The New Volkswagen Touareg

By Geoff Maxted on 1 September, 2019

The Volkswagen Touareg is a quick, comfortable and refined luxury SUV that comes loaded with clever technology and has now been augmented with a touch more luxury thanks to the new range-topping trim level: R-Line. The SUV is now available in the UK with four trim levels: SE; Escape; R-Line; and R-Line Plus. All feature Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, which distributes engine power as required to all four wheels helping to ensure optimum traction and propulsion.

The Car

This is the flagship of the VW range. It’s a big car for sure but disguises the size by being especially elegant. The broad, confident front grille now incorporates the headlights for a seamless, streamlined look. This latest model Touareg is wider and longer than the previous version and, accordingly, the boot space grows significantly from 697L to 810L whilst offering passengers even more space than before. Volkswagen is now offering the Touareg in its highest specification yet, as the new R-Line and R-Line Plus trim sit at the pinnacle of the capacious and capable 4×4’s line-up. This upgrade adds stylish additions inside and out.

Externally, the five-seat SUV’s alloy wheels are upgraded from 20” of the regular variants to the striking 21” ‘Mallory’ design for the R-Line. The VW Touareg has had a technology overhaul and now offers an extensive package of all-new technology inside and out including the brand’s impressive Area View technology as standard. This utilises front, rear and side wide-angle cameras (mounted within the door mirrors) to provide a 360-degree bird’s-eye exterior view of the SUV, displayed on the Touareg’s touchscreen.

Driver’s View

Finding a comfortable driving position in the Touareg is not a problem. Both the steering wheel and driver’s seat get plenty of adjustment, including lumbar support to ensure that, regardless of driver size, you’ll be sitting pretty. Heated front seats are standard on all models and ventilated and massaging seats are on the options list.

The steering wheel logo may be familiar, but things look very different across the dashboard. Conventional instrument dials and a sizeable 9.2in touchscreen infotainment system are standard on SEL and R-Line, but these can be replaced by a 12.0in digital display and a 15.0in touchscreen, both of which are standard on the top level R-Line Tech. In fact, all of the technology we expect these days is on board; for example, a new roadwork lane assist system, cross-traffic warnings, four-wheel steering, active lighting and cornering roll stabilisation plus height-adjustable active air suspension. And there’s plenty more.

Driving The VW Touareg

Volkswagen has, earlier this year, increased the engine choice with the introduction of a new and powerful petrol 335bhp, 3.0L V6 TSI engine to the SUV’s range. This is in addition to the capable 227bhp and 282bhp TDI diesel units already on offer. All engines drive through an eight-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

On the road, the Touareg is a surprisingly agile car thanks to the four-wheel steering set-up, although the suspension is very much geared to comfort rather than speed. Nevertheless, progress is swift and the gutsy new V6 petrol engine will undoubtedly appeal to the keen driver. The diesel engines are smooth when accelerating, if a little vocal, and there’s plenty of low down pulling power. Air suspension is an option on some models and this really tightens things up on the handling front. Overall, this is a very refined car with a high quality interior and is loaded with technology. If a big, all-conquering SUV is required, this one is hard to beat.

By Geoff Maxted