In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Touareg SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2

Large engines increase the Volkswagen Touareg's running costs but the plug-in hybrid has the potential to be much more reasonable

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

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MPG, running costs & CO2 Rating

3.5 out of 5

The Touareg has been on sale for several years with a fairly traditional diesel or petrol engine, despite rivals like the Volvo XC90, Range Rover Sport and BMW X5 coming with the option of plug-in hybrid technology. Now, the biggest Volkswagen SUV is also available as a plug-in hybrid (but only in the form of the top-spec Touareg R model), with the ability to drive for around 28 miles on electricity alone. While that’s reasonable, a plug-in hybrid X5 or Mercedes GLE will both manage over 50 miles on battery power.

Volkswagen Touareg MPG & CO2

A brace of 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines forms the backbone of the Touareg line-up, based on those found in the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. They make 228 and 282bhp respectively and both versions can return 34.4mpg while emitting over 220g/km of CO2. This puts it firmly in the top 37% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band for company-car drivers, so Volkswagen will be hoping for more private buyers here. The largest diesel engine fitted to the Volvo XC90 is smaller, managing 44mpg and emitting less CO2.

The petrol Touareg also uses a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, capable of up to 25.9mpg and emissions of around 250g/km of CO2. For low-mileage drivers, this is likely to make only a small difference to overall running costs. On paper, the Touareg R plug-in hybrid is the most efficient, despite being the most powerful. Official figures are 66g/km of CO2 - so company-car drivers will pay roughly a third of BiK tax compared with the non-hybrid engines - and up to 97mpg. However, when the battery is empty you’ll be doing more like 20mpg.

Every Touareg costs more than £40,000, so all incur a surcharge that makes your annual VED (road tax) bill more than £500 until the sixth time you renew. After that, it drops to the standard rate.

Insurance groups

The luxury SUV’s price, complexity and powerful engines mean it’s expensive to insure, with the entry-level diesel sitting in groups 38-40. With more power, this increases to 41-42 out of 50 groups, but this is still several groups lower than the outgoing version. The R is in group 48.

Warranty

Volkswagen has offered a standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty with its new vehicles for many years, and while it’s fairly typical for the industry, rivals like BMW do slightly better with unlimited mileage in the first three years.

Servicing

While full servicing details aren’t known yet, large and complicated SUVs have a reputation for being pricey to run. A fixed servicing plan with regular monthly payments is likely to be your best bet for avoiding stinging payments at the dealership come service time.

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