The second-generation Volkswagen Touareg has gone on a diet and become more efficient
First DriveLowest-powered diesel Touareg offers decent performance with refinement, though pricing means you might as well go for the extra punch.
First DriveThe Touareg is well built and comes loaded with kit, but there are better large SUVs with more attractive price tags
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.