Getting behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s flagship SUV, the Touareg, to see how this updated model performs.

THE Touareg was once a common sight on UK roads, back when the popularity of SUVs was at its height, but it is now a slow seller even if it is still Volkswagen’s top model.

This revised version still uses the Mark 3’s body but with refreshed exterior lighting and a wider range of engines.

On offer are two diesels, one petrol and two plug-in hybrid petrols. Prices start at £67,780 for the V6 231 hp diesel, £70,660 for the 286 hp diesel, and from £69,150 for the hybrids. All have four-wheel drive and the diesels have air suspension.

Forestry Journal: Bar and illuminated VW badge.Bar and illuminated VW badge. (Image: FJ/EW)

The basic chassis is shared with the Audi Q7/Q8, Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga. It drives very well and is a very comfortable car. The diesels return 34 mpg and weigh 2,118 kg. It is 4,902 mm long, 1,695 mm high, 1,984 mm wide and can tow a 3,500 kg unbraked trailer. The diesels are plenty fast enough, accelerating from 0–60 mph in 6.4 and 7.7 seconds, respectively.

The boot is large at 810 litres and expands to 1,800 litres with the rear seats folded down. The fuel tank holds 75 litres. The four-wheel-drive 4MOTION system provides four-wheel drive with Torsen gearbox as standard, and self-locking central differential with asymmetrical dynamic drive.


The off-road driving programme is activated by rotary switch. On test we had a short spell off road and the vehicle coped very well with some steep inclines. Ground clearance is 215 mm. The rear lights are now connected by a light bar, which is all the fashion, appearing on many of the latest cars. It is the main visual highlight change on the refreshed Touareg and makes it look like an Audi Q8 from the rear.

The front headlights feature all-new powerful LED units too. There is a newly designed steering wheel and updated SatNav screens. The seats are very comfortable and the brakes are good too.

Forestry Journal: A good-sized boot.A good-sized boot. (Image: FJ/EW)

The self-levelling height-adjustable air suspension provides for a nice, comfortable ride and irons out potholes and road bumps very well indeed. It includes Normal, Comfort, Off-road and Special off-road driving modes. Body control is tight and the steering is accurate and nicely weighted and responsive. The four-wheel steering reduces the turning circle and improves agility. The car come with three years or 60,000-mile warranty.

The Touareg is a good vehicle but perhaps a bit too lacking in adventurous styling, while coming with a fairly high price. Mind you, most cars are getting expensive these days. So it is, in short, another competent VW.