Used Volkswagen Touareg 2018-present review

What is it like?

Volkswagen Touareg
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What's the used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 like?

If you weren’t already aware, the Volkswagen Touareg, now in its third generation, is named after the Tuareg people of the Sahara desert. And while this used luxury SUV might not be capable of getting you and your own tribe across the desert, it will have no trouble on the motorway or in your local supermarket car park.

So far, there have been only three engines offered in the Touareg, two diesels and one petrol, all of them turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder units. The 228bhp and 282bhp diesels are a touch gruffer at idle than the equivalent engines in the Audi Q7, but they're smooth on the move and have plenty of power; in fact, the more potent version is more than a match for many a hot hatch. The petrol is far more quiet and even faster, but that comes at the price of higher fuel bills. Every Touareg can tow 3500kg and each engine comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that shifts without fuss but can be a little hesitant at low speeds.

All Touaregs have four-wheel drive, so traction from a standing start is never a problem. Grip levels are high and agility is impressive, particularly when the car is equipped with the more advanced air suspension and four-wheel steering setup. This turns the rear wheels slightly to help reduce the turning circle at lower speeds, which helps when parking. R-Line and R-Line Tech models are fitted with sports suspension that’s too firm, thumping over potholes in an undignified manner and jostling you from side to side on country roads that the Q7 would simply breeze down.

Wind noise is well suppressed at motorway speeds, but road noise is a touch louder than in rivals when the Touareg is fitted with 20in wheels.  

All looks quite flash inside, particularly when the car is equipped with the larger 15in touchscreen infotainment system and 12in digital information display. However, the fit and finish isn’t what you’d expect of a car the cost around £50,000 when new. There are inconsistent panel gaps in places and hard plastics used lower down; you don’t find either in the equivalent Audi. There is plenty of padding for your elbows, mind, and there lots of space for the driver and front passenger.

Rear passengers are also treated to lots of head, shoulder and knee room, plus enough space for feet under the front seats. You can also slide and recline the rear bench for greater comfort or fold them down in a flexible 40/20/40 split. The boot is big and the loading lip is shallow, but there are more practical luxury SUVs out there, because the Touareg doesn't offer the option of seven seats.

Entry-level SEL trim will suit most buyers, with 19in alloy wheels, leather trim, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, parking sensors front and rear, sat-nav, Apple CarPlayAndroid Auto, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and a 9.2in touchscreen infotainment system. R-Line models have bigger 20in wheels and sports suspension, a powered tailgate, four-zone climate control and a rear-view camera, while R-Line Tech gets you the upgraded 15in infotainment system, the 12in digital information display and electrically adjustable front seats with a memory function on the driver's side.

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