The next generation
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.