Touareg TDI eats mud, sips diesel
7.85 L / 100km
That number is still fresh in my head from the last time I was really, really impressed with the highway cruising mileage of a big SUV. The model in question was a diesel-powered BMW X5 xDrive35d-- and the figure was recorded after cruising at a sustained 111 km/h between Barrie and Parry Sound, Ontario last fall.
The number 23L / 100km is also etched into your correspondent’s memory banks, thanks to the gas-powered Touareg V6 I drove in the winter of 2007. The calculation was made upon refuelling after a night of bashing through post-blizzard snowbanks with plenty of wheelspin in thirty-below temperatures. Heck, I even climbed the back of a ski-hill for a photo shoot.
Just testing the, er, four-wheel drive, folks. But ‘ouch’ nonetheless.
Though conditions for this thirsty Touareg test were far from ideal, 23L / 100km remains the heaviest non-racetrack fuel consumption I’ve ever recorded.
To sum up: where sport utes are concerned, this writer’s mental mileage spectrum starts at the number 7.85 for ‘impressive’ and ends somewhere around the number 23 for ‘chug-a-lug’.
TDI + Touareg
This writer recently revisited a Touareg model with VW Group’s new 3.0 litre TDI Clean Diesel engine under the hood to see where it would fit into my mileage spectrum. The Touareg’s new engine replaces the brawny ute’s optional 4.2 litre V8 on the options roster, and provides drivers with an accepted, reliable and proven way to trim down their fuel bills.
Diesel is becoming a hot item in the fuel-saving race these days, and Volkswagen says Canadians are buying the Touareg TDI Clean Diesel some 4 to1 over the gas-powered model. After all-- diesel engines no longer sound like a blender full of wrenches or spew out smoke like a tire-fire. They also turn out enough torque to embarrass most V8's. In the case of the tester, 220 horsepower and over 400 lb.-ft of torque were available from three litres of displacement and a turbocharger.
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