Volkswagen Touareg SUV - Interior & comfort
The Volkswagen Touareg is the first model to feature VW's latest interior layout, and it looks and works beautifully
What the Touareg can't offer when it comes to driving exhilaration, it makes up for with its incredibly relaxing and comfortable demeanour on the road. There's a fair amount of road noise from the huge tyres fitted across the range, but little wind noise to complain about.
Volkswagen has used the Touareg to debut a new generation of interior styling and technology, with real success. In fact, it elevates the Touareg’s dashboard beyond anything else in the class when it comes to design and quality. It's angled towards you and boasts an optional 'Innovision Cockpit', with a 12.3-inch instrument display and 15-inch central infotainment screen that appear to flow together.
Volkswagen Touareg dashboard
Not only does the Innovision Cockpit look fantastic, but it also works intuitively – as you’d expect from a Volkswagen. One of its key features is the ability to 'drag and drop' tiles so that the information and entertainment displayed can be fully tailored to your 'user profile'. VW says the idea is that the car will adapt to individual drivers, with everything from the driving assistance and convenience features to the suspension mode set to the exact tastes of whoever's driving.
The way it presents information is a delight, too. There are clear, well designed graphics that are a treat to look at and the simple temperature adjustment system almost makes up for the lack of a standalone traditional control for doing so. It's a shame, too, that the largest touchscreen isn't standard across the range – buyers of SEL and R-Line trims have to pay extra. The standard 9.2-inch screen may well be a disappointment if you’ve been wowed by the 15-inch screen in the brochure.
It could be argued, though, that the sheer amount of information presented could have the negative effect of distracting the driver. When photographic mapping is displayed on the big centre screen as well as in the instrument cluster, it's all too tempting to pay more attention to the map than to the road ahead.
There are quite a few trim levels for the Volkswagen Touareg: SEL, R-Line, R-Line Tech and Black Edition, plus the standalone R model. The original, entry-level SE trim has now been discontinued.
Thanks to the arrival of models like the Tiguan Allspace, Volkswagen has taken the Touareg further upmarket, with leather trim standard with the SEL trim, which is also loaded with technology. Highlights include adaptive cruise control with a ‘predictive cruise’ feature that uses data from the Touareg’s cameras and sat nav to adjust the car's speed as you approach corners or junctions.
Other driver aids like Roadwork Lane Assist also make the Touareg more relaxing in stop-start congestion by taking over the controls at speeds of up to 37mph. Advanced technology will also help you keep your eyes on the road, from the head-up display to a night-vision system that uses a thermal camera to detect people and animals in the dark.