Because the Touareg has effectively become Volkswagen’s global flagship, it gets an interior layout to suit.
When equipped with the 15in Innovision Cockpit that’s a £2410 option on all but the R-Line Tech trim, the Touareg’s cabin feels arguably the most high-tech of any SUV’s on the market. And it’s a pretty functional one as well, for the most part.
In the Touareg sales brochure, there’s a photo of a driver’s hand, out of focus, aimed somewhere near the vast touchscreen. It’s an image you might get familiar with if you spend lots of time with this system, which is graphically beautiful and has a consistent theme but suffers from being expected to do too much.
When a screen is as vast as this, you can put as big and clear a graphical interface as you like on it — and VW has — but there’s not always an obvious place to rest your wrist or thumb while you do it, so prods on the move usually take longer than they should.
Such is the practicality of a rotary or transmission-tunnel mounted controller, where you can support your arm and keep your eyes mostly on the road without losing your position on the screen. As touchscreens go, this is up with the best, but a more tactile interface would be neat.
It’s spacious, as you’d hope it would be given the size. There’s generous head and leg room front and rear, with a boot of fairly vast proportion, too. At its widest, there’s 1400mm of space there, almost enough for an ice hockey stick, let alone a golf club, and although folding the rear chairs doesn’t quite leave a flat floor, it goes close enough and creates a load length that’s generous, if not quite as fulsome as an XC90’s.
That could be because the VW’s driving position feels more conventionally car-like so eats more of the cabin length, or because of the vast amount of dashboard occupying frontal cabin space. That swoops around the driver, who’s presented with that vast infotainment screen and a fully digital instrument panel, too, while on the transmission tunnel are twin dials for drive modes and the like. Tech overload? It could be.
There’s a lot going on, and if you liked the previous Touareg for its fairly straightforward way of doing things, you may or may not like the fact that the throttle pedal taps you on the foot, as if it’s receiving a text message, advising you that you can lift out of the throttle and coast to a junction, to save fuel; although if you were that bothered, maybe you wouldn’t have bought a 2292kg Volkswagen.