What is it?
The Volkswagen Touareg has always been a pretty good car for people who don’t really like to stand out.
Next to the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, its comparative lack of pretence has historically marked it out as the large SUV of choice for anyone who might not want others to notice - and then potentially sneer at - the fact they’ve just gone and spent quite a lot of money on a large SUV. A sort of low-key social climber’s Q-car.
The third-generation Touareg changes this slightly. With Volkswagen’s popularity reaching an all-time high in China (it's now the brand’s largest market), not only did Wolfsburg elect to stage the model's 2018 unveiling in Beijing, but it also designed it specifically with the Chinese market in mind.
Which makes sense, really; after all, if you want a car to do well, make it for the people who buy it in the greatest numbers. This helps to explain why the new Touareg looks the way it does, with enough chrome on its front end to attract even the most docile and disinterested of magpies.
But as bedazzling as it might now be, the Touareg still sits more towards the inconspicuous end of the upmarket SUV spectrum compared with the latest X5 and GLE. This is particularly true of this new entry-level SE model, which Volkswagen has just introduced to the UK with a £45,445 asking price.