The new Volkswagen Touareg
The new Volkswagen Touareg

The Volkswagen Touareg has built up quite a following in Ireland since it was first launched back in 2002. Now Volkswagen is back with a third generation of their flagship SUV, bringing the Touareg into a new era of technology and connectivity.

In engineering terms the new Volkswagen Touareg is more of a luxury liner than ever before, sharing underpinnings with high profile VW Group stablemates like the Bentley Bentayga, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and even the Lamborghini Urus!

The new Touareg belongs to the €60k+ club – Irish pricing starts from €66,245 – but it certainly looks it too. It’s moderately wider and longer than its predecessor with a new stately design that lifts it into a new realm among premium SUVs. The Touareg is big and imposing but wears its bulk well.

What’s it like inside the new Volkswagen Touareg?

The new Touareg is a technology showcase for the German brand with all the latest assistance systems, some of them appearing for the first time in a Volkswagen. The fit and the finish of the car is pristine with a high level of equipment and technology features on board including all the glamour of LED ambient lighting with 30 colours!

There’s also the option of the new Innovision Cockpit, a 12-inch digital instrument cluster that merges with the 15-inch TFT touchscreen of the new Discover Premium infotainment system. Communication, information, ventilation and entertainment is controlled from the screen, but I bemoan the loss of physical dials and switches for the ventilation controls. Still at least the screen is large enough to make it easier to find and tap what you need.

Impressive interior of the new Volkswagen Touareg!
Impressive interior of the new Volkswagen Touareg!

Volkswagen Ireland is selling the new Touareg in an entry trim and R-line Design, like the model tested (from €77,395). Equipment on the model tested included 20″ alloys, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, park assist, parking sensors and rear camera, lane keeping system, panoramic sunroof, R-line styling kit, Dynaudio sound system, electrically folding trailer hitch, and a head-up display.

The Touareg is a strict five seater and there is no seven seat option. It provides lounge like accommodation for occupants, though the middle seat passenger will have to fight more for legroom. The luggage capacity is now up from 697 to 810 litres with the rear bench seat up.

On the road in the new Volkswagen Touareg

Despite its increased length and width, the new Volkswagen Touareg is actually 106 kg lighter than its predecessor because of mixed material construction of aluminium and high-tech steels. On the road the Touareg certainly feels lithe and agile while the ride quality is superb and the refinement of premium quality. There is predictable body roll in corners but the grip and movement of the car is confidence-inspiring.

The new Volkswagen Touareg is a strict five seater
The new Volkswagen Touareg is a strict five seater

This SUV feels every inch the luxury liner from behind the wheel and it’s helped by a range of powerful V6 engines. The Touareg launched with two 3.0 V6 diesels (231 and 286hp) and a V6 petrol will join shortly (340hp) while a plug-in hybrid is in development also. All models come with an eight-speed automatic Tiptronic gearbox and 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

What’s that engine like?

My test car had the 3.0 V6 TDI with 286hp. This is a powerful match for the Touareg with up to 600Nm of torque making 0-100 kmh in just 6.1 seconds! A V6 diesel is also a bit of a treat with its own unique soundtrack. Of course, it does influence running costs for the vehicle. Motor tax for this model is €750 per year and over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 7.7l/100km. Gosh we had fun though!

Volkswagen has taken their Touareg into a new era, integrating new technology and modern exterior design with the timeless premium values of comfort, refinement and copious power. SUVs, especially luxury ones, are a big deal these days not just in Europe but other markets also. The Touareg crowns a complete SUV range for Volkswagen of the T-ROC, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and upcoming T-CROSS. Volkswagen has put their best foot forward in their new generation flagship SUV. The Touareg delivers everything you could wish for from a five seat, luxury SUV.

The new Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen has brought the Touareg successfully into a new era of technology and connectivity

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Volkswagen Touareg R-line Design 3.0TDI 4M 268hp DSG
 From €84,970 OTR (Range from €66,245)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel
286 hp
Torque: 600 Nm
6.1 seconds
Top speed: 235 kmh
Economy: 42.8mpg
CO2 emissions:
182 g/km
Motor tax: 
€750 per year

Rear seating in the new Volkswagen Touareg
Rear seating in the new Volkswagen Touareg