Volkswagen Touareg TDI or Porsche Cayenne Diesel?
Fresh of Volkswagen's fast moving block is the Touareg TDI, the firm's first diesel-powered offering here in Malaysia. Globally renowned for its TDI engines, it's good to see Volkswagen Group Malaysia finally taking the diesel plunge after years and years of delays. Only time will tell whether the letters TDI will be as popular with VW's local following as TSI and DSG are, and with the Amarok pick-up truck due to be released in the near future, it's looking good for Volkswagen.
I'm not that big a fan of diesel engines but I'll have to admit that for heavy SUVs, they make a lot more sense than their equivalent petrol variants. If I'm going to buy a Volkswagen Touareg, I'll walk past the V6 FSI and Hybrid models and go straight to the TDI. The only issue here is though, would I want a Touareg TDI in the first place?
At RM488,888 the new Volkswagen Touareg TDI is priced perilously close to the RM580,000 Porsche Cayenne Diesel, which of course comes with a four-year free maintenance package. The Volkswagen on the other hand gets a standard five-year warranty. It's no industry secret that they're both very similar vehicles underneath the sheetmetal, and aside from minor tweaks, they share the same engine and gearbox combination too.
Would you see this as a chance to save some money over the Cayenne, or is the price difference too small for you to consider giving up the prestigious Porsche brand for a pseudo-premium Volkswagen instead? If this was a comparison between the hideous first-gen Cayenne and the original Touareg then it would be a non issue, but now that the Cayenne has morphed into a car that's as appealing visually as it is to drive, it's a little bit harder to make a case for the Volkswagen Touareg, regardless of how capable it actually is.
Personally I'd do whatever it takes, sell a kidney if I must, to be able to afford the price difference and get the Porsche. Call me a badge snob, but if an extra RM90,000 is what it takes for me to service my car among 911 and Cayman owners instead of facing a sea of Polo Sedans, that's a price worth paying. And perhaps with the money saved from four years of free servicing, I'd start a personal 'kidney fund' just in case.