The Touareg is almost as easy to manoeuvre as a VW Golf. The steering is accurate enough to make it easy to thread through tight city streets (helped by the excellent view from the high driving position), while on quick A-roads there’s little body lean and the car feels agile and nimble.
The Touareg is only available with diesel engines – buyers get two 3.0-litre models to choose from.
The basic car offers 204hp and 332Ib ft of torque. It’s the latter figure that is of most relevance in a car like this and allows the VW to get from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. Fuel economy comes in at 42.8mpg, while CO2 emissions of 172g/km.
Accurate steering, grippy four-wheel-drive and minimal body roll mean the VW can hold its own on a country road
Go for the more powerful model (with 262hp and 423Ib ft of torque) and running costs go up slightly – fuel economy now sits at 40.9mpg – but, as it shaves more than a second off the 0-62mph time, we think it’s worth the extra cost.
The biggest problem for the Touareg is the competition. A new Q7 fitted with a 272hp diesel engine is not only quite a bit quicker than the VW, 0-62mph takes 6.5 seconds, it is also cheaper to run thanks to an official fuel economy figure of 47.9mpg.
The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox offers smooth changes, but it can be slow to change down gears for fast overtakes. Although you can always change down using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
Unlike some of its rivals (the X5 sticks out here), the Touareg is a handy off-roader thanks to a switch that lets you set up the car for a variety of off-road conditions. All models also come with hill descent, which allows the car to safely tackle steep inclines.
Thanks to being a heavy four-wheel-drive drive, all Touaregs have an impressive maximum towing capacity of 3,500kgs.