The Volkswagen Touareg gets its name from a nomadic tribe who live in the Sahara. While you’re more likely to use it for popping to the shop or the local beach than a journey into the desert, it’s a car that will certainly transport you – and your family - in style.
The Touareg is the biggest (and most expensive) car in the VW line-up. That means it has a pretty dominant presence on the road. This is a large SUV that looks like it means business with its 19-inch wheels and large bulk.
The styling might not be considered too dramatic, but it makes the car look just as desirable as the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, while still obviously coming from the same family as the Volkswagen Golf.
The Touareg’s rear end features part of the taillights that are integrated into the tailgate giving it a distinctive look. Finally, the neat spoiler not only looks good but also makes this 2-tonne car just that little bit more aerodynamic.
This is a large SUV that looks like it means business with its 19-inch wheels and large bulk.
What’s it like to drive?
One of the key issues with a car that’s as big as the Touareg is often its handling. It’s not easy to stop such a huge piece of metal from rolling around corners and being generally pretty unsatisfying to drive. So, it’s an incredible job that the folks at VW have done making the car as nimble and agile as it is.
Some reviewers have gone as far as saying that it’s like driving an oversized Golf, and even the steering is light enough to feel like one, too. This car is perfect for motorway driving where its safety features – like Lane Assist and the Driver Alert Feature – prove invaluable plus the many parking sensors make it quite a practical city car.
It’s an incredible job that the folks at VW have done making the car as nimble and agile as it is.
The Touareg pitches itself up against other luxury SUVs from Audi, BMW and even Porsche, so the interior has to be good – in fact, it’s even better than that. Park yourself in the driver’s seat and you’ll find it’s armchair-comfortable as well as being almost infinitely adjustable to give you the perfect, high-up driving position.
Depending on the model, you’ll either find a fairly standard instrument cluster plus an 8-inch infotainment screen or something that VW call their Innovision Cockpit. The latter consists of a pair of large screens that run across the dashboard and control almost everything in the car – with all the useability of a phone touchscreen.
Throughout the cabin, you’ll find that the best possible materials have been chosen with soft-touch plastics and leather-trim seats as well, on higher-spec models.
Space for driver and passengers is never going to be an issue in the Touareg. Is it a little surprising that there are only 2 Isofix points for child seats in the rear when there could well be 3? Yes, it is. It’s also a bit of a disappointment that there’s no 7-seat option in the Touareg and so the maximum capacity is 5 passengers.
One thing you won’t be short of in your Touareg is luggage space. The boot is genuinely huge and can be made even bigger still by sliding the rear seats forwards. Fold them down completely and huge turns into absolutely massive, creating enough space to carry virtually anything you might ever want to take home. If you have an air-suspension model you can even lower the car slightly for even easier loading.
Within the cabin there’s also all the space you need for all those essentials like cups and bottles, guidebooks and other bits and pieces that would be cluttering up the interior in a smaller, less practical car.
Running costs and reliability
The Touareg’s 2-tonne body coupled with 3.0-litre engine and an 8-speed automatic gearbox is always going to mean it’s a thirsty car. So brace yourself for plenty of trips to fill up.
The most economical diesel engine can take you around 34 miles on a gallon, and if you choose petrol instead this figure drops to a little under 27 miles. There is a hybrid engine available on the R-model that can lower consumption if used carefully.
What cinch loves
When it comes to large SUVs, the Touareg can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of them. It handles like a smaller car and is perfect for long motorway journeys – you might even enjoythose trips becauseit’s so comfortable, and we can’t say fairer than that.
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About the only thing that lets the Touareg down is the lack of a 7-seat version. So, it’s the perfect choice if you want a large SUV with a big personality and high levels of luxury and comfort.
This review was