- Tons of road presence
- Plenty of equipment
- Decent at off-roading
- For proper off-roading you need to buy the Escape trim
- CO2 figures are high
- Pricey given the luxurious rivals it’s up against
Don’t be put off by the design, yes it may look similar to the first iteration but delve a bit deeper as many of the important changes have happened underneath the skin.
This model is much more refined, the interior is a huge leap forward and should help woo more buyers into the brand.
Our favourite engine on the line-up is the 258bhp 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel unit. It mixes power with average economy, however, the CO2 emissions are high but then this a large SUV.
On The Road
Our pick of the range is the 258bhp 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine. It replaced the 240bhp unit in 2014. It offers power right across the rev range while the average economy is relatively decent. The benchmark sprint time is good, for a large car it will complete the zero to 62mph sprint in 7.3 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 140mph where permitted.
A 201bhp version of this 3.0-litre diesel engine is also available. A tad slower, however, than the unit above, it can complete the benchmark sprint in 8.7 seconds.
While the flagship engine is the 4.2-litre V8 TDI and produces 340bhp. Now, if you want power on tap, then this is the power plant to go for, there is tons of it right across the rev range. Thanks to the immense amount of power from the engine, the zero to 62mph sprint time can be completed in a stunning 5.8 seconds.
All Touaregs are now fitted with stop/start and a super smooth eight-speed automatic transmission to enhance economy.
This second generation Touareg feels more composed than the previous iteration. Given its size, the Touareg feels surprisingly agile and with the right engine, it would definitely give some hot hatches a bloody nose in a straight line, yes it is deceptively quick. Through the twisty stuff, it really does feel quite nimble, however, steering feel and feedback is pretty much non-existent meaning there’s not much for enthusiastic drivers to get excited by. The agility when cornering is largely thanks to the diet that this model has been on, this iteration has shed around 20 per cent of its weight when comparing to the first generation – now that’s a substantial weight loss.
Cruising at motorway speeds is where the Touareg is at home, it is refined and it’s quiet in the cabin while long stretches of straight road what this model does best.
The ride on this version of the Touareg is very good, the suspension soaks ups the lumps and bumps in our pothole-strewn road network. You can always add the optional air suspension to enhance the ride even further, a boon for those of you wanting to tow as it has a self-levelling function on the system.
It gets better, the cabin is a pleasant place to spend time in. It is incredibly quiet and makes long journeys a joy and not a chore.
There’s a great amount of space in the rear too, adding to the comfort levels.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
This model of the Touareg has been updated with the designers implementing a much sleeker design, gone are the unwieldy buttons, in comes a touch screen and a sporty steering wheel.
No longer just an SUV to fill a niche, the Touareg now offers superb quality both inside and out.
The entry-level SE grade comes well equipped. It includes 19-inch 'alloys, Bi-Xenon headlights, chrome exterior highlights, burr walnut dashboard inlays, heated front seats, adjustable rear seats, multi-function steering wheel, leather upholstery, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, multi-device interface, eight-inch colour touchscreen with sat-nav, automatically dimming rear view mirror, 2Zone climate control, automatic wipers and lights, cruise control and parking sensors.
If you are wanting to mount more than a grass verge the Escape trim is the choice for you. It includes 18-inch alloys, centre and rear differential lock, raised suspension (10mm front, 15mm rear), headlight washers, black exterior protection trim, black roof rails and a 100-litre fuel tank.
Whereas the flagship R-Line when comparing to SE adds 20-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension (by 25mm), LED day running lights and taillights, headlight washers, rear privacy glass, R-Line body kit, aluminium-look pedals, black roof lining and interior trims, electric tailgate, keyless entry and a panoramic electric glass sunroof.
Space & Practicality
Practicality is very good for a car of this size and stature. It is also helped by a decent turning circle, okay so it’s no Hackney cab but it is more than useful when in tight side streets.
As we mentioned above, there are good comfort levels in the Touareg and this is heightened by the amount of leg- and headroom in the rear.
The front seats are heated, especially useful on wintry mornings while the rear seats can slide to increase passenger space or luggage room.
Load space is a useful 580-litres with the seats in place but this can be extended to 1,642 litres when folding the rear seats.
The Touareg is a very capable off-roader but it is best to choose the Escape trim gives you a more advanced 4x4 system while the front bumper is angled to allow you to off-road and it also has underbody protection.
There’s also an electric tailgate, which is available as an option, helpful when your hands are full as all you need to do is flick the keyfob.
Sitting at the flagship end of the VW range, the Touareg is never going to cheap to run but when comparing to rivals it fares okay.
The 3.0-litre V6 TDI is the most frugal as it has a claimed average of 42.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 174g/km. Like most VW’s you can get a fixed price service package, which should keep costs down.
Quality & Reliability
Volkswagen has a brilliant reputation for making quality vehicles while the build quality is second to none. It prides itself on these values and the Touareg, rest assured, looks like it has been built to a high standard.
Safety & Security
The Touareg’s safety credentials are high. It comes with nine airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints, an electronic stability programme (ESP) which includes trailer stabilisation for towing, rear parking sensors, hill descent control and two ISOFIX child seat mounting points all as standard.