Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI review
* Updated diesel engine driven * On sale now * Price from 41,770-44,295...
What is it? Volkswagen has updated the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine in its big Touareg SUV.
Power is up 6bhp to 242bhp, yet the engine is slightly cleaner and more efficient enough to drop most versions two company car tax bands and squeeze an extra mile or so out of each gallon of fuel.
What's it like to drive? You won't be left wanting for performance. In town the engine is punchy enough to let you nip into gaps in traffic, while a twitch of your toes is all that's needed to get up to speed on faster roads.
Refinement also impresses. There's a slight engine rumble and a bit of wind noise from the door mirrors, but even the most timid talker will barely have to raise their voice to hold a conversation.
We drove the Escape model, which has a slightly higher ride height than standard cars and delivers a comfortable ride. True, it's firmer when you switch from 'Comfort' to 'Sport' mode, but it's still bearable on all but the poorest road surfaces.
The Touareg handles well for a car of its size, too.
What's it like inside? As you'd expect from a car of this size, there's a lot of space for all five occupants. There's no seven-seat option, which is a little disappointing, but you do get a huge boot.
The quality of the interior is another strength. The lush leather seats will keep you comfortable on longer journeys, while the dash and door panels befit a car that costs more than 40,000.
There's also plenty of equipment as standard, including climate control, heated front seats, Bluetooth and a DAB digital radio. Cost options include four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof and TV reception.
Should I buy one?
If you're looking for a large 4x4 and don't need seven seats then the Touareg is definitely worth considering. This engine is particularly impressive, combining strong performance with relatively low running costs.
It averages 39.2mpg and emits 189g/km of CO2, whereas the equivalent Discovery can manage only 30.4mpg and 244g/km. However, we'd still go for the Land Rover because it's slightly more comfortable and quite a bit more practical.
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