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.
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