You are here

Volkwagen Teramont 3.6 V6 SEL: Statuesque seven-seat SUV

By Ghaith Madadha - Jan 28,2019 - Last updated at Jan 28,2019

Photo courtesy of Volkwagen

Designed as a 7-seater from the outset, the Volkswagen Teramont is the German brand’s large SUV successor to the Touareg in certain markets like the US, where it is branded as the Atlas. Not released for European markets, the Teramont runs concurrent to a new and more luxuriously up-market Touareg in the Middle East.

Launched late last year, the Teramont is the more affordable of Volkswagen’s two bigger SUVs, and is designed with a strong emphasis on accessibility, practicality and refinement, with particular relevance for markets with big families.


Chunky and chiselled


A production interpretation of the chunky Volkswagen CrossBlue concept unveiled at the 2013 Detroit motor show and built in Volkswagen’s US and Chinese factories, the Teramont is also a successor to the US market Routan MPV. 

Abandoning the pricier Touareg’s longitudinal engine layout which it shares with yet pricier Volkswagen group SUVs, the Teramont is instead built on Volkswagen’s highly versatile, now ubiquitous and less costly transverse engine MQB platform. Available in front-drive and turbocharged four-cylinder engine entry-level versions, top-end versions, however, feature a V6 engine and four-wheel-drive, as tested.  

Sitting with a strong, statuesque and no-nonsense air of assertiveness, the Teramont’s fascia features squared-off deep-set headlight and a twin-slat grille running horizontally at the same height, while its bonnet features multiple sharp ridged.

Chunky and chiselled yet conservative and uncomplicated, Teramont’s side views feature muscularly squared wheel-arches, black lower cladding, defined character line and level waistline with an upward kink at the C-pillar. Well-proportioned, its profile features a short overhang and long wheelbase and rear overhang, while rear views include sharp clean lines, high-set lights and integrated dual exhaust tips.


Progressive and capable


Powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre version of Volkswagen’s familiar compact narrow-angle transversely-mounted V6 engine, the Teramont develops 276BHP at 6,200rpm and 266lb/ft torque at 2,750rpm, which hustles its 2.1-tonne mass from standstill to 100km/h in a reasonably brisk 8.9-seconds and onto a 190km/h maximum. Eager, refined and progressive in delivery, the Teramont’s output is well-matched with a slick and smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox with a broad spread of ratios to maximise performance, mid-range versatility, cruising refinement and fuel efficiency, including aggressive first and second gears for unexpected off the line pep.

Driving the front wheels in normal conditions to reduce fuel consumption, the Teramont’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive can transfer up to 50 per cent power rearward through a centre clutch when additional traction is needed. Its electronic stability controls also deploy selective wheel braking to maintain traction over loose surfaces. 

Meanwhile, four driving modes re-map steering, accelerator, gearbox, adaptive cruise control, hill descent and hill start functions to optimise driving characteristics for on-road, off-road, and snow, while on-road driving includes sport, normal and comfort settings. On-and off-road modes can also be individually customised.


Smooth control


Riding on MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension with coilover dampers all-round and front anti-roll bars, the Teramont strikes a good balance between ride comfort and stability, and eager and manoeuvrable handling, for its segment. Reassuringly planted and settled on highway, the Teramont is a natural long distance cruiser. Meanwhile it proved unexpectedly steerable in town, with a tight 11.6-metre turning circle and reversing camera., the high and long bonnet requires one to initially be careful judging passenger-side front-side parking distances before soon adapting to its dimensions.

Smooth riding and with good vertical and lateral control for so high and heavy a vehicle, the Teramont also comfortably absorbs virtually all road imperfections and bumps in its stride despite large 20-inch alloy wheels and relatively low profile 255/50R20 tyres, as driven in top spec SEL guise. Over sudden jagged speed bumps, one of the smaller alloy wheel and taller sidewall tyre options available would likely prove suppler. The Teramont’s direct, well-weighted steering, was meanwhile a pleasant surprise, with quick 2.76-turns lock-lock and a smaller sporty steering wheel.


Spacious and functional


Turning tidily into corners and reassuringly grippy throughout the Teramont is first and foremost a comfortable, smooth, practical and well-equipped on-road family vehicle. However it is also competently set-up of off-road driving and features generous 203mm ground clearance and decent 20.4 degree approach, 22.4 degree departure and 17.5 degree break-over angles. 

Voluminously spacious inside, it offers terrific front and second row passenger space, and useable third row seats and accessibility for average size adults. Meanwhile configurable cargo space expands from a 583-litre minimum to a huge 2,741-litre maximum with rear rows folded.

Clean, functional, user-friendly and classy in an uncomplicated way the Teramont’s cabin features symmetrical layouts, good quality materials and soft textures. Airy and with good visibility for this segment, it also features a panoramic sunroof and a comfortable, well-adjustable driving position. 

Versatile and accessible, the Teramont features big doors, easy folding mid-row seats for access to the rear row and a total of 17 cup-holders and USB ports for the first to seat rows. Well-equipped with convenience, safety and driver-safety systems, the Teramont features an 8-inch infotainment screen with smartphone integration.



Engine: 3.6-litre, transverse V6-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 89 x 96.4mm

Compression ratio: 12:1

Valve-train: 24-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive

Ratios: 1st 5.59; 2nd 3.14; 3rd 1.95; 4th 1.43; 5th 1.21; 6th 1.1; 7th 0.81; 8th 0.67

Reverse/final drive: 3.99/3.6

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 276 (280) [206] @6,200rpm

Specific power: 131.1BHP/litre

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 266 (360) @2,750rpm

Specific torque: 171Nm/litre

0-100km/h: 8.9-seconds

Top speed: 190km/h

Fuel capacity: 70-litres

Length: 5,036mm

Width: 1,989mm

Height: 1,769mm

Wheelbase: 2,979mm

Track, F/R: 1,708/1,723mm

Ground clearance: 203mm

Approach/departure angles/break-over: 20.4°/22.4°/17.5° 

Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.34

Headroom, F/M/R: 1,048/1,027/972mm

Legroom, F/M/R: 1,055/955/856mm

Shoulder room, F/M/R: 1,563/1,544/1,395mm

Luggage volume, behind 3rd/2nd/1st row: 583-/1,571-/2,741-litres

Kerb weight: 2,105kg

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Lock-to-lock: 2.76-turns

Steering ratio: 16.3:1

Turning Circle: 11.6-metres

Suspension: MacPherson struts, anti-roll bar/multi-link

Brakes: Ventilated discs, 335/310mm

Tyres: 255/50R20

Price: AED189,950 (UAE, as tested)

52 users have voted.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
7 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.