From £34,885
Light brush-up brings Touareg's biggest assets - its refinement and versatility - back into sharp focus

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Touareg
The Mk2 model, also based on the Porsche Cayenne, is lighter, roomier and more economical than the first

The second-generation Volkswagen Touareg has gone on a diet and become more efficient

What's new?

Not a great deal, to be honest. Volkswagen’s extra-large SUV has been called in for the entirely predictable mid-life makeover.

Revisions are fairly minor: a new-look front end, enhanced levels of standard kit and an increased emphasis on safety. Revised ABS brakes are here already and intelligent collision mitigation systems, a first for the segment, follow slightly later.

Still, as Volkswagen managed to sell a very respectable 4000 Touaregs in Blighty last year, major tinkering wasn’t really necessary.

What's it like?

Pretty impressive. The 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine can’t come close to matching the range-topping 5.0-litre V10 TDI’s frankly ludicrious straight-line pace, but it does deliver strong performance and excellent refinement.

The Touareg remains spacious and well-finished, with better noise insulation leading to an even quieter motorway cruise. It certainly feels far brisker than you would expect from something with a 2530 kg kerbweight, although the downside was an overall test economy figure of just 20.1 mpg under moderately enthusiastic use.

Should I buy one?

As a sensible, well-equipped alternative to the Mercedes ML, BMW X5 or Audi Q7, the Touareg is worthy of serious consideration.

At £35,610 before optioning it undercuts all its major rivals, even without taking generous standard specification into account.

Mike Duff

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