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The facelifted second-gen Volkswagen Touareg is set to debut at Auto China 2014 in Beijing, featuring larger headlamps (bi-xenons now standard, Dynamic Light Assist optional), a deeper four-bar (previously two) front grille and a reprofiled front bumper.

A restyled rear bumper holds a new rear diffuser with twin tailpipes and LED rear fog lamps. LED tail lamps are optional. Also new are the wing mirror caps, new 18-inch Arica and 20-inch Masafi wheels and five new body colours.

Inside, you’ll find new leather upholstery colours, design accents (additional chrome bits) and lighting. New style of rotary knobs, and all controls are now white-illuminated rather than red.

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The row of buttons above the infotainment system has been extended. It used to be (left to right) PDC, hazards, passenger airbag indicator. Now, a steering wheel heating switch is on the left of the PDC button, and a new windscreen heating button has been integrated to the right of the passenger airbag indicator. The entry-level Touareg variant now gets manual lumbar adjustment for the front seats.

All variants now get an auto post-collision braking system and a coasting function (works up to 130 km/h) for the eight-speed auto gearbox. The latter utilises the vehicle’s kinetic energy when driving downhill or when acceleration is not required. The coasting may be temporarily disabled either by tapping the brakes or switching it off through the vehicle’s systems.

The optional automatic distance control (ADC), essentially radar-based adaptive cruise control, now includes city emergency braking, and can pull away by itself in stop-go conditions.

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Low-rolling resistance tyres are fitted, stop/start (engine cuts off under 7 km/h now) and regenerative systems are standard. Both V6 TDI engines are now Euro 6-compliant, thanks in part to a new SCR-DPF catalytic converter module that uses AdBlue to reduce emissions.

The entry-level 3.0 TDI V6 continues to push out 204 PS, while the previous 245 PS unit now offers 258 PS. The 204 PS engine now returns a combined 15.0 km per litre (previously 14.1) and the 258 PS motor, 14.5 km per litre (previously 14.0).

The standard steel-spring running gear has been optimised; improvements include more agile steering and heightened comfort. Air suspension is an option; it increases ground clearance by up to 300 mm (exceed 140 km/h and the body lowers automatically).


The rear bench offers 160 mm of longitudinal adjustment. Seat back angle can be adjusted. As an option, the rear bench seat can be electrically unlatched, so you can fold it down for 1,642 litres of boot space.

Safety is taken care of by a four-camera Area View system, up to nine airbags, Lane Assist, Side Assist and Pre-Crash (belts tensioned, windows and sunroof closed). The aforementioned Dynamic Light Assist ‘sees’ traffic ahead and automatically controls the headlamps’ main beams individually.

The R-Line exterior package offers 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels, R-Line bumpers, glossy black air inlets with chrome trim, side sill extensions, glossy black rear diffuser with chrome trim, chrome tailpipes for V8 versions and a rear spoiler.

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The R-Line interior package offers a sport steering wheel, special silver inlays, R-Line kickplates, stainless steel pedals and tinted rear windows. The package can be optionally extended to include black headlining, piano black inlays and sport seats in Nappa leather or Alcantara/Nappa.

In Europe, the facelifted second-gen Volkswagen Touareg will be available in V6 TDI (204 PS/258 PS), V8 TDI (340 PS) and V6 TSI hybrid (total 380 PS and 580 Nm of torque).

China will get V6 TSI (290 PS/320 PS) and V8 TSI (360 PS) versions, while Russia will get V6 FSI (249 PS) and V8 TSI (360 PS) versions. In the USA and Canada, the vehicle will be offered in V6 FSI (280 PS), V6 TDI (239 PS) and V6 TSI hybrid (total 380 PS and 580 Nm of torque) versions.

Live pix by Kwek Chai Li