Whether travelling to the yard to care for their horse, or boxing him to a competition or training session, riders and horse owners need a vehicle they can trust, whatever conditions they are faced with.

When it comes to choosing a vehicle to meet the needs of today’s equestrian, the Volkswagen Touareg ticks all the boxes, offering power, performance and control.

The Touareg is designed to respond to tough conditions. The air suspension automatically raises the car on difficult terrain, while the 4XMotion system enables it to deliver power to the wheel that needs it most, ensuring that even the stickiest of ground is negotiable.

In fact, there are few situations that the Touareg cannot cope with. Water-tight seals on the doors mean it can be driven through water up to a depth of half a metre. Hills are no problem either – the Touareg can perform at a 45 degree vertical angle and a 35 degree sideways angle, while the Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Assist systems prevent the vehicle from slipping backward or forward when negotiating slopes.

These performance capabilities will see the Touareg contributing to the smooth running of this year’s Blenheim International Horse Trials. Volkswagen is the official vehicle partner and will be transporting organisers and officials around the course.

The car can also cope with safely transporting the large amounts of equipment that horse riders and owners need, whether you want to carry your show gear or collect bags of feed. It has a luggage capacity of 555 litres with the back seats in position, which extends to a massive 1,570 litres when the seats are down.

The ideal towing partner

The Touareg is an ideal tow car. Every part of the vehicle is designed to enable it to pull, push, tow – or whatever else you might need it to do! The range of powerful engines available, combined with the relatively heavy weight of the car (2,524kg), make the Touareg capable of towing up to 3,500kg.

But as anyone who transports horses knows, it’s not just about power when towing – it’s also about control. The heavy weight and sophisticated traction control system provide much-needed stability while towing. The low-ratio gearbox gives the driver excellent control when manoeuvring a trailer in confined spaces or on difficult surfaces or gradients, while the Hill Descent Assist and Hill Start Assist systems give the driver control, even when towing heavy loads on tough gradients. This combination of power and control recently earned the Touareg the Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Award 2005 for its class.

Mary King, a stalwart of the British eventing team for many years and a member of the squad competing at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Gemany, describes the Touareg as “an absolute luxury to drive”.

“The Touareg drives like a car and if it wasn’t for all its wonderful features, it would be easy to forget it was a 4X4,” says Mary. “I’ve used it for towing my daughter’s ponies to Pony Club events and the Hill Start Assist feature is amazing – if you move off on a slope, the Touareg doesn’t slip backwards. It has always given the ponies a smooth ride.”

The Touareg range

With Volkswagen revising the price and specification of the Touareg range, the vehicle now offers even more for your money and means you can find the right 4X4 to meet your needs. The entry-level model is a tough workhorse, perfect for anyone who wants a vehicle for equestrian activities.

Touareg

This competent all-rounder is great on and off-road, and comes equipped with a host of all-terrain solutions so you can be confident it can perform in even the most extreme situations. Plus, with a high level of standard features, you can admire the Touareg’s capabilities in comfort. All models have a generous specification, including air conditioning, six airbags, 10-speaker stereo and 17” alloy wheels. This entry-level Touareg model is available with 2.5l TDI DPF and 3l V6 TDI engines. Prices start at £29,065 for the 2.5l TDI DPF.

Touareg SE

Moving up the range, the revised Touareg SE comes with premium features such as DVD satellite navigation, leather upholstery, heated seats, five-inch LCD screen and six-CD autochanger. Previously this package of extras would have added £3,070 to the cost as factory fitted options, but they now come as standard on this model. A 3 V6 TDI model benefits from a £3,935 package of extra features, including wood trim, 2Zone climate control, 18” alloy wheels, chrome trim radiator grille and front fog lights. There are a range of engines to choose from: the powerful new 3.6 litre V6 FSI petrol with 280PS (horsepower) and 5l V10 TDI with 313PS. Prices start at £32,330.

Touareg Altitude

The Altitude is guaranteed to turn heads as is the ultimate in luxury. Design features of this model are 19” alloy wheels and steel twin exhaust pipes. The Altitude also benefits from DVD satellite navigation. Engine sizes are the same as the Touareg SE. Prices start at £35,095.