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
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, in both top-spec Touareg R form and in more modest eHybrid Elegance form. The R has the ability to drive for around 28 miles on electricity alone, while the Elegance ups that figure to 31 miles. 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 228bhp and 282bhp, respectively, and both versions can return 34.4mpg while emitting over 215g/km of CO2. This puts them 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 25.7mpg 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 plug-in hybrids are the most efficient, despite being the most powerful. The eHybrid Elegance officially does 128.4mpg, while the R is only marginally behind on 122.8mpg. Official CO2 figures are 51g/km and 53g/km, respectively, so company-car drivers will pay a fraction BiK tax compared with the non-hybrid engines. 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.
The luxury SUV’s price, complexity and powerful engines mean it’s expensive to insure, with the entry-level diesel sitting in group 41. The rest of the standard range sits between groups 42 to 47 out of 50. The R is in group 49.
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.
For Touaregs that travel less than 10,000 miles in 12 months, or are used mainly for low-speed urban driving or high-stress driving such as towing, then fixed servicing intervals are advised. For those who mainly do longer journeys at a constant speed, variable servicing is available. The car’s computer will tell you when maintenance is required, and the intervals could be anything up to 18,600 miles or 24 months.