The interior layout, fit and finish
Finding a comfortable driving position in the Volkswagen Touareg is pretty easy, with both the steering wheel and driver’s seat offering plenty of manual adjustment. The SE trim doesn't include lumbar support adjustment, though, and the only way to add it is by ordering the expensive option of leather seats. A powered 14-way driver's seat, with four-way lumbar adjustment, is standard on R-Line Tech trim and above.
Unique, clear and classy-looking analogue instruments and a sizeable 9.2in touchscreen infotainment system are standard on lower trims. A larger, 15.0in infotainment touchscreen and digital dials (on a 12.3in screen that can be configured in all sorts of ways) are the default from R-Line Tech trim and up.
Unfortunately, neither of the infotainment systems is as easy to use as the BMW X5 set-up, which is operated far more easily on the go using its logical rotary dial between the front seats. We actually prefer the smaller screen you get with SE trim Touareg.
As with all touchscreens, trying to hit icons while driving demands you take your eyes off the road, but at least the 9.2in screen is accompanied by physical buttons for the climate controls. The upgraded infotainment package loses these in favour of icons on the screen, which are more distracting to use in motion. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are included as standard so you can use your phone's apps instead of Volkswagen's software if you wish.
You might also find the Touareg’s interior quality a disappointment for a luxury SUV. The steering wheel and gear selector are trimmed in leather, and the top of the dashboard and doors feature squishy materials, but your fingers don’t have to wander too far to find plastics that could have been lifted from the smaller Volkswagen T-Cross. These hard and scratchy surfaces feel very out of place at this price point, as do the fake metal trims, which add to a sense of cost-cutting. The Audi Q7 and BMW X5 knock spots off the Touareg for quality.
The large windows mean you get a great view out and, in case you need a bit more help when manoeuvring, all trims come with front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard. You also get LED headlights, which you can upgrade to adaptive Matrix LED headlights for an extra cost (these come as standard on the top Black Edition and the VW Touareg R models.
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