Finding a comfortable driving position in the Touareg is very easy. Both the steering wheel and driver’s seat have plenty of manual adjustment to ensure that, regardless of your shape, you’ll be well treated on board. This includes two-way adjustable lumbar support. You can add an optional powered 14-way seat with four-way lumbar adjustment (standard on the top R-Line Tech trim).
You may sit behind a familiar Volkswagen steering wheel, but things look very different to any of its other models when you cast your eyes across the dashboard. Unique, clear and classy instrument dials and a sizeable 9.2in touchscreen infotainment system are standard on SEL and R-Line. The analogue instruments can be replaced by digital dials on a 12.0in screen, which lets you configure the information shown in all sorts of ways, while a 15.0in infotainment touchscreen is also an option. Both are standard on R-Line Tech.
Unfortunately, neither of the infotainment systems are as easy to use as an X5's, which is operated far more easily on the go by a logical rotary dial between the seats. Stick to the standard system, though. Like all touchscreens, trying to hit icons while driving demands you take your eyes off the road, but at least with the 9.2in screen you get physical buttons beneath the screen for the climate controls. With the upgraded infotainment package the physical buttons disappear and everything is operated from via the screen, which means that it's even more distracting.
Yes, the air conditioning 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 some of the icons being too small to hit easily. Fortunately, you can configure the home screen to show the things you use the most, in the same way as you might on a smartphone.
Infotainment issues aside, you might also find the interior quality a disappointment for a luxury SUV. The steering wheel, gear selector and other areas, such as the dashboard and the tops of the doors, feature plenty of squishy materials, but your fingers don’t have to wander too far to find plastics that could have been lifted from the smaller VW T-Cross. These hard and scratchy surfaces feel very out of place at this price point.
Large windows mean you get a great view out, though. If you need a bit more help, SEL trim comes with front and rear parking sensors as standard, while R-Line adds a rear-view camera. All models come with LED headlights, which can be upgraded to adaptive 'Matrix' LED lights for an extra cost.