What is it?
During its lifetime it has proven popular, too, with buyers enjoying its combination of high-end touches with real go-anywhere potential.
Over the years the market has expanded massively, however, meaning that the Touareg isn’t out with so few rivals as before. It’s why Volkswagen has given it a real spruce up with a new generation, adding in a whole load of features to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the market.
This latest fourth-generation Touareg is no different in size to its predecessor, so the changes largely revolve around the on-board tech and engine choices. It’s also had a number of styling tweaks, with the fitment of full-width light bars being the most notable. The Touareg also becomes the first Volkswagen to get a light-up VW badge at the back, which is quite a cool feature.
You’ll also find Volkswagen’s impressive IQ.Light HD LED lighting system aboard the Touareg. The headlights are made up of 38,432 individual LEDs to ensure that there’s the best possible illumination at night.
What’s under the bonnet?
There is a good variety of engines being offered with the Touareg. You can get it with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, or a plug-in hybrid which blends the same-size engine with an electric motor and battery for more efficient travel. The PHEV was previously only available in range-topping ‘R’ form, too, but now it’s accessible through more ‘ordinary’ trim levels too.
But the one we’re driving has a more traditional setup with a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine under the bonnet producing 282bhp and 600Nm of torque via Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s claimed to return up to 34.4mpg, too, while CO2 emissions stand at 215g/km, which are respectable for this size and type of vehicle.
What’s it like to drive?
The Touareg delivers something of an old-school driving experience. Naturally, you sit up high with a commanding view of the road ahead, while the seat itself is comfortable and well-cushioned - the same goes for the rest of the chairs in the car, in truth.
Though diesel might not be the most popular of engine types at the moment, it really shines here in the Touareg. It’s got more than enough punch to get the Touareg up to speed in decent enough fashion, but it’s also quiet when at a cruise. The refinement of the Touareg is what really comes through, however, as it’s superbly hushed at all speeds. It’ll make longer journeys an absolute breeze, that’s for sure.
How does it look?
Volkswagen hasn’t gone completely to town with the look of the new Touareg, finessing the look of the previous generation instead. It’s got the same boxy, imposing look as before, but the addition of the new front and rear light bars helps to put a futuristic flavour to the Touareg’s design.
It’s been spruced up with new alloy wheel designs - available in 20- to 22-inches - but all versions do help to give the Touareg a more premium look and feel. What are your thoughts on the light-up badge, too? Whatever your opinion, it’s a function that is likely to spark up a conversation.
What’s it like inside?
The Touareg remains right at the top of Volkswagen’s SUV range and, in a fitting fashion, gets all of the premium features that you’d expect from a car in such a high position. Thankfully, the basics are covered off well - there’s plenty of headroom in the front and back, though a large transmission tunnel in the rear means that the person sitting in the centre seat might feel a little squashed.
The boot in the Touareg is suitably large, too, at 810 litres with the seats in place. You can increase it to a massive 1,800 litres by folding down the rear seats, too. One thing - as a result of its batteries, the plug-in hybrid Touareg suffers a spaciousness penalty and can only offer a 655-litre boot instead.
What’s the spec like?
The Touareg comes in at £68,950 as standard in entry-level Elegance trim, bringing you a variety of standard features such as 20-inch alloy wheels. Four-zone climate control and a full-length panoramic sunroof help to brighten up the otherwise quite dark cabin.
Our test car came in sporty Black Edition trim, too, which bumps the price up to £67,780 and adds 21-inch wheels alongside a number of gloss black exterior elements and air suspension, which does help to make the Touareg even more comfortable.
The Touareg feels quite a lot like an old-school SUV - and that’s no bad thing. With this diesel engine fitted it’s refined, comfortable and efficient enough for the segment. But you’ve also got a spacious and practical cabin packed with features, regardless of which specification you opt for.
The plug-in hybrid might be a good option for those drivers who travel mainly shorter distances as they can take advantage of the electric-only running but, even in the days of electrification, this diesel-powered version feels like a great option.
The updated Touareg is a great addition to Volkswagen’s new car line-up and we’re sure it will be a hit amongst Volkswagen fans.