Volkswagen Touareg Review & Prices

The Volkswagen Touareg is a large premium SUV with a spacious cabin, a practical boot and a bang-up-to-date infotainment system but it still doesn’t feel as posh inside as some alternatives

Buy or lease the Volkswagen Touareg at a price you’ll love
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RRP £68,065 - £72,530 Avg. Carwow saving £4,408 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Very spacious inside
  • Loads of standard equipment
  • Cheaper than alternatives

What's not so good

  • Petrol engine is thirsty
  • No seven-seat option
  • Some cheap-feeling materials in the cabin

Find out more about the Volkswagen Touareg

Is the Volkswagen Touareg a good car?

The Volkswagen Touareg may not have quite the badge cachet of the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE, but nevertheless, it’s a big, spacious, high-tech SUV that’s also very comfortable.

Think of the Touareg, then, as Waitrose rather than Harrods Food Hall. It’s easily posh enough for the majority of people, but might not be plush enough for those used to the finer things in life.

Volkswagen gave the Touareg a little nip and tuck in 2023, which introduced a new-look grille at the front, updated bumpers and a full-width rear light bar (which includes a questionable illuminated VW badge). It’s not as instantly recognisable as a Porsche Cayenne, but it’s inoffensively handsome.

It’s a bit more impressive inside, with the central touchscreen that blends into a 15.0-inch digital driver’s display. The central screen is larger than anything you’ll find in an Audi, BMW, Mercedes or maybe even your local Vue cinema, and controls almost all of the VW’s features – from the sat nav to the climate control. This is all standard on post-2023 models.

It’s not just high-tech, because the Touareg comes with a slick, sweeping cabin design that looks suitably upmarket, but a few cheap-feeling materials do let the Volkswagen down a bit, such as on the centre console and lower surfaces of the dashboard. Overall it’s a very plush place to sit, but for the price the likes of BMW and Audi do it better.

The VW Touareg’s excellent practicality means you might be able to forgive a few scratchy pieces of plastic, however. There’s ample space for very tall adults in both the front and rear seats, and – besides the rather shallow tray under the armrest – all its cubby holes and storage bins are pretty generous. The ISOFIX anchor points are a doddle to access, too, and the large rear door openings make it easy to fit a bulky child seat.

The Volkswagen Touareg is a lovely thing to cruise around in comfort, it’s just a shame it’s not a bit cheaper

It’s not just spacious in the back seats, because the Volkswagen Touareg comes with a seriously big boot, too. With the back seats in place, there’s more room for a few sets of golf clubs or a large baby buggy than in anything else you might be considering – though the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE have a bit more room with the back seats folded. It’s a shame there’s no seven-seat option, though.

There are five engine options, but VW’s 231hp 3.0-litre diesel engine fits the bill perfectly for most. This turbocharged V6 has plenty of grunt to pull heavy trailers or blast past slow-moving traffic. It’s impressively quiet around town and whispers along almost silently at motorway speeds, though company car buyers will be more tempted by the lower tax you get with the plug-in hybrids.

Driving the Volkswagen Touareg is pretty relaxing – despite its daunting size. You get a good view out and the light steering makes squeezing through tight spaces as easy as in any large SUV. If you spend lots of time driving in town, the optional four-wheel steering is well worth considering – it helps make the VW Touareg even more manoeuvrable by altering the angle of both the front and rear wheels to help you turn as tightly as possible.

The standard automatic gearbox changes gear smoothly and doesn’t jerk or stutter at slow speeds, though it can be a bit slow to respond when you put your foot down on the motorway, though the Touareg is incredibly quiet and comfortable when driving at higher speeds.

And that’s where much of its appeal lies, coupled with the spacious cabin and boot. It’s just a shame that the Touareg is a similar price to posher alternatives such as the Audi Q7 and BMW X5.

As a result, you’re going to want to head over to Carwow’s Volkswagen Touareg deals page to see how much you could save, or browse the latest used Touareg stock available from our network of trusted dealers. You can also check out other used Volkswagen models and when it’s time to sell your current car, Carwow can help with that, too.

How much is the Volkswagen Touareg?

The Volkswagen Touareg has a RRP range of £68,065 to £72,530. However, with Carwow you can save on average £4,408. Prices start at £63,806 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £572. The price of a used Volkswagen Touareg on Carwow starts at £25,495.

Our most popular versions of the Volkswagen Touareg are:

Model version Carwow price from
3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion Black Edition 5dr Tip Auto £63,806 Compare offers
3.0 TSI eHybrid 4Motion Elegance 5dr Tip Auto £64,714 Compare offers

The Volkswagen Touareg is priced at the lower end of the premium big SUV options, with its sub-£70,000 starting price around the same as you’ll pay for an entry-level Audi Q7 and BMW X5, with the Porsche Cayenne being a bit more and the Mercedes GLE a lot more.

However, the Touareg’s interior quality isn’t quite on par with those models, and is more closely matched with less expensive alternatives such as the Volvo XC90 and Lexus RX.

The Touareg trim line-up is simple, at least. The lowest specification is the Elegance, but this is only available with a plug-in hybrid engine. The Black Edition is better-equipped but actually starts at a (slightly) lower price because it’s offered with regular diesel and petrol engines. At the top of the range is the R, though this is about £10,000 more than the other models because it has a high-performance hybrid engine and extra kit.

Performance and drive comfort

Drives well, especially when fitted with air suspension, but not as fun as a BMW X5

In town

It’s a big old thing, the VW Touareg, but considering its size it’s reasonably manoeuvrable. Go for the optional rear-wheel steering and it’s even better, as the rear wheels help to make a U-turn in double-quick time.

You sit high, but not armchair-on-stilts high. So the driver has a good view out, but doesn’t look down on other cars the way you do in a Land Rover Defender. All-round visibility is pretty good, so you can see what’s behind you when reversing better than in some SUVs.

Every Touareg is an automatic, and while the gearbox could be quicker to respond, it’s very smooth. You glide along through stop-start traffic, and couple this with the incredibly comfortable way it goes over bumps – only entry-level Elegance models don’t get the excellent air suspension – you have a very relaxing way to get about town, despite its heft.

If you want to make your commute or school run emissions-free, take a closer look at one of the plug-in hybrid options, as these can run on electricity alone.

On the motorway

Motorways are home sweet home as far as the Touareg is concerned. Whichever engine you go for you’re not short of performance, even when the car is loaded up with people and luggage. If you have a trailer or horsebox to pull then the diesels in particular make great tow cars, with lots of muscle for towing heavy loads.

The car wafts along like a high-rise limo, even on the standard suspension you get with Elegance cars, but go for a model with air suspension and it’s even better. It’s comfortable to rack up miles in and there’s very little wind and road noise to contend with. It’s all very relaxing indeed.

The only real downside is the lethargic gearbox, which can be slow to respond when you put your foot down. It’s smooth at a constant speed, but if you need to accelerate to pull off an overtake it can take a moment to drop a couple of gears and deliver the power, which is mildly frustrating.

On the plus side you get adaptive cruise control as standard, which means you can set a target speed and the car will automatically slow down and speed up to keep a steady distance to the car in front.

On a twisty road

Turn off the motorway onto an empty back road and the Touareg handles well for such a big and heavy car. It doesn’t have the agility of a BMW X5, but it corners with poise by big SUV standards. It’s just not very exciting and does nothing to encourage you to have fun on a twisty road, even if you put it in sport mode. There is the more powerful Touareg R, though, if you want the best-handling version.

The steering is precise, and body lean isn’t excessive even if you arrive at a bend a little faster than you meant to. Bumpy roads won’t upset your passengers too much – again, cars with air suspension are even better than those with the standard set up.

Every Touareg is a true 4x4, which is a big plus if the weather is wet or wintery. If the twisty road turns into a twisty track, the Touareg can handle itself. It’s not as able as a Land Rover Discovery when the going gets really tough, but pulling a horsebox over wet grass shouldn’t be a problem.

Space and practicality

Lots of space for people and luggage, but no seven-seat option

You step up into the Touareg, but you won’t need a step ladder. The seating position is not as lofty as in a Land Rover Discovery or a Range Rover, and the seat isn’t all that high from the floor on its lowest setting.

The result is that it feels like you’re driving a big Golf hatchback, rather than an SUV, which will appeal to some but if you want that commanding driving position then alternatives will appeal more. There’s a good range of adjustment in the wheel and seat, though, so you should be able to find a comfortable driving position in the Touareg.

Storage is well taken care of, with the exception of the surprisingly stingy space under the driver’s armrest. There’s a lidded storage tray at the base of the centre console, and the glovebox is disappointingly small. You also get a second mini glovebox to the right of the steering wheel. The door bins are very large, with room for a flask to fit inside.

There are two cupholders between the front seats, with a third smaller cupholder sandwiched between the two for holding an espresso.

Space in the back seats

Plenty of SUVs of this size have space for seven, but the Touareg can only seat five. That’s bad news for big families, but because Volkswagen hasn’t had to split the available space between three rows of seats there’s loads of spare room in the back. Even with a panoramic sunroof there’s plenty of headroom, and legroom is more than generous. There’s space for passengers to put their feet under the seat in front so they can really stretch out.

If you have three rear passengers, whoever is in the middle will be perched up a little higher than those on either side, but it’s certainly not an uncomfortable space to sit.

There’s an armrest which folds down out of the middle seat back when it’s not in use. But it’s annoying that there’s no cover for the twin cupholders, as the plastic digs into your elbow.

Boot space

You get lots of room for bags in the Volkswagen Touareg. Again, it helps that Volkswagen hasn’t needed to squeeze in a third row of seats.

In terms of pure capacity, nothing gets close to the Touareg’s 810 litres of capacity. The Porsche Cayenne is the biggest alternative at 770 litres, followed by the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE at 740 and 730 litres respectively. Everything else has less than 700 litres.

It’s worth noting that plug-in hybrid models have less space, and for the Touareg that means 655 litres. However, that’s bigger than equivalent alternatives, with the Cayenne dropping to 645 litres, the X5 to 500 litres and the GLE to 490 litres. The Volvo XC90 enters the discussion here, because although the regular model only gets 680 litres of space, the hybrid doesn’t lose much at 640 litres.

The Toureg’s boot opening is nice and wide and there’s hardly any load lip to lift your luggage over. Volkswagen has put some thought into getting the most out of the space, with tie-down points and hooks for holding bags upright.

Levers either side of the tailgate fold the seats down, though you’ll need to run around to the rear doors and give the seats a shove to lock them into position. Doing so opens 1,800 litres of space, which is surprisingly less than you get with the Mercedes, Volvo and BMW (but still a pretty big area to work with).

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Stylish and high-tech, but not as well finished as the best premium SUVs

When does the motoring mainstream end and the premium brands begin? We pose the question because the Touareg seems poised a little awkwardly in the middle. It’s not as posh as an Audi or Mercedes, but it’s arguably more upmarket than a Hyundai or Kia.

Having some badge appeal without being snobby serves Volkswagen well with the likes of the Golf, Passat, and Tiguan. But with a price tag of well over £60k, the Touareg is stretching into snootier territory.

It doesn’t help that the cabin can’t quite match the showroom appeal of the Audi Q7’s or the Mercedes GLE’s. It’s an off-the-peg number at a price that many expect haute couture.

There are some scratchy plastics on the doors, and some of the trim looks and feels a bit ordinary compared with the best luxury 4x4s. The plastics on the top of the dash are much better, and the higher up the range you go the nicer the cabin looks. It’s a plush interior by most standards, it’s just that similarly priced cars are even better.

Pre-2023 models had smaller screens, but the latest version has a 12.0-inch digital driver’s display and 15.0-inch infotainment screen as standard, which comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is pretty slick overall, but you now get Volkswagen’s weird touch-sensitive steering wheel buttons that are tricky to use and there are no physical climate control buttons.

MPG, emissions and tax

There are five engines to choose from, with one petrol, two diesels and two plug-in hybrids, all of which utilise a 3.0-litre combustion engine, eight-speed automatic gearbox and come with all-wheel drive.

The petrol is the most powerful non-hybrid with 340hp, but its fuel economy suffers at 25.7mpg. The diesels make 231hp and 286hp, though both return 34.4mpg on the official tests. In the real world it’s likely that the less powerful model will return better economy, but during our time with the more powerful version we got close to the official figures with 32mpg, which is pretty good.

If you have a place to charge, the plug-in hybrids will be the most economical, but it’s important to note that the official economy figures of more than 120mpg won’t be achievable if you do a lot of motorway miles or don’t keep the batteries charged. They are the most powerful options too, with 381hp and 462hp, the latter only being offered in the sporty R trim.

Because the Touareg range costs well over £40,000, even if you go for the entry-level model, there’s extra Vehicle Excise Duty to pay in years two to six. Company car buyers will want one of the plug-in hybrid models as these come with the lowest benefit-in-kind tax.

Safety and security

The Touareg earned the maximum five stars when it was tested by Euro NCAP’s safety experts in 2018, but tests have become stricter since then. It scored 89% for adult occupant protection, 86% for child occupants, 72% for pedestrian protection and 81% for its safety assistance systems.

Every car comes with an active bonnet that lifts up in a collision with a pedestrian to prevent them hitting the engine. Step up to the Black Edition and you get an automatic parking system, too.

Reliability and problems

The Touareg presents a mixed picture in reliability surveys. It does very well in some, and not so well in others. But we’re not hearing of many problems with the current generation, which has been on sale since 2018. If you want cast-iron reliability, a Lexus RX is tough to beat, but you shouldn’t expect much trouble from a Touareg.

Like other Volkswagens, the Touareg comes with a three-year warranty. There’s no mileage restriction for the first two years, but a 60,000-mile limit applies in the third year, so it’s nowhere near as generous as Kia and Hyundai in particular.

Buy or lease the Volkswagen Touareg at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £68,065 - £72,530 Avg. Carwow saving £4,408 off RRP
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