The Touareg is cheaper to buy than many big 4x4s, plus you can expect a healthy discount. It won’t hold its value quite as well as the best premium-badged rivals, however.
The engines aren’t too bad on the fuel economy and CO2 emissions front, so running costs shouldn’t prove intolerable, although many alternatives, including the BMW X5, are more efficient and cost less in company car tax.
Insurance costs should prove lower than those of some competitors, but many rivals have longer service intervals than the Touareg’s 12 months or 10,000 miles.
Volkswagen Touareg equipment
All Touaregs are well equipped
A Touareg is unlikely to leave you wanting on the kit front, since all versions come with plenty of equipment. Entry-level SE models get dual-zone climate control, touchscreen sat-nav, leather trim, heated front seats, xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a DAB radio, cruise control and 19in alloy wheels. That’s a lot for the money, so it’s what we’d go for.
If you intend to regularly head off road, then pick an Escape model. These get upgrades such as a more sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, raised suspension, underbody protection and a bigger fuel tank.
The R-line versions swap these for larger wheels, lowered suspension, sportier looks, a panoramic glass sunroof and a powered tailgate. You’ll pay a lot for one of these, though, so stick with the other trims or spend the same amount on one of the Touareg’s more accomplished rivals from BMW, Land Rover or Volvo.
Volkswagen Touareg reliability
Few major reliability concerns
Major problems with a Touareg should prove few and far between because Volkswagen has a good reliability record. In our latest customer satisfaction survey, for example, VW was rated one of the most reliable of all the manufacturers tested.
Every Touareg gets a conventional three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard, while the paintwork is covered for three years and the body for 12. Extended warranties are available, up to a maximum of five years or 90,000 miles. They’re not cheap, though, so unless you’ll be working your Touareg really hard, you can probably do without.
Volkswagen Touareg safety & security
Misses out on the latest safety systems, but otherwise good
Every Touareg has stability control, six airbags and an automatic post-collision braking system to help keep you safe. All models also have a trailer-stabilisation system and tyre pressure monitoring as standard, along with Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats. You even get a first aid box and a warning triangle.
You can add a driver’s knee airbag and rear side airbags as an optional extra, although many newer rivals offer more high-tech collision-avoidance systems.
Euro NCAP has yet to crash test this generation of Touareg.
Security kit includes an alarm, and security experts Thatcham awarded the Touareg five out of five for its resistance to being stolen and four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.
This entry-level Touareg is a good choice, and the one we’d most readily recommend. It comes with plenty of kit, including dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, leather upholstery, xenon headlights and all-round parking sensors.
Need to take your Touareg off road? Then opt for this Escape version. It features underbody protection, raised suspension, an upgraded four-wheel-drive system and a locking rear differential. It’s offered only with the more powerful of the two diesel engines.
The flagship Touareg gets sportier looks inside and out, a panoramic glass sunroof, a powered tailgate, and keyless entry and engine starting. It commands a substantial premium, though, so unless you really like the looks or are sold on one of its additional features, stick with the cheaper and more comfortable SE version.