There is much to like and not a whole lot to dislike about the new Volkswagen Touareg. It’s such a cohesive development over the already strong previous model that it’s genuinely hard to find anything serious to criticise other than its slightly plain, five-seat-only cabin. 

For those buyers not looking for seven-seat capacity the Touareg gets many things right. It drives nicely, with a comfortable ride without the levels of body roll associated with large SUVs. The steering is light and crisp, while there’s excellent performance from all the engines, helped in no small part by the excellent eight-speed gearbox. 

Steve Sutcliffe

Editor-at-large
There is much to like and not a whole lot to dislike about the Volkswagen Touareg

It’s spacious, too, with plenty of room for five people in a nicely appointed, if a little dull, cabin. The boot’s a good size, too – shame there aren’t a couple more seats in there.

And as large SUVs go, the Touareg is reasonably green – it won’t drink fuel at the rate of some rivals, while VW’s Bluemotion technologies help to keep emissions reasonably low – from the diesels and the petrol/electric hybrid.

On top of all that, there are generous equipment levels. It is the best-value car in the class and arguably the least pretentious. Most importantly, it is a pleasant, comfortable place in which to cover a lot of miles.

It falls slightly short of the sharp responses of the BMW X5 or the all-round on and off-road ability of the Discovery. But the Touareg offers a different rather than less complete balance of SUV qualities, and for many it will be all they could need or want.

Top 5 Luxury SUVs

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    26 April 2017
    The compromises of adding a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to the 5 Series make the new 530e iPerformance tough to recommend
  • 2017 BMW 440i Coupé
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    The assumption was that a few minor tweaks to the 2017 BMW 440i Coupé wouldn't make much of a difference. It turns out they do
  • Porsche 911 GT3
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    Brilliant new Porsche GT 911 GT3 picks up where the previous GT3 RS and 911 R left off
  • Honda Clarity Fuell Cell
    First Drive
    26 April 2017
    You can't buy the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, but the innovative hatchback does enough to show that hydrogen models deserve a more mainstream future
  • Nissan Micra
    Car review
    26 April 2017
    Has this much-needed reinvention turned it into a real contender once again?