Volkswagen Touareg SUV
Price £43,415 - £48,215
- Solid, well built cabin
- Facelift smartens up looks
- Improved economy and emissions
- Still expensive to buy
- No seven-seat option
- Feels dated overall despite facelift
At a glance
"The Volkswagen Touareg is a decent road car, but underneath the luxurious interior lurks the mechanicals of a serious off-road machine."
The Volkswagen Touareg shares many parts with the Porsche Cayenne, but it's significantly cheaper to buy and does without the more powerful engines that are available in the Porsche. It also competes with the Land Rover Discovery 4 and the pricier BMW X5.
Off-road toughness and on-road ability are two of the VW's key strengths. All models have four-wheel drive and there's a choice of two 3.0-litre diesel engines, producing 201bhp and 258bhp and both returning 42.8mpg fuel economy. The larger V8 TDI diesel and Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid were both dropped from the UK line-up in 2014.
The Touareg doesn’t come with the option of seven seats, but it does have a spacious and well-built interior, even if it doesn't feel quite as upmarket as the Porsche Cayenne's. The seats are comfortable, the interior is quiet and the boot is well designed, making it easy to load and unload.
If you’ll be spending all your time on the road, there are two trim levels to consider: the basic SE line and the slightly more luxurious R-Line. Both offer plenty of kit as standard – a DAB digital radio, sat nav, climate control and lots more.
However, if you plan to use your Touareg off-road, we'd recommend the Escape, as it comes with clever electronics and protection for the underside of the car that should make it even more capable in rough conditions.
Prices start at around £43,000 for the less powerful diesel engine in SE trim. Upgrading from SE to R-Line will cost you an extra £3,000. The Escape model comes in at a bit under £45,000. All models of Touareg offer strong resale values, although not quite as strong as the Discovery and Cayenne.
Clever BlueMotion technology ensures the Volkswagen Touareg isn't too expensive to run
Based on the Porsche Cayenne, the Volkswagen Touareg is good to drive, with powerful diesel engines
A comfortable and well built interior allows the Volkswagen Touareg to compete with more upmarket rivals
The back seats in the Volkswagen Touareg are easy to fold for maximum carrying capacity
The Volkswagen Touareg feels solidly built, but there are a few question marks over VW reliability