First DriveThe newest version of Volkswagen's flagship SUV shares much with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, but it's taking a different route to head upmarket
First DriveLowest-powered diesel Touareg offers decent performance with refinement, though pricing means you might as well go for the extra punch.
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.