- P11D Value (as tested): £69,895
- BIK band 2018/19: 37% (without options)
- Large SUV
- 0-litre 6-cylinder turbo petrol 340hp/450Nm
- Performance: 5.9secs/155mph
- Economy (On test) 27.2mpg
- CO2: 203g/km
What is it?
THE latest generation of Volkswagen’s Touareg flagship SUV in sporty R-Line guise and with a starting price of £54,840 although our test vehicle came fully loaded with an impressive suite of driver assistance, safety and connectivity technologies.
This pushed the price up by a whopping £15K pushing it into Porsche Cayenne territory.
The large SUV segment in which the Touareg sits, accounted for 2.4% of the UK’s new car market last year and the fleet and business expectations for the new Touareg is 60% of sales, against 85% for the current model.
Buyers in the fleet sector are SME user choosers says Volkswagen. Predicted petrol/diesel split is around 80% diesel and the car is offered in three trims in the UK: SEL, R-Line and the new R-Line Tech.
Why would you want a new VW Touareg?
- Because you like your cars big and brash, but not as in your face as the upscale offerings from the likes of Bentley, Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati and now even Rolls-Royce.
- There’s a new generation of assistance, driving dynamics and comfort systems. This includes Night Vision, which uses a thermal imaging camera to spot people and animals in the dark.
- With peak torque at 600Nm it is capable of hauling trailer weights of up to 3.5 tonnes. There is also the option of VW’s handy Trailer Assist to help with low speed manoeuvring.
- Very well connected – particularly if you splash out on VW’s Innovation Cockpit.
- If you do a lot of towing, event trailer, caravan, boat or horse box, this is also the car you want – it has enough grunt to pull a Boeing 747.
- Whopping 75-litre fuel tank – you need it.
What might put you off a VW Touareg?
- With CO2 emissions of 203g/km it’s probably best company car in terms of tax and BiK.
- If you want one for your business motoring, then maybe fund privately – PCH or PCP, then reimburse yourself for business mileage with AMAP rates at 45ppm.
- Thanks to all the sensors it’s easy enough – you just have to find a space big enough.
- Trying to pronounce the name when telling friends what car you’ve got.
- Fuel economy
Our verdict on the VW Touareg
For such a big beast, pretty smooth and mounted on 20-inch wheels it copes very well with the pot-hole ridden roads of the UK.
The 3.0-litre V6 petrol is both smooth and quiet and pulls effortlessly up the steepest slopes despite the weight it is hauling.
With all the driver aids there is plenty of help on hand. Caught in a jam you can just sit back and enjoy the ride as the car will autonomously inch forward and stop with the traffic.
In fact there is so much technology this is about as close as you get to an autonomous car without being autonomous
There is also Traffic Jam and Roadwork Lane Assist – partly automated steering and lane departure warning up to 37mph, acceleration and braking – Front Cross Traffic Assist, which responds to vehicles passing across in front of the vehicle, active all-wheel steering and a new roll stabilisation system with electromechanically controlled anti-roll bars.
If you have a love of gadgetry or a bit of a geek then this will provides hours of fun. It will take hours to master the whole system.
Things start easily enough, the standard 12-inch digital instrument display merges with the 15-inch TFT touchscreen of VW’s Discover Premium infotainment system to form a new digital operating, information, communication and entertainment unit.
Operating it is akin to having a tablet in the car and can be controlled by pushing icons or swiping the screen and even via buttons on the steering wheel Features include the “deluxe telephony” function, an inductive charging system for smart phones, App Connect, which integrates MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The centrepiece of the Innovation Cockpit is the company’s Discover Premium infotainment system which serves simultaneously as a radio-navigation system, telephone, information centre and user interface for configuring various vehicle functions.
It is equipped with a proximity sensor system and is operated from the touch screen by gesture or voice control. Its features include a freely usable 10GB memory, two SD card slots, an Aux-in socket, four USB ports and a Bluetooth phone interface.
With Nav-Gen4 routing, the sat-nav can find alternative routes, computed online on a server taking predictive models into account including route profiles, topography and traffic situations.
VW has for some time used a self-learning navigation system which recognises frequently travelled routes and this is now used in the Touareg to simplify destination input.
Since the system has an eSim the Touareg is always “live” even without a smartphone connected and the range of online services continues to grow and already include reading news aloud and latest weather data.
Along with a seemingly endless list of vehicle settings, including the operation and intensity of the massage front seats – yep, they’re on the options list as well – there’s a lot to take in. Best set aside a weekend for the dealer hand-over.
Once configured to personal needs, operation is actually pretty simple, intuitive and easy to read.
So what exactly pushed the price of our Touareg up by £15,000?
Keyless entry, start and electric tailgate (£750)
Head-up Display (£1,080)
Driver assistance pack: (£990)
IQ Light LED Matrix headlights (£1,550)
Night vision (£1,520)
Air suspension with rear axle steering (£2,370),
‘Vienna’ leather seats (£1,290)
Heated front and rear seats (£250)
Panormaic sunroof (£1,260)
Towbar with trailer assist (£1,120)
Type pressure monitoring (£170)
Heated front windscreen (£340)
Headlight washers (£180)
But it does drive superbly, offers a level of technology that requires a certain level of familiarisation to get the most out of it, and provides the towing capability for both business and leisure pursuits.