You may sit behind a familiar Volkswagen steering wheel, but things are very different should you cast your eyes across the dashboard. Conventional instruments and a sizeable 9.2in touchscreen infotainment system are standard, but these can be replaced by a 12.0in digital display and a 15.0in touchscreen.
While the 12.0in digital instrument cluster isn’t too far removed from the Digital Cockpit offered in the Tiguan, Passat and other Volkswagen models, the 15.0in infotainment system is something of a brave new world.
You see, Volkswagen has used this huge high-definition TFT touchscreen to all but banish the button from the Touareg’s dashboard. Changing anything from the temperature to the colour of the optional ambient lighting means poking at the big screen – something that isn’t always simple.
Yes, the air-con and seat heating/cooling controls may be easily accessible, but plenty of other functions require you to dive deep into menu after menu. Things aren’t helped by a few icons that are too small to hit accurately on the move. At least you can configure the home screen to show the things you use the most, just like for a smartphone. Even so, the screen is so heavily angled towards the driver that it makes controlling the system from the passenger seat a little awkward.
Although we suspect you’ll get used to the infotainment, you might find some of the interior quality a disappointment. The steering wheel, gear selector and other areas you touch regularly may feel good, but your fingers don’t have to wander too far to find plastics that could have been lifted from a Golf or Tiguan.
Yes, the dash and the tops of the doors get plenty of squishy plastic, but the majority of materials below the steering wheel are hard, scratchy and out of place on something that’ll cost north of £50,000 in most cases.
It’s a shame, because finding a comfortable driving position is very easy. Both the steering wheel and driver’s seat get plenty of adjustment to ensure that, regardless of your height, you’ll be well catered for. The seat goes high enough to ensure that even short folk to see the end of the bonnet.
Large windows mean you get a great view out. If you need a bit more help, you can get a suite of camera systems, including one for reversing and another to help you nose out of blind junctions safely.