Volkswagen Philippines recently debuted the T-Cross, and it's good news for the brand. With more Filipinos looking for subcompact crossovers, the German automaker finally has something to offer. With a competitive price tag, it should lure more people towards Volkswagen showrooms.
But we reckon Volkswagen Philippines can add a few more in the line-up. We recommended the Tiguan L about a month ago as a mid-range model. But if they want to expand their reach, a larger, flagship crossover might help. That's where the Teramont comes in.
The Teramont is the largest crossover in Volkswagen's global arsenal, and it was recently updated for the 2021 model year. This model is also known as the Atlas in the U.S, although it is also offered in parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It can seat up to eight people, and it's up against models such as the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Palisade. It can also be an indirect competitor of popular mid-size SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner and Isuzu mu-X.
Exterior changes are relatively subtle at the front. Volkswagen reshaped the headlights and even offer an illuminated grille strip for higher-spec models. Also new for 2021 is a front bumper that now comes with triangular corner intakes and a redesigned apron. The effect is a more rounded and less boxy appearance compared to its predecessor.
It's not just the front end that gets a few tweaks. The Teramont's tailgate gets new sheet metal, too. Instead of just giving it new lights and calling it a day, Volkswagen made the effort of redesigning it to accommodate the new clusters.
The exterior updates are minor compared to all the changes made inside. For the 2021 model year, the entire dashboard was redesigned to reflect the German automaker's new interior design language. Instead of the traditional T-shaped layout, the 2021 Teramont has a driver-oriented center stack. The infotainment screen is no longer integrated into the dashboard. Instead, it now employs a “floating” look that has gained popularity over the years.
Volkswagen freed up more space inside by using an electro-mechanical gear selector. They also raised the center console to bring controls closer to the front occupants. The company even made the effort of redesigning the door panels, giving the impression of an all-new model instead of a minor model update.
As for engines, Volkswagen got rid of the 3.6-liter V6. In its place is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine that is somewhat related to the one used in the Golf GTI. There are two tunes available for this downsized turbo engine. First is the economy version with 186 PS, 320 Nm of torque, and can only be with the front-wheel-drive version. All-wheel-drive variants come standard with the 220 PS and 350 Nm tune of the boosted 2.0-liter. Both engines use a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. Fuel economy claims range from 15.6 km/l to 11.7 km/l.
Should Volkswagen Philippines offer the Teramont in the country, they could reach two audiences with one model. It can appeal to those looking for a more car-like driving and riding experience over truck-based SUVs without having to downsize to a smaller segment. At the same time, this model can fill the void of SUV shoppers who prefer gas over diesel power.