The next gen­er­a­tion

Lancashire Life - - MOTORING - WORDS: Andy Rus­sell

Volk­swa­gen’s Touareg flag­ship SUV ben­e­fits from a big in­jec­tion of style, tech­nol­ogy and pres­tige, which has done won­ders for its im­age

Ial­ways felt Volk­swa­gen’s large Touareg SUV was stuck be­tween a rock and a hard place when it came to im­age – ex­pen­sive to be classed as a work­horse, but lack­ing the pres­tige im­age of classy ri­vals. Now the third-gen­er­a­tion delivers as its flag­ship SUV.

The bul­bous styling and wheels that looked lost in the arches, make way for a bolder look. Longer, wider and lower, it picks up the strong, an­gu­lar lines of the smaller Tiguan, em­pha­sis­ing its width so looks more im­pos­ing and a classy con­tender.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The 231 and 286PS, V6 3.0-litre turbo diesels will be the core, both with eight­speed au­to­matic and per­ma­nent all-wheel drive with on and off-road and snow modes.

The more pow­er­ful V6 diesel will be the best seller and, with 600Nm of torque, of­fers lusty, low-down pull, ef­fort­less mid-range punch, storm­ing top-end per­for­mance and re­turned 35mpg over­all, 40mpg on a run.

HOW IT DRIVES

For a large SUV, the Touareg is sur­pris­ingly good and, even with the R-line mod­els’ 20in wheels and sports sus­pen­sion, soaks up big bumps so, with noise lev­els also well muted, this is a mighty com­fort­able cruiser. It also han­dles well, but on small, twisty roads, the sheer size is the lim­it­ing fac­tor.

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