By Alexi Falson, 28 Jul, 2021
Review - Volkswagen Touareg
AF By Alexi Falson September 30, 2021
There have never been more options in the world of large SUVs for Australian buyers, which can ultimately prove as much of a burden as a benefit.
With so many new entrants flooding the SUV market, it can be difficult to separate the good from the great, and when you’re talking about a transaction of this size, you deserve to have confidence in your purchase. The Volkswagen Touareg has, for a number of years, been an absolute powerhouse in the world of large SUVs, taking the fight directly to its European competitors while often undercutting them on price.
The problem for Volkswagen, though, is that the brand known for undercutting competitors is now being undercut itself, by the likes of improved Japanese models and all-new models from Korea that often match the Touareg on paper. With all this in mind, how well has the latest generation VW Touareg asserted itself in the crowded lineup of large, premium SUVs?
Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $81,490
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Volkswagen Touareg (CR MY21) Specifications
|Variant||V8 TDI WOLFSBURG EDITION|
|Transmission||8 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 32 valves|
|Engine RPM||4250 / 1750|
|Fuel tank size||90.0|
|Fuel usage specs||7.5 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
How Much Does It Cost?
The Volkswagen Touareg lineup kicks off from $81,490 for the entry-level Touareg 170TDI. From here, the range moves to the mid-range 210TDI Elegance for $99,490 and the 210TDI R-Line, which brings the price tag to $108,490. Finally, the Touareg range tops-out in the form of the V8 TDI R-Line, which is priced from $136,490. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
The entry-level 170TDI can be optioned with Volkswagen’s Innovision Package, which adds $8,000 to the price, while the Sound & Comfort Package adds another $8,000. The 210TDI and Elegance and R-Line can also be optioned with the same Sound & Comfort package for $6,500. The range-topping V8 TDI R-Line can be optioned with a panoramic sunroof for $3,000, as well as a premium paint finish for $2,100.
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What Features Does the Volkswagen Touareg Have?
Volkswagen’s entry-level Touareg 170TDI comes riding on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels, and receives premium features like a set of LED head and tail lights, Vienna leather upholstery with heated seats up front, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, as well as a powered boot lift and a 9.2-inch infotainment system packed with satellite navigation, wireless smartphone charging and four USB ports.
Moving to the 210TDI Elegance adds a set of 20-inch alloys, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, as well as an upgraded 15-inch infotainment screen, IQ Matrix LED headlights, heads-up display, ambient lighting, headlight washers, air suspension, LED tail lights, Savona leather upholstery and a set of ventilated, heated and massaging front seats. The 210TDI R-Line, on the other hand, gets a set of 20-inch R-Line alloys, active roll stabilisation, R-Line bodywork, tinted windows, R-Line Savona leather upholstery, stainless steel pedals and a heated R-Line steering wheel.
Finally, Volkswagen’s range-topping V8 TDI R-Line rides on a set of 21-inch alloys, and receives a night vision package, as well as four-zone climate control, heated rear seats, surround-view camera, parking assistance and a premium sound system from Dynaudio.
Vienna leather upholstery
9.2-inch infotainment system
Adaptive cruise control
Powered boot lift
IQ Matrix LED headlights (210TDI Elegance)
20-inch alloys (210TDI Elegance & R-Line)
Air suspension (210TDI Elegance)
12.3-inch digital driver’s display; upgraded 15-inch infotainment system (210TDI Elegance & R-Line)
Heated, ventilated and massaging seats (210TDI Elegance)
R-Line bodywork (210TDI R-Line)
21-inch alloys (V8 TDI R-Line)
Night vision (V8 TDI R-Line)
Volkswagen Touareg Colours
|Pure White||Aquamarine Blue Metallic|
|Malbec Red Metallic||Deep Black Pearl Effect|
|Antimonial Silver Metallic||Silicon Grey Metallic|
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
As you might imagine, as one of Volkswagen’s flagship vehicles, the Touareg is an absolute pleasure to drive, and sets an exceptionally high bar for its competitors to match when it comes to overall comfort and refinement of the chassis. Performance depends largely on which engine you’re opting for, with the entry-level diesel unit producing more than enough power for the average Australian family, and the V8 TDI unit producing far, far more than is ever necessary; it’s actually the most powerful SUV that Volkswagen has ever made. As a result the performance of the Touareg when it comes to acceleration ranges from perfectly acceptable to downright madness, depending on your choice.
Power is sent to all four-wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which works well in making shifts feel seamless while continuously delivering power to the wheels. Around town, piloting the Touareg is like driving a large, comfortable lounge room with a seemingly never-ending amount of power. Luckily, it’s been fitted with brakes powerful enough to slow its sheer size and weight down in a hurry. On the topic of proportions, for drivers new to the world of large, family-sized SUVs, driving through tight car parks and navigating rush-hour traffic might be intimidating, but the Touareg is no more difficult to drive than any of the other large SUVs on the market; it’s just a reality of living with a huge SUV.
Perhaps the greatest part of the Touareg as a complete driver’s package, though, is largely down to its suspension and ride quality. While all that power is great at getting you up to speed, the suspension works tirelessly in the background keeping all that weight under control, and dealing with the worst that Australian roads can throw at it. The result of Volkswagen’s wizardry is a refined and highly-capable suspension design that seemingly transforms to magic when the air suspension is fitted to the 210TDI models and above. If your budget can stretch out to the mid-range model with the air suspension, we think this investment will pay dividends down the line.
For those looking to tow large objects for a weekend away or a holiday roadtrip, the Volkswagen Touareg has a braked towing capacity rated at 3,500kg, matching some of the industry’s heavy-weights when it comes to towing ability.
Overall, then, the Touareg is an exceptionally well-engineered and capable family SUV that doesn’t shy away from its large, imposing presence, especially with the V8 fitted. The power delivery, transmission and ride quality are all outstanding, even in the entry-level variant, although the addition of air suspension really makes the mid-range variants stand out from the crowd in terms of driving comfort and refinement.
Is the Volkswagen Touareg Practical and Spacious?
While its size might make the process of driving around town a little bit more of a worry than you’re used to, the Touareg’s proportions translate to a massive, spacious and practical cabin filled with luxurious touches for your family. In the front of the cabin, you’ll find a heap of forward visibility, which gives the driver added confidence, while the huge amount of width in the cabin means you can stretch out as far as you’d like to get comfortable. The driving position and steering wheel are fully adjustable, with the seats offering memory functions so large and small drivers can find their preferred configuration at the touch of a button.
Upgrading to the mid-range variants with the Innovision package adds a huge 15-inch infotainment system to the centre console, with a 12.3-inch digital display for the driver. The remainder of the console weaves between the central screen, offering a large amount of storage and cupholders between the driver and front passenger, as well as large door bins for water bottles and other loose items. Moving to the rear of the cabin, you’ll find a huge bench seat that gives passengers in the second row a huge amount of both leg and head room. Even the tallest of adults will not have a problem getting comfortable in the Touareg’s rear seats, which makes it a perfect addition to your garage if you’re looking for a comfortable family car. On longer trips, those in the rear receive their own adjustable climate control system, and USB chargers.
Moving to the rear-most of the Touareg, and you’ll be pleased to find a massive 810L of boot space, which is actually 40L more than you’ll find in the equivalent offering from Audi and more than 200L larger than a BMW X5. This 810L expands to 1,800L with the rear seats folded-down, making the Touareg more than capable of swallowing-up large amounts of cargo and sports gear.
All up, then, it’s clear to see that the Volkswagen Touareg will have absolutely no problems in accommodating a family and their belongings, so long as you’re looking for a five-seat SUV, rather than a seven-seater. It’s worth noting that the Touareg is offered exclusively in a five-seat configuration, with Volkswagen pointing those in need of a seven-seat SUV in the direction of the Touareg AllSpace. As a complete package, though, the Touareg is near faultless when it comes to occupant space and practicality, and sets a high standard for its competitors to meet.
Is the VW Touareg Safe?
The Volkswagen Touareg has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 89% for adult occupant protection and 88% for child occupant protection. It also racked up scores of 72% for vulnerable road user protection and 78% for safety assistance technologies when it was tested back in 2018. Since those tests, though, Volkswagen has packaged in more active safety technologies free of charge, meaning the entry-level variants gain autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist, as well as front cross-traffic assist, emergency assist and adaptive cruise control.
As a result of all the safety tech included in the package, the Touareg is one of the leading large SUVs in Australia when it comes to keeping your family safe.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
With three engines available, there are three different fuel economy ratings for the Touareg range, with the most efficient of all, the entry-level 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel in the 170TDI rated at 6.8L per 100km on a combined cycle. Surprisingly, the significantly more powerful 210TDI has also been officially rated at 6.8L per 100km, although it’s figures are more likely to climb in real-world driving above the 7, and even 8L mark. Finally, the range-topping V8 TDI is rated at 7.5L per 100km, which is actually pretty impressive considering its capacity, power output and the sheer size and weight of the Touareg as a whole.
Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Touareg Worth it?
If you’re looking for a sophisticated, stylish and comfortable family SUV, the Volkswagen Touareg is more than deserving of a spot on your shortlist. In reality, the range-topping V8 TDI is rather excessive when it comes to everyday driving, although no one will deny just how powerful it is.
The sweet-spot of the Touareg range sits in either the entry-level 170TDI or the mid-range 210TDI Elegance or R-Line, with both variants coming feature-packed with equipment, a powerful engine, and that magical air suspension that makes every drive a relaxing, refined affair. If you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
12-month or 15,000km service intervals; three-year servicing package is priced at $1,350 while a five-year plan costs $2,500
Five star ANCAP safety rating
Fuel economy ranges between 6.9L - 7.5L per 100km
810L of boot space; expands to 1,800L with rear seats folded
Magic air suspension provides remarkable ride qualities
Hugely powerful engine options
Massive, spacious and practical cabin for families
Expensive options list, particularly for already pricey range-toppers
Entry-level model lacks infotainment tech of mid-range variants, despite price
Five-seater; Touareg Allspace is available for those in need of seven seats
Volkswagen Touareg Competition