The VW Touareg has been a relentless for Volkswagen since 2003. It was the agency’s very first off-roader, and paved the way in which for the now four-strong SUV line-up. Nonetheless, with the present automobile greater than eight years previous, VW thought it excessive time the mainstay was given an entire overhaul.
So, for 2018, the Touareg is new from the bottom up. It’s 77mm longer and 44mm wider than earlier than, and it sits on the VW Group’s flagship MLBevo platform. Which means it shares a lot of its internals with vehicles such because the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, in addition to high-end fashions just like the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.
Visually, it’s a extra thought of design than earlier than; the broader stance and decrease roofline (-7mm) giving it a squatter, sportier stance. The wrap-around LED tail-lights present a purposeful signature at evening, whereas the large horizontally-slatted grille emphasises this new-found visible dynamism.
However the greatest adjustments come inside, the place the Touareg units a category benchmark for high quality and design. Digital dashboards are nothing new on this section, however the VW’s optionally available dual-screen Innovision Cockpit show is a minimize above the remaining – slickly built-in to offer the phantasm of a single pane of glass spanning each the 12.Three-inch digital dials and 15-inch central infotainment display.
Not solely does the set-up look excellent, it really works fantastically as nicely. The menus are configurable, utilizing a tile-based system to let you drag and drop icons into positions of your selecting. In fact, performance is prime draw, with full-screen sat-nav with actual time visitors data, in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Forward of the digital dials you’ll discover a crystal clear heads-up show, exhibiting quite a lot of journey info. Different tech highlights embody a intelligent evening imaginative and prescient system and 128-bulb Matrix LED headlamps.
Inside high quality is excellent. You’ll discover swathes of leather-based throughout the sprint and doorways, in addition to lashings of metallic and high-quality gloss plastic. Every part you contact feels constructed to final, but with costs anticipated to begin from underneath £50,000, it’s seemingly the brand new Touareg will undercut like-for-like six-cylinder rivals from Land Rover, Mercedes and Audi by a number of thousand kilos.
Precise UK specs can be revealed when the automobile goes on sale in June, however count on security to characteristic closely on the usual package listing. Our automobile got here with Adaptive Cruise Management that includes Predictive Cruise – a system that robotically adjustments your velocity utilizing the Touareg’s cameras and sat-nav information. It labored surprisingly nicely, in observe and required little or no human enter or interplay. Site visitors Jam Help and Cross Site visitors Help additionally characteristic, alongside Proactive Occupant Safety, which closes the home windows and tightens the seatbelts if it senses an impending collision.
The brand new Touareg SUV will launch with a pair of V6 diesel engines. There’s a selection of two energy outputs (228bhp or 282bhp) and earlier than the top of the 12 months a six-cylinder petrol will be part of the vary. A V8 diesel can also be on the way in which, and whereas a plug-in model has been confirmed for China, no European launch date has been introduced.
Our take a look at automobile had the higher-power V6 TDI, which is as quiet and clean right here as it’s elsewhere within the VW Group vary. It glides effortlessly alongside abandoned motorways, and feels sufficiently muscular to choose up tempo when issues get twisty. The gearbox generally is a bit hesitant and throttle response is sometimes sluggish, however the journey is superb. The all-new Touareg will fortunately waft in Consolation mode earlier than tightening up in Sport; admirably minimising physique roll via tight bends.
It seemingly shrinks round you at low velocity, too. In reality, the four-wheel steering set-up offers it a turning circle not dissimilar to the most recent Golf hatchback. You discover it when making fast U-turns or exiting notably tight junctions – the place the Touareg simply slithers via apparently unimaginable gaps. In fact, it’s laden with cameras, too, which means parking is a doddle.
The largest disappointment – almost about the driving expertise, at the least – is the numb and infrequently unpredictable steering. There’s little or no really feel, and whereas it weights-up within the extra dynamic drive modes, the scenario doesn’t enhance. When it comes to the journey, the massive wheels spotlight ruts and ridges that aren’t obvious in a Volvo XC90. It may be fairly disconcerting, and isn’t seemingly to enhance on damaged British tarmac.
However from the again seat, the Touareg has improved as soon as once more. Whereas rivals could supply seven seats, VW’s analysis suggests they’re hardly ever used. As such, engineers have chosen to maintain the agency’s flagship solely as a five-seater – bettering house within the rear even for tall adults. There’s a great deal of knee room and ample headroom, and the doorways open good and vast for simple entry.
The Touareg’s boot is large, too. With the seats in place there’s 40 litres greater than you’ll discover in a Q7 (810 litres vs 770 litres) – and it very practically matches the boxier XC90 punch-for-punch with its rear bench folded flat. Our automobile got here fitted with all-round air suspension, which not solely allows you to to lift the journey top (by as much as 70mm) for off-roading, but in addition permits you to drop it for assist when loading heavy or cumbersome gadgets within the again.