Watch: A Stock Touareg Takes on a Lifted Land Rover Off-Road

No one over-engineers quite like the Germans and Volkswagen was living up to Germany’s reputation when it sold this Touareg in 2004.

Shot by The Fast Lane, this test sees a completely stock Touareg going up against a lifted 2004 Land Rover Discovery as they scamper up a Colorado Rocky.

Despite being on road tires, despite going up against a vehicle that was specifically modified to go off-road, and despite containing all the creature comforts of a decent spa, the Touareg is not slowed down at all.

That’s largely down to the impressive technology VW stuffed into this SUV. With air-suspension, the Touareg can raise itself to get nearly 12-inches of ground clearance, which is better than some Wranglers. It also has a mechanical locking differential in the center and rear of the driveline. You can see the advantage of that over the Disco’s primitive electronic system, which bounces and spins its tires as it tries to learn the terrain.

That air suspension does mean that the Touareg has a habit of lifting tires. With a tire off the ground, you have less grip,] but that doesn’t seem to bother the VW much. It just goes and goes.

The other disadvantage of the system is that if it fails anywhere, it will be a very expensive repair indeed. You’re also unlikely to be able to fix it on the trail. And that’s a theme that repeats throughout the test. Every part of the Touareg is impressive but expensive and complicated.

Still, though, the Touareg is mightily impressive. So impressive, in fact, that someone in the video, totally unprompted, just yells “that was impressive” out of his window.