though for the China market Volkswagen has said the 2.0-litre TSFI turbo-petrol will be available with a hybrid powerplant.
The current Touareg was launched in Australia in 2011 and facelifted in 2014.
Sales of the model have slipped with the 2016 total of 2168 units down 15.6 per cent on the full year of 2015. In January this year, sales were down 48.2 per cent to 102.
The Touareg's main rivals are the Mercedes-Benz GLE twins that have had substantial sales increases. It has also lost buyers to the Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 and BMW X5.
Would you consider an Adventure special edition over the regular Volkswagen Touareg? Tell us what you think in the comments below.