Volkswagen Touareg R review

Category: Sports SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid
Available colours:
Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 wheel detail
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  • Volkswagen Touareg R Hybrid 2021 front
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  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 wheel detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 right panning
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 front right static
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 headlight detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 rear lights detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 seats detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R Hybrid 2021 front
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 rear cornering
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 RHD interior
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 RHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 wheel detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 right panning
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 front right static
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 headlight detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 rear lights detail
  • Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 seats detail
RRP from£71,995
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

It might come as a surprise that the Touareg R costs roughly the same to buy as a Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the Volkswagen comes with far more kit as standard. As well as those Matrix LED headlights and the infotainment gadgetry, you also get the 22in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, heated and cooled front seats, and four-zone climate control with separate controls for those sitting in the back.

In terms of running costs, Volkswagen claims that the Touareg R should be able to return up to 95.2mpg, but as we mentioned earlier, you will have to plug it in on a regular basis to get anywhere close to that figure. For reference, when the battery was empty, we saw just 25mpg.

While its 29-mile pure electric range and relatively low CO2 output put it in a lower company car tax bracket than most regular sports SUVs (the majority these falling into the top tax bracket), our favourite plug-in SUV, the BMW X5 xDrive45e, with its staggering 54 miles of pure electric range, is cheaper still.

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 keep you out of trouble in the first place. 

As for reliability, Volkswagen 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.

Volkswagen Touareg R 2021 wheel detail

Overview

The VW Touareg R is comfortable, well-equipped and effortless to drive, but not sharp or engaging enough to be considered a true sports SUV. That leaves it in somewhat of a no man’s land. Put simply, those looking for a fast yet relatively frugal sports SUV would be better served by the similarly priced Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid, while those wanting a luxurious and well-rounded plug-in hybrid luxury SUV would be better off with the BMW X5 xDrive45e.

  • Well-equipped
  • Spacious inside for up to five people
  • Very quiet in electric mode
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Fussy infotainment system
  • Not very exciting to drive

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