Volkswagen Touareg (2010-2018) Review

VW’s largest SUV made some much-needed efficiency gains but only offered five seats

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Plush cabin
  • Refined and relaxing
  • Good for towing
  • Only comes with five seats
  • Hybrid version not all that economical
  • V8 diesel is thirsty
Volkswagen Touareg prices from £26,500.
Finance from £452.50 / month.

Volkswagen Touareg prices from £26,500  Finance from £452.50 per month

For drivers that place value for money above name-dropping posh brands to neighbours, a used Volkswagen Touareg is the sort of large SUV that is well worth a second look.

This alternative to the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery and even its sister model, the Porsche Cayenne, is large, quiet and comfortable, can tow pretty much whatever you please and is even able to hold its own off the beaten track – even if, as most SUV drivers will testify, it rarely ventures any further afield than muddy car parks at the kids’ school matches.

It went on sale in the UK from June, 2010, was treated to a facelift in 2014 and remained on sale until 2018. Prices of the second-generation Touareg start from less than £10000 for the oldest, 2010 models with very high mileage. But an approved-used example from an authorised Volkswagen dealer is more likely to cost from £14,000, at the time of writing. 

What does that get you? Well, it’s a large five-seat family SUV (noticeably more spacious than the original Touareg) that has a boot big enough to hold a couple of dogs and a holiday’s worth of luggage. (580-litres for all but the Hybrid version, which is 493-litres.) The back seats also slide or tilt, helping free up more space or allowing passengers to recline a little.

Add a roof rack and you can pile bikes or a roof box and more luggage up top. The only thing that makes the Touareg a little less practical than certain used SUVs, including the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, is that it only comes with five seats.

The interior of the second-generation model was greatly improved over its predecessor. The first car felt tough but was packed with plastic; the successor splashes glossy, piano-black surfacing, suede trim and elegant aluminium-effect detailing about the place to great effect, and comfortably compares with other posh SUVs. It’s also got one of the more intuitive touchscreen entertainment systems.

VW’s engineers reduced the car’s weight by at least 10 per cent over the old model, helping efficiency and improving the driving experience, yet it’s larger and more spacious. Quiet to drive, smooth riding and surprisingly together on a winding route, the Touareg doesn’t have any noticeable weaknesses on the road. Just make sure you pick the right engine.

That means go for the higher-powered version of the two 3-litre V6 diesel motors. It gives the best blend of performance, fuel economy and road tax, whereas the bigger V8 diesel isn’t terribly efficient and the hybrid petrol-electric version is one of those cars that looks interesting on paper but fails to work so well in practice. In fact, it had higher CO2 emissions than either V6 diesel.

All four variants are able to hitch up to a braked trailer loaded to 3500 kilos, which is as good as it gets for this class of car.

For some reason, Euro NCAP, the independent organisation that tests the safety of new cars, did not put the second generation of Touareg through its assessments.

However, the other two generations of Touareg performed well in tests. And this model came with a stronger, lighter body than its predecessor, up to nine airbags, traction and stability control and engineering solutions to better protect pedestrians in the event of an impact.

It also boasted a system that helped prevent a trailer or caravan from swaying around dangerously at speed, and was the first VW SUV to feature rollover sensors that were tuned to work off-road on difficult terrain.


Key facts

Warranty 3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size 580-litres
Width 1940mm
Length 4795mm
Height 1732mm
Tax £260 to £555 a year

Best Volkswagen Touareg for...

Best for Economy – Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI Blue Motion Technology

It might be big but it must be reasonably clever, because the entry-level 3.0 TDI can return upto 40.4mpg.

Best for Families – Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI SE Blue Motion Technology

With all the kids aboard, dogs and luggage in the boot and bikes on the roof rack, you’ll be glad you plumped for the 245hp version of the 3-litre V6 diesel – and it’s barely any less frugal.

Best for Performance – Volkswagen Touareg 3.4 V8 TDI R-Line

If you don’t mind watching the needle of the fuel dial drop before your very eyes, then you’ll probably enjoy the impressive shove-in-the-back performance of this V8 diesel, which will manage 31mpg at best.


June 2010 Touareg goes on sale in UK, Initially available in SE, Altitude, Escape and Hybrid trim
August 2014 Facelifted range goes on sale in UK 
August 2014 3.0 TDI gains new eight-speed automatic gearbox
May 2016 Upmarket R-Line Plus trim level introduced

Understanding Volkswagen Touareg names

Trim SE

The popular entry-level trim is generously equipped

Engine V6 TDI

The 3.0-litre V6 TDI is a diesel unit and was the best-selling motor in the range. TDI signifies diesel, TSI indicates it’s a petrol engine.

Gearbox DSG

DSG means it has an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Volkswagen Touareg Engines

Diesel: 3.0 TDI 204hp, 3.0 TDI 245hp, 4.2 V8 TDI
Petrol: 3.0 TSI Hybrid

Don’t be tempted to go the whole hog and pick the biggest engine in the range to go with the biggest Volkswagen SUV. The 4.2-litre V8 diesel is only going to drink more fuel, cost more to run and service and won’t prove all that much quicker on the road than the higher-powered V6 diesel Touareg.

So the 245hp version of the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine would get our vote for used car buyers. It provides a perfect blend of refinement, pulling power if towing or acceleration for overtaking, and the acceptable fuel consumption (39mpg) won’t require that you remortgage the house.

If you wish to have the best fuel economy and pay the lowest rates of road tax, then the 204hp V6 diesel is worth a test drive. It’s not as effortless, but you’ll pay £260 a year in tax, rather than £300, and it can return upto 40.4mpg.

VW also offered a V6 petrol with hybrid electric assistance. Unfortunately, it was too heavy and too thirsty, struggled to deliver anything approaching its claimed fuel economy (34mpg) and didn’t make for a good alternative to diesel power. Like all other units in the range, it was Euro 5 compliant, rather than the latest Euro 6 standard.






Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

3.0 V6 TDI






3.0 V6 TDI






4.2 V8 TDI






3.0 V6 TSI Hybrid






Volkswagen Touareg Trims

SE, Escape, Altitude, Hybrid

There needs to be a touch of perspective when referring to entry-level SE trim in the Touareg because it didn’t exactly want for much. The were all manner of electronic safety aids and airbags, an alarm, immobiliser and electric child locks for the back doors. In addition, there were Isofix mounting points for two child seats.

The climate control system was dual zone, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system was standard, as were a trip computer, cruise control, electric windows, heated windscreen washer jets, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, leather upholstery, alloy wheels and roof rails.

The Escape models come with 4XMotion, which is an uprated version of the four-wheel drive hardware, including an extra locking differential for the back wheels and underbody protection. A 100-litre fuel tank was included, and the ride height was 10mm higher at the front, 15mm more at the back.

Pick Altitude and it came with sports suspension (25mm lower than an SE) a body kit, heated steering wheel, headlamp wash system and larger, 20-inch alloy wheels. The V8 diesel version added still more luxuries to this tally.

Hybrid cars featured bi-xenon headlights with dynamic lighting, 12-way adjustable front seats, leather trim, keyless entry, automatic operation of the tailgate and some cosmetic tweaks.

Some Touaregs may have been ordered with the optional air suspension system. It’s lovely to have, but its cost at the time made it relatively rare.

Volkswagen Touareg Reliability and warranty

Only the very last, 2016 Touaregs may have any remaining Volkswagen warranty cover, which was for three-years or 60,000 miles. However, approved used vehicles will come with a year’s cover from VW, and some independent dealers may match this.

The second generation Touareg hasn’t been rated by owners in the Auto Express Driver Power survey. However, remember to factor in high running costs that are associated with this type of car, such as replacing tyres or changing the brakes.

Used Volkswagen Touareg

There are currently 47 Volkswagen Touaregs available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £26,500 to £67,989. Monthly finance payments start from £452.50 per month.

Volkswagen’s ‘Das Welt Auto’ approved used car scheme provides a one-year warranty with every used car, along with 12 months’ roadside assistance. There can also be special offers, such as two services free of charge, if buying through VW finance.

It’s possible to buy a used Touareg for less than £10,000 but it will have covered a huge number of miles, and given the potential for big bills, should anything go wrong or come to the end of its operating life, we’d advise setting a higher budget, if possible.

Spend from about £12,000 and the selection is much more promising, with sensible mileage clocked up by the car’s four-wheel drive system. VW dealers have vehicles starting from about £14,000.

Other Editions

Touareg (2018)

With parts from Bentley and a high-tech interior, the Volkswagen Touareg rivals more expensive SUVs