All the paradoxes of the largest crossover of the Volkswagen concern
It turned out much more, but it is easier and cheaper than the “Tuareg”. It would seem that the strange course of the leadership of Volkswagen. But only from the point of view of the European. Buyers in the States of this machine is just not enough. Large, with a seven-seater salon, affordable and stylish. And with the European brand on the hood. It was for them Atlas (a name the crossover got in the local market) and created. Can this half-breed with American genes take root in Russia?
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And the last as the first
Americans simply simply can not stand anything compact. Housing must be spacious. Portions in the restaurant are such that it is almost impossible to eat. Even if this is an elite institution in Manhattan or in the center of San Francisco. About eateries somewhere in Texas or Arizona better keep silent. The car also has to resemble a mobile home. Los Angeles with New York – does not count. This America rides on SUVs and pickup trucks with a length of at least five meters.
The new Volkswagen crossover has successfully blended into this value system. More precisely, it did not fit, but was designed in strict accordance with it. This in Moscow Teramont will look like a giant, and in the American outback about him casually throw in a conversation something like: an ordinary full-size crossover. Let’s translate into European standards: five-plus meters in length (a quarter of a meter more than the “Tuareg”), almost two in width. And at the wheel, even a two-meter driver can ride in a cowboy hat – a reserve of space above his head allows it not to be removed. In other words, Teramont, called in the states “Atlas”, is quite capable of competing with large American SUVs in terms of the volume of the internal space.
So I get acquainted with the “Theramont” not with the traditional landing behind the wheel, but I’m diligently looking for dirty tricks on the third row. After all, many seven-seat crossovers are actually designed for five adults. And the last two places are fake, they fit only teenagers. Already become finally beaten up a vulgar marketing ploy. Or this time did without it? The test recipe is uncomplicated. Choose the two most broad-shouldered and tall colleagues: welcome to the last row. If there was another “seven-seat”, my proposal would be equated with humiliation to humiliation. But in the largest crossover Volkswagen seats enough for everyone. The big guys are also quite comfortable. I do not release them immediately – for the purity of the experiment. If there are failures in ergonomics, passengers will necessarily feel inconvenience after some time. But no, criticism from the back seats and did not wait.
By the way, if the inhabitants of the “gallery” still complained, the second-row seats can be moved forward. Option, which did not even think manufacturers of popular American SUVs. Volkswagen in terms of ergonomics just does not leave them a chance – the interior in Teramont is designed very competently. For example, the front seats here are more spacious than in many American models, which is even larger in size.
Make money on trade-offs
Those who want to get a Touareg the size of a Chevrolet Tahoe on a cheap, relax! Further you can not read … For an attractive ratio of dimensions and prices you have to pay a whole complex of compromises. Large and small. So accessibility, important for Americans, is achieved primarily due to very simple complete sets. In the case of Atlas, this is a front-wheel drive in combination with a two-liter 240-horsepower turbo. Such a car in America will cost a little more than an average sedan, about $ 30,000. In Russia, all versions will be all-wheel drive. True, “two liters” is also there (only the engine is “strangled” to 220 forces). At me on the test in Texas the top version with a 3,6-liter 276-strong petrol atmospheric and an eight-step automatic device (robots DSG can receive only the Chinese buyers). But what about diesel engines? Do not expect, they will not be! Americans and Chinese people are not interested, but for the rest they decided not to make exceptions. And in fact, why? They are second-tier buyers. Or all the same the third?
So, if you have nowhere to rush, Teramont is fine. Even with a top-end motor, acceleration does not strike dynamics. Although you can not even name it unsure. But the car is extremely comfortable – the machine looks through the gears not just neatly, but as if afraid to disturb the driver and passengers once again. This harmony is supplemented by a suspension – in American soft and ready to turn into illusion any flaws in the roadway. Strange thing: Texas – the oil state, and judging by the roads – very poor inland! As if on the asphalt here they ride on tanks, and not on ordinary pick-ups: solid patches, pits, small potholes … But behind the wheel of “Theramont” you almost do not notice anything out of this disgrace. And if not for quite mediocre noise isolation, a trip through the Texas “directions” would be only a pleasure.
However, if all the same such a quiet idyll is annoying, the crossover has a so-called sports mode. In the American sense of it. Yes, the reactions of the engine and the box become noticeably sharper. But only the suspension remains all the same soft and does not want to rigidly hold the body in bends or with sharp overtaking on the track. It turns out that the possibility of obtaining adaptive shock absorbers also left only for the Chinese market. Russians equated to Americans. And the complicated and expensive the machine does not need at all.
It turns out, trying to make outwardly respectable and maximally spacious crossover at an affordable price, gently saved on what could. Not only is the owner of Teramont unable to increase the clearance, but also the protection of the crankcase from plastic. Hint that even light off-road this crossover is contraindicated? On our question, the project managers thought: maybe for Russia they will make changes by installing metal protection. However, whether a lot of it is of use, if there are no full-scale locks on the car, and electronic imitation is unlikely to help the car to overcome any difficult obstacles beyond the boundaries of asphalt. To check the limit of similar abilities this time was not. It remains to wait for the Russian test.
On the other hand, the European driver again spoke to me again. And you just need to look at the car through the eyes of an American. Why not? Many of us, frankly speaking, are often deprived of the opportunity to use the high potential of the manageability of European crossover models, which the Yankees completely ignore. But we pay for it. So why not save in “Theramont”? In a car designed for those who are used to counting every dollar.
Someone in Russia probably needs a huge car just as a means of transportation. With this role Teramont copes better than many competitors. Because it is cheaper and more modern than many competitors. And everything necessary to make the movement still convenient and safe, including adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance and retention systems in the band, as well as a number of other electronic assistants, is available in its arsenal. Let’s all the same sometimes learn practicality from Americans. Or, if you do not want to imitate the Yankees, continue to overpay.
Photo of the author and Volkswagen.
San Antonio, Texas.