Volkswagen Touareg Review
With parts from Bentley and a high-tech interior, the Volkswagen Touareg rivals more expensive SUVs
Strengths & weaknesses
If you could look beyond the Volkswagen badge and under its metal panels, you'd see that the Volkswagen Touareg uses mechanical parts that are suspiciously similar to the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga.
It's not that surprising, as all of the brands are part of the Volkswagen Group, but it does mean that you can buy the foundations of a Bentley for the price of a Volkswagen.
Inside the Touareg uses what's known as the Innovision Cockpit system. Standard on R-Line Tech models, this set-up includes a curved 15-inch screen that sits in the middle of the dashboard and flows into a 12-inch screen behind the steeering wheel.
Exterior styling has been chiselled, honed and sharpened to bring it in line with the rest of VW's angular-flanked and gaping-grilled model line-up, while the interiors in the more expensive Touareg models are festooned with leather, cool chrome surfaces and robust plastics.
This is a typically solid product from the German manufacturer and the same care and attention lavished on the finishing touches has, quite predictably, been invested in to the engineering stages, ensuring it rides and drives well.
A choice of just one 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines will greet early customers but VW has already revealed that a range of petrol and hybrid variants will soon be added to an increased diesel line-up.
However, despite it emitting 173g/km of CO2 (therefore making it quite pricey to tax), the big V6 diesel is otherwise very impressive, returning 42.8mpg on the combined cycle and boasting enough power to propel the big SUV from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds with very little fuss.
As with a large proportion of other VW products, the new Touareg also comes fitted with 4MOTION permanent four-wheel-drive that is capable of tackling some rough terrain thanks to a self-locking central differential.
It sounds complex but in reality a rotary dial in the cockpit allows the driver to choose from a number of pre-determined programmes in order to tackle the corresponding terrain ahead.
Granted, a current lack of seven-seat option makes it slightly less practical than models from Volvo, Land Rover and Range Rover, but there's still plenty of room for five, and with prices starting at £51,595 for the plush entry-level V6 models, it represents very good value for money.