Road Test: Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI 262 R-Line
Sector: SUV Price: £48,405 Fuel: 42.8mpg CO2: 174g/km
With an all-new Touareg at least two years away, Volkswagen has given the current model a gentle refresh to maintain interest. When the headline changes include increased lumbar support for the front seats, you know not to get too excited, but there’s still plenty to like in this big SUV.
Never a car to shout about its talents, the Touareg maintains its ‘below the radar’ approach, offering a big, handsome SUV package at prices which undercut rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5.
Tested here in top-of-the-range R-Line trim with the more powerful 262PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel (a 204PS unit is also available for £1,500 less), this Touareg costs a smidge over £48,500 – a lot of money for a Volkswagen but, also, a lot of car for the money.
As before, drive is channelled to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and it’s as refined and punchy as ever. It will never compete with the creamy twin-turbo V6 and V8 diesels in some luxury SUVs, but it does a great job of hauling the big VW around.
Riding on big 20-inch wheels and with stiffer suspension specific to the R-Line model, the Touareg maintains its composure during cornering, with little in the way of body roll. However, the trade-off for this stiff suspension is a sometimes crashy ride on broken road surfaces.
To look at, there’s little difference between new and old Touaregs – changes include revised bumper and grille, some new wheel designs and bi-Xenon headlights fitted as standard. Inside, changes include the aforementioned seats and some new trim options. It’s still a big, comfortable cabin and the standard panoramic glass roof floods the interior with light while the high seating position and comfortable seats make long journeys a breeze.
The next generation Touareg will employ weight saving architecture and ever more advanced engines, but in the meantime this model retains an appeal for those in need of a big SUV – and some attractive finance options will continue to ensure this is the case.