The new Volkswagen Touareg Estate is comfortable enough on the road, but if you’re looking for a serious rough-and-ready off roader, it is away from the tarmac where this car excels.
With that said, the Touareg also houses a luxurious interior. It’s both classy and rugged and is competing with the likes of the BMW X5 and the Mercedes GLE for your cash. It’s the largest VW available at the moment, which means you get plenty of interior space, but it’s also the most expensive.
OSV finds out if it’s worth the money with our Volkswagen Touareg review.
Overview of the Volkswagen Touareg
On the road
VW have put comfort before on the road entertainment, so if it’s thrills and spills you’re after, it’s better that you look elsewhere.
There is only a single diesel engine available, but it comes in two separate power guises. Leading the charge is a 204bhp variant of a 3.0-litre power plant, which remains quiet even when you push it hard. This model offers plenty of grip, which ensures stability whenever you tackle bends. It’s powered by a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, and like all models in the range, it features four-wheel-drive. The 0-62mph sprint is taken care of in 8.7 seconds.
The 3.0-litre 262bhp is a better option if you want more pace and power. For such a big car, it’s quite astonishing that the engine is able to propel you from rest to 62mph in a matter of 7.6 seconds. If you pair this engine up with the Escape trim, you can boost that time to 7.3 seconds, thanks to the fact that the model has been enhanced for off-roading.
In truth, both diesel variants are tailor made for this hefty machine, with neither lacking in manpower. They also work well for everyday driving, too.
There are no petrol engines available, while the hybrid and V8 diesel variants have been missing since 2014 when they were dumped. As such, engine choice is a bit limited.
Handling is reasonably sharp – reasonably for such a big car anyway. It’s comfortable and pleasant to drive, if not spectacular.
Volkswagen Touareg interior, design and build
The interior is comfortable and well-built, which makes the car a very viable alternative to premium offerings in this market. Visibility is ensured by virtue of the fact that this car is just so tall, while noise insulation is kept to a minimum.
The steering wheel and driver’s seat are both adjustable, which is exactly what you’d expect from such an expensive car. In general, the interior is of top quality and is just another example of why Volkswagen are getting a lot of praise for their cabins at the moment.
The controls are all well laid-out and easy to use, but if we have one complaint, it’s that the dash is now showing very visible signs of ageing. Worse still, it doesn’t look as expensive as the price tag would suggest. If anything, the cabin is a better version of the one in the Passat.
We like the fact that the doors close with a solid clunk – it reassures you that this is a durable off-roader. Meanwhile, the seats are broad and hefty, and they’re easy to get comfortable in.
The dimensions are large, but frustratingly the interior manages to feel smaller than the numbers suggest. However, this is still a lot of interior space, with driver and passenger benefiting the most. Rear space is not terrible, but whoever draws the short straw will have to sit uncomfortably in the middle with a bulky transmission tunnel.
There are plenty of handy storage areas, such as a massive glovebox, while the boot measures 580-litres with all the seats up. Fold the rear seats down, and you can expand its size to 1,642-litres. It’s a useable boot, though, and can be slid backwards and forwards for more space.
Volkswagen Touareg Equipment
Standard equipment across the range is good, with the base level models getting 19” alloys, a leather interior, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, parking sensors, climate control, and a DAB digital radio.
The Escape trim is more off-road focused, and as such comes with off-road suspension and underbody protection. Opt for the R-Line and you get 20” alloys, keyless entry and a heated steering wheel.
The R-Line Plus finishes things off with 21” alloys, better interior materials, and Area View.
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Costs of the Volkswagen Touareg Estate
Prices for the new car start out from around £44,000 and rise to almost £50,000. If you prefer to leas, you can pick up a deal from as little as £310 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of running costs, Volkswagen have added their clever BlueMotion technology so that costs are kept down. They have ditched their hybrid model and shrunk their engine range so that it’s just a pair of diesels. This means there isn’t much to choose between them when it comes to fuel economy figures.
The less powerful of the two diesel engines is capable of returning 42.8mpg. The more powerful of the two offers the exact same numbers but is more performative. Should you decide to buy or lease a Touareg, your final choice, then, seems almost like a no-brainer.
The car will lose its value quicker than more prestigious models in the market, such as the Porsche Cayenne. It is forecast that the Touareg will hold onto around half of its original value after three years of ownership. Insurance-wise, the less powerful of the two diesels sits in group 40, while the more powerful is in 43.
Pros and cons of the Volkswagen Touareg Estate
The cabin is exquisitely made and is further evidence that VW are treating their buyers with a lot of love at the moment. There are no signs of cost-cutting at all here, and everything is logically laid out. It looks premium.
It looks chunky, but that’s part of this car’s hunky aesthetics. It’s rugged but handsome.
Excellent diesel engine
The diesel engine has so much power that it’s practically Goliath. VW needed to come up with something mighty to be able to lurch this car’s size forward without being overwhelmed, and they’ve delivered the goods. Muscular and pleasant to drive.
Can feel bulky
Off-road, it’s fine. But take this beast into town, and it’s going to feel every inch like a giant among insects. Trying to navigate tight corners will be a challenge. Are you up for it?
Lack of engine choice
Engine choice is really limited. The two diesel’s on offer are solid enough performers, but if you want more pace and something different, you would have to look elsewhere.
Volkswagen Touareg Estate vs. Audi Q7 Estate vs. Volvo XC90 Estate
Let’s see how the car measures up against its closest rivals in the comparison section of our Volkswagen Touareg Estate review.
Volkswagen Touareg Estate vs. Audi Q7 Estate
The new Audi Q7 is comfortable, luxurious and ever so quick. It can also boast one of the best interiors around right now.
The Audi team have shaved some weight off the Q7, which has boosted agility and speed. The entry level 3.0-litre 215bhp diesel engine can get you from rest to 62mph in 7.3 seconds, and offers plenty of pulling power near the bottom of the rev range. As such, it gathers pace like a thoroughbred as it charges home.
We, however, prefer the 268bhp 3.0-litre diesel. It’s turbocharged (they both are) and covers the 0-62mph dash in a matter of 6.5 seconds. Paired up with a smooth eight-speed automatic ‘box, it remains refined and composed even when you push it hard.
There is a rapid hybrid model available, but if you just want pure power, we suggest that you take a look at the 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine. It delivers 429bhp and dusts off the 0-62mph dash in 4.9 seconds.
Running costs are kept relatively low by turbochargers while being lighter than before has also helped matters. The hybrid is obviously your best bet if good fuel economy figures are a huge priority of yours, and it can achieve returns of 156.9mpg. The entry level diesel, meanwhile, can return 48.7mpg.
The Audi Q7 Estate was never going to let you down when it came to the interior, and you can expect comfortable seats, plush materials, and a minimal dash design that is as contemporary as they come. External noise is kept to an absolute bare minimum, though it’s a tad disappointing that the base level variant misses out on the 12.3” virtual cockpit which is otherwise standard across the range.
The car’s dimensions are actually smaller than last time around, but Audi have thinned the seats and somehow managed to increase head and legroom. Interior storage space is good, and all seats come with ISOFIX child-seat mounting points. The boot, meanwhile, measures 295-litres.
Volkswagen – £44,000 – £50,000
Audi – £48,000 – £71,000
Volkswagen Touareg Estate vs Volvo XC90 Estate
The new Volvo XC90 Estate is a pretty good all-rounder in this sector. There is plenty of interior space available, while its cabin is comfortable and its engines efficient.
This isn’t really a fully fledged off-roader, even though it looks like one. More of a road-biased hefty estate, it grips well even on slippery surfaces and rides comfortably. It leans a bit if you approach bends with a bit too much enthusiasm, and the steering is so light that it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
There is no shortage of power in the engine range. The 225bhp D5 diesel unit will prove to be the most popular, and it isn’t hard to see why; it’s smooth, quiet and performs well.
The petrols, however, are more fun. We like the punchy 320bhp T6 power plant, which can get you from rest to 62mph in 6.5 seconds, ensuring that this hefty car feels quick. However, it does emit a grating noise that may prove to be off putting. A hybrid engine is also available.
The D4 diesel is your best bet if running costs are at the top of your list of priorities. It can return 54.3mpg. It must be said that this is in two-wheel-drive form – in four wheel drive, fuel economy drops to 49.6mpg.
The interior is slick and stylish, and benefits from advanced technology that may look daunting at first, but which is actually really easy to operate. The highlight of the dash is its new infotainment screen which looks like a portrait. It’s super intuitive and will be explained to you thoroughly in a Volvo dealership.
The cabin is swathed in space, with Volvo somehow managing to create even more room that last time. The boot measures 451-litres of space, which can be improved to 1,951-litres if you fold down the rear seats.
Volvo – £46,000 – £64,000
Verdict of our Volkswagen Touareg Estate review
Considering that this car shares its underpinnings with the Porsche Cayenne but costs considerable less to buy, it represents pretty awesome value for money. Unlike some rivals, it lacks the option of seven seats, but if all you need is room for five people and a whole lot of luggage, the new Volkswagen Touareg Estate is a stylish, practical choice.
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