Volkswagen Touareg: an SUV that grows in size and technologies

The third generation of the Volkswagen Touareg, the flagship of the Volkswagen SUV range, was presented in the heart of China several months ago. A vehicle that claims to be the “most innovative” car of the German brand given the long list of systems and assistants it includes.

We are talking about the Nightvision system, the Active Cruise Control assistant, the Innovation infotainment system, the adaptive cruise control Front Assist, the Lane Assist maintenance system or the Park Assist Premium automatic parking system.

The third generation of the flagship SUV from the manufacturer adds to these attributes a larger size and a new design. And since last March is on sale in UK from £51,595 in its first version with 286 hp TDI V6 engine.

[bs-quote quote=”The first version with the T6 V6 engine of 286 HP is available for sale in Spain.” style=”default” align=”center”][/bs-quote]

To know more about it, we took a short walk in a Touareg 2018 unit with the optional Innovision Cockpit. The objective? See a little more closely what it offers technologically speaking and see how powerful that promised innovation is. This is what we have found.

Two screens, induction charging for telephones … with Innovision Cockpit

Detail of the interior of the Touareg 2018.

Leaving aside that it is wider and longer than the previous generation, which has a larger trunk, which weighs less thanks to its aluminum and steel body and has countless customization options based on the three finishes offered, the new Touareg stands out for the technologies it incorporates.

What stands out most of this vehicle, as soon as you access its cabin, is the so-called Innovision Cockpit. A premiere design in this model in which the instrument screens and the infotainment system practically merge. The control panel, behind the steering wheel, is a 12-inch screen. The multimedia screen located in the center, and strategically oriented towards the driver, is 15 inches and tactile.

[bs-quote quote=”Innovision Cockpit integrates two 12-inch and 15-inch screens that act together as an instrument panel and the Innovision Cockpit system screen.” style=”default” align=”center”][/bs-quote]

The two, in communion, are the main window to the majority of options offered by this third generation of the older brother of the Volkswagen Tiguan. Everything can be operated from touch screens, but consciously, the brand has chosen an analog solution for certain switches that are used frequently and its handling on the screen could cause undesirable distractions.

The biggest example is, undoubtedly, the physical control for volume control. Beyond being a curiosity, its incorporation breaks with the tendency to bring all functions to the tactile and reinforces as much as possible the security of such an everyday action as adjusting the intensity of the sound of the radio or the music system . His physical response, as we have been able to verify, fulfills what he intends.

But we look again at the screens because without them, services such as App Connect, the system that integrates with great success MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto would not be possible; Guide & Information, the system that offers us information about traffic, news from digital media, or the weather forecast; or navigation thanks to Google maps.

We can go through the menus of the main screen by dragging with two fingers or place our hand in front and move left or right. However, while the tactile response is optimal, which might be expected, the gesture detection system works with some difficulty. Without knowing the car, it is hard to get used to the system and get the sensors to correctly detect our movements. It will be a matter of finding the point to the system or waiting for an improvement by the manufacturer.

We must also emphasize that everything that appears on the screens while driving is completely customizable.

Thanks to this, for example, we can send the vision of a navigation route to the instrument panel or fix in the center of the rev counter the automatic reading of signals that the car makes on the road. A function that performs its work quite well, although it does not always succeed despite the fact that it is clearly visible.

Innovision Cockpit is also responsible for equipping the Touareg 2018 with the so-called telephony comfort function, the inductive charging for smartphones that works by leaving our terminal in an object compartment located under the dashboard, a WLAN hotspot for up to eight devices and four USB ports. A pair on the front connected to the infotainment system that includes charging function, and another pair on the rear only with charging function.

Head-up-Display, a technology that projects information only visible to the driver.
[bs-quote quote=”Head-up-Display projects information about speed, signals or navigation on the windshield.” style=”default” align=”center”][/bs-quote]

This remarkable optional equipment can be completed with Head-up-Display, a technology that projects on the all information related to navigation, the speed of the vehicle or the limit of the road through which it circulates thanks to the signal recognition system. Like the two screens, you can also display information about the various assistance systems if they are activated.

The interface is perfect for driving, because without being too flashy we avoid distracting paying more attention to the instrument panel or the large 15-inch multimedia screen. It should be noted that only those who carry the wheel will be able to visualize it.

For the rest, the numerous technological systems that we have been able to test have worked without setbacks. The lane maintenance system Lane Assist keeps us on our way detecting if we get out of the line or if other vehicles circulate on the sides, Front Assist allows us to rest on the pedals making the trips less tired and the Park automatic parking system Assist Premium made it easier for us to park the vehicle in a space where the SUV was hard to fit.

Night Vision, that promises to detect animals and people in the dark

Night Vision system in operation with visualization on the screen of the control panel.

Apart from other features, recently tested by our partner, we can not stop talking about Night Vision, the night vision system that incorporates the Touareg.

This third generation of the Volkswagen SUV is the first model of the German brand to have this innovative assistance system. It works thanks to the images provided by an infrared thermal camera integrated in the front of the vehicle, responsible for recording the infrared radiation emitted by living organisms.

[bs-quote quote=”The system can emit a brief flash towards people inside the danger area to make them more visible and warn them.” style=”default” align=”center”][/bs-quote]

Although we could not verify its operation, since the test unit did not include the system, the manufacturer ensures that it is capable of detecting objects such as standing pedestrians that are not hidden, cyclists and even larger wild animals at a distance of between 10 and 130 meters always ahead of the car.

If people or animals enter a defined section of the road or have the possibility of entering this section due to their trajectory in the case of people, the driver is warned, says the manufacturer. The images with the object highlighted in red would be displayed on the screen, they explain, and it would be possible to receive an acoustic signal. If pedestrians, cyclists or animals are outside the risk section, they are highlighted in yellow in the images of the camera according to the presentation we could see about this technology.

Although the Night Vision display is not activated in the control panel, they say that the screen is capable of switching to this mode when danger is detected at speeds above 50 km / h.

Finally, it is important to know that the system also prepares the brakes to provide the maximum level of deceleration if necessary and thanks to its LED headlights can emit brief flashes to people who enter the danger section. Both to make them more visible and to warn them. Of course, as long as it is a non-urban area and the vehicle circulates at a speed greater than 60 km / h.

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Vaibhav Mishra

Fan of new technologies and player since small, I do not move without at least one smartphone in the pocket to always stay connected ... and keep some games at hand.