A small one day of ownership review of the 2012 Touareg TDI

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We’ve only owned the thing for a day or so, and only put 80 miles on it heading around town and going up to Nederland for some tasty eats and the Packer game.  But here is a quick little review of this vehicle:

  • Torque – Torque – Torque.   By 2500 Rpm you have 400Ft/Lbs at your command.  I have never felt a vehicle pull at the asphalt like this does at nearly idle speeds.   The transmission is smooth as silk, and you hardly hear/notice the engine or transmission doing its thing.  (A slight angry grunt comes into the cabin when you get on it) In Sport mode it changes things slightly, but in a very good way. You almost never feel it down shift and it just pulls even on steep grades with ease in S mode.   I absolutely dont feel like I lost much from ditching the R32 to the Touareg even when gaining ~ 2000lbs of gross weight on the car.  And having this much power, and still getting 25Mpg going up hill pretty briskly is impressive.
  • Handling – Surprising.  I threw the truck through the twisties going up 72 into the mountains pretty aggressively.  The Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires on the truck stock are VERY good on asphalt (and very highly rated from what I’ve read).  Never a squeal, chirp, or any protest, just lumbering through the corners with ease.  I didnt think a 5000lbs truck would handle like this, I was ready for numb, lazy steering.  But this thing snaps into corners (credit to the tires and suspension), holds lines, and controls body roll like a champ.   Even with simple steel spring suspension vs air suspension, or advanced chassis control that its brother Cheyenne sports, this thing can hold its own.
  • Comfort and Gizmos.  The truck is obviously setup for comfort over long distances.  The seats are great, the cabin is near silent on all but the crappiest roads, the climate control/seat heaters are all on point.    The Gizmos have made me learn a  whole new language.   The Nav system is outstanding in the truck, easily one of the coolest implementations I have seen.   Only hang up right now is figuring how to import waypoints and POI from my garmin maps to the RNS850 in the console.  There are two SD ports and instructions to do it, but I am still working on that.

Only cons so far:

  • Wish the seats were more supportive laterally – I was way used to the big bolsters on my R32.  The sides of the back on the Touareg are good, but the seat base needs just a little more.
  • Rear head rests – right in your line of sight.   If you raise them up at all, you pretty much just don’t use your rear view mirror then.
  • As I said above – trying to figure out just how the Nav/Infotainment system does all its things is a challenge.  The User manual for the truck is almost 500 pages long and 150 of those are just for the head unit.   

Next for the Truck:

  • OE Splash Guards- to keep the rocks and shit off the side of my nice white truck
  • Euro spec Aspherical side mirrors – Loved them on my R32 – no blind spots.
  • Snow tires – Already priced out and ready to get them mounted sometime in the next month.  Going with Hankook i*Pike RW11s as they fit the 18" rims, are not break the bank expensive, and many reviews say they are on par with Nokian and blow Bridgestones out of the water.
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