Volkswagen Touareg review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, hybrid, petrol
Available colours:
Volkswagen Touareg 2021 RHD infotainment
Add to shortlist
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 rear seats
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 left rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front left static
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front seats
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 boot, seats folded
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 rear seats
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 RHD infotainment
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 left rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front left static
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 front seats
  • Volkswagen Touareg 2021 boot, seats folded
RRP £46,780What Car? Target Price from£43,312
Share review

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Volkswagen Touareg is a little cheaper to buy than the Audi Q7. Even the cheapest SE trim gets decent levels of equipment, including all the infotainment and visibility aids we've mentioned earlier, along with 19in alloy wheels, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, adaptive cruise control, auto lights and wipers, power-folding door mirrors, and two-zone climate control.

If you stick to that model to keep the cost down, the Touareg looks good value next to its rivals. SEL trim is also worth considering but requires a fair increase in outlay, while the higher trims push the price into the territory of far better and more recommendable rivals.

Official CO2 emissions from the petrol and diesel versions are higher than some rivals', but almost all rival luxury SUVs is in the same top 37% benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax bracket anyway, unless you opt for the Touareg R plug-in hybrid.

In terms of fuel economy, we managed to average around 37mpg on our mixed test route with the 3.0 V6 TDI 231, and 34mpg with the 3.0 V6 TDI 286. That’s about the same as you’d get out of the equivalent Q7, and better than a V6 diesel Land Rover Discovery will manage. You'll struggle to get much more than 27mpg out of the 3.0 V6 TSI 340 petrol.

The standard Touareg received a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, although there were issues over chest injuries for adults in the front, which gave it a lower adult occupancy score than many of its rivals, especially the Volvo XC90. Still, all things considered, it is a very safe SUV and comes with plenty of kit such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), driver attention monitoring, traffic sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance to help you stay out of trouble in the first place. 

As for reliability, VW came in 20th place out of 31 in the What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing above Audi, Land Rover, Porsche and Mercedes, but below BMW and Volvo.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Volkswagen Touareg 2021 RHD infotainment

Overview

The VW Touareg is practical for five people, has plenty of luggage space and is good value in the lower trim levels, but its interior quality and ride comfort lag behind rivals'. It also lacks the flexibility of seven seats. We recommend looking at the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery as better all-round packages.

  • Good value in lower trim levels
  • Spacious inside for up to five people
  • Excellent towing capabilities
  • Cheap-feeling interior plastics
  • Fussy infotainment system
  • No seven-seat option

Also consider

Range Rover Velar

2017 - present

A stylish, refined and a seriously appealing SUV

Lexus RX

2019 - present

The RX is comfortable and well equipped, but it's not as good...

Lexus RX L

2019 - present

Comfy and well built but hardly exciting

&...

Land Rover Discovery

2020 - present

Hugely capable and very desirable, and equally at home both on...