He owned a Subaru Legacy and for motorists, Dr Umal Ssenkubuge had sporty, fast and fuel friendly car. However, he wanted something better and now drives a Touareg VW 2006 V6 with a diesel engine.
Dr Ssenkubuge bought his car at $15,000 (approximately Shs54m) from the United Kingdom.
“Before buying this car, I owned a Subaru. However, I needed a faster car that is also comfortable and being a doctor, I needed a car that would best suit my profession. I can easily use it when I have a meeting or need to visit a patient,” he says.
The vehicle, which comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, smoothly selects the right gear making it trendy and a ride of class hence ideal for the doctor.
Dr Ssenkubuge also needed a car that was bigger than his former car. Unlike some cars, he says, the Touareg is beautifully big rather than cumbersome.
While it can go anywhere owing to its all-wheel-drive capabilities and traction control systems which apportion power to the wheels with grip, Dr Ssenkubuge prefers to use it mainly for town rounds.
“Going off-road would mean increased maintenance costs. As such, the only errands it does is from home, to hospital and anywhere within Kampala city centre,” he adds.
Easy to drive
Manoeuvering and corner negotiation also come easy for the Touareg which boasts of 310hp. Dr Ssenkubuge adds that the Touareg is perfect since one can negotiate a sharp corner at about 180kph and the car will still be stable on the road.
In regards to the interior, Dr Ssenkubuge calls it a plane on the road because it is comfortable with black leather seats that are firm and supportive. “It is big, hence ample leg and headroom, not forgetting luggage space. The air conditioning is also superb, music output is amazing, and it has got an inbuilt phone picker with a microphone that is up on the dashboard making phone calls while driving possible and safe. With the dual zone climate control, it warms up when it is cold. So it is really comfortable, perfect and magical for me,” Dr Ssenkubuge says.
The SUV is also fast enough, doing 203kph yet giving you a quiet ride. “There are not many around here that go that fast. My friends actually make fun of me wondering where I get to make use of those speeds. I always tell them that we ought to meet on the highway for that answer,” he says.
Dr Ssenkubuge says he services his vehicle after every 15,000km. “This is like once a year or more which is also because I no longer drive it out of town. Service costs me between Shs500,000 and Shs700,000,” he adds.
He also says spare parts for this car are a challenge as the few shops that have them sell them expensively. “So I end up buying them online with the help of my mechanic,” he says.
The 3.2 litre vehicle although not a sports car has a great command of the road and handles well given its 4,000kg weight. It also possesses adaptive torque distribution, four wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist, all of which make it secure on the road, even on slippery roads.
The Volkswagen Touareg is a mid-size luxury SUV produced by German automaker Volkswagen since 2002 at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant, currently at its third generation.