The Volkswagen Touareg has always commanded a certain degree of respect on the road. This is even more evident in the newest facelift model which was rolled out last year. The Touareg has always been an appealing 4×4. Sure there are better looking SUV’s in its segment but the Touareg has always managed to get the job done without all the fanfare. The newest incarnation of the Touareg sees it receive subtle design tweaks to the front and rear ensuring that it retains its recognisable shape yet moves forward with the competition with a sleek and sporty appearance. Bi-Xenon headlights which are now standard take their place either side of the new four bar grille while daytime running lights come in the form of cleverly shaped LED lighting.
The biggest talking point which centred around the new Touareg upon its release was that Volkswagen have packed it with an additional €10,000 worth of kit yet they reduced the overall price by over €6,000. This in itself shows the commitment by Volkswagen in delivering a premium product at considerable less cost than its rivals.
With the entry price on the Touareg at €69,995, the big question is just what do you get for your money. Standard specification now includes 20-inch Tarragona alloy wheels, Vienna leather upholstery with heated front comfort seats, Memory Pack including 14-way adjustment for the front seats, Bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, LED tail light assembly, tinted windows, premium Bluetooth, and Media-In for iPod/iPhone. For those of you who are that bit more adventurous and require more off road capability you also have the option of the Terrain Technology pack for just €2,630. This kit adds off-road suspension (raised 10mm front, 15mm rear), additional stone and underbody guards along with a rear axle mechanical differential lock that features an off-road speed-reducing ratio and flywheel. You can also travel further with the Terrain Technology pack thanks to the increased fuel capacity of 100 litres.
As you sit inside the Volkswagen Touareg you will be left in no doubt as to the fact that very little expense has been spared in ensuring you are surrounded by high quality materials finished to the highest of standards. After all, you are paying €70,000 for a SUV and you expect nothing less but the level of finish within the Touareg far outweighs the price tag which it carries. As you find your optimum driving position in the heated leather front seat you can begin to appreciate your surroundings. As you would expect, space in the front and the rear seats is plentiful. There is also plenty of storage spaces within the cabin of the Touareg. One thing that the Touareg does not offer however is the addition further seating in the boot area which may result in some of the ever expanding families ruling it out of their shopping list as they try to find their ideal 7 seater.
Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent all round given the raised driving position. All of the infotainment and driving information are easily accessed through the standard touchscreen system. The addition of the 161 pack on the test model also added Sat Nav, Road Sign Recognition, rear view camera, heated steering wheel, keyless entry and start along with electric boot open / close. Given the overall size of the Touareg the rear view camera was a welcome addition. The rear seats will comfortably fit two ISOFIX car seats along with space for a middle seat passenger. Boot space is a respectable 580 litres which expands to an impressive 1,642 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
Where the Touareg really comes into its own is when you take to the open road. Let us not forget, while the Touareg may look like a big, sturdy SUV, it is powered by a perfectly capable 3.0 litre TDI V6 engine which is paired with a seamless 8 speed Tiptronic transmission along with Volkswagen’s 4motion 4-wheel drive system. This is by no means a slouch. The Touareg is perfectly content as you potter around about your daily chores and will work away quietly in the background until you call upon it and really open up the taps. I’m not going to let on that it is the quickest in its class but does it really need to be. The 204 bhp is delivered flawlessly along with 450 Nm of torque which is available from 1,250 rpm. The 8 speed Tiptronic transmission delivers seamless gear changes as you call on all 6 cylinders to press ahead. With the inclusion of Volkswagen’s 4Motion 4-wheel drive system you are never left in any doubt as to the total grip that the system provides and it also allows for off road capabilities which can be supplemented by the Terrain Technology Pack as outlined above. Feedback from the steering is very good considering the overall size of the Touareg and the response is more akin to a smaller model.
Personally speaking if you are in the market for a top end SUV which has a high quality finish and with plenty of extras the Volkswagen Touareg should most definitely not be over looked from your shopping list.
Engine Size – 3.0 TDI
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 204hp
Torque – 450Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 8.7 seconds
Top Speed – 206 km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 6.6L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 173g/km
Road Tax – €750 Tax Band E
Base Price – €69,995
Price As Tested – €70,931 (including 161 pack)