Volkswagen’s new PH distributor crows about German brand’s safety kit, posh in daylong road trip
To backslide is never good—I have learned that long ago. Doing so is a sign of weakness, of not getting a good grip on the things you have put your heart into. In contrast, to not backslide lets one stay stationary for a while before moving forward.
Last week I remembered this lesson during a driving event staged in Batangas by the new Volkswagen distributor in the Philippines, Automobile Central Enterprise Inc. (ACEI). In the daylong drive, a good number of participants were able to try the latest offerings that the German brand have for Filipinos, which are the diesel-powered Touareg, Tiguan and Touran. It was also an opportunity for me to dispel old beliefs I previously held regarding the VW brand.
Initially, it didn’t feel like the Volkswagens offered something new—they provided the same comfort most SUVs do—although their tables with cup holders, which are sturdy enough to hold laptops and a full meal, made for a good first impression. It didn’t take long though to find out the VWs had more surprises in store, and a very steep slope served as an excellent venue to prove this.
Drivers were made to use the Tiguan’s and Touran’s hill-hold feature, which is a good safety device to have on undulating roads. To test it, we stopped while descending a slope, activated the hill-hold feature, and let go of the brake pedal. It was a surprise that the vehicles remained stationary without the use of the handbrake. A light tap on the gas pedal would set the vehicles rolling once more.
We tried the feature again while climbing the slope, stopping again in the middle of a very challenging ascent. Like in the previous test, the vehicles did not find any difficulty standing immobile, and simply moved forward once their gas pedal was pressed—they did not roll backward at all.
After this test, we drove over the twisting roads around Taal Lake to get a feel for the vehicles, before heading back to VW’s showroom in Bonifacio Global City. During the trip, I noticed that the vehicles’ gas pedals are firmer than what is usual, giving the impression that Volkswagens are really planted and stable.
But the event was more than just experiencing how comfortable, maneuverable or reliable, not to mention exciting, the vehicles were, it also provided the chance to realize that no matter how difficult trials may get, we just need to be firm with our stand and move forward—in the same way ACEI had managed to bring back the Volkswagen brand in the country.