This is the Volkswagen Touareg, it is the brand’s flagship SUV and competitors come in the form of the BMW X5, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Mercedes-Benz GLE. What’s worth highlighting is that since this new Touareg is built on the group’s MLBevo platform, it shares quite a few similarities with more expensive cars such as the Audi Q7, the Bentley Bentayga, the Lamborghini Urus, and the Porsche Cayenne.
The most stylish Touareg to date, this all-new model is a fine blend of muscularity and elegance. Large 21-inch alloys fill the wheel wells, while the big, vertical chrome grille lends it an identity that is unmistakably Volkswagen.
Our test car being the sporty R-Line model, gets a host of upgrades to differentiate it from the standard car, such as gloss black surrounds around the air intakes, unique bumpers in the front and back, body colored fender flares and side skirts, along with distinct R-Line badges on the fenders and grille.
Modern and luxurious, the cabin of the Volkswagen Touareg is covered in plenty of leather and soft touch materials, making it a very nice place to be. Cortina silver trim complements the piano black and dark leather we have, and since it’s the R-Line model we get contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats, center arm rest, gear lever, and carpets too.
The highlight of the cabin, however, is what Volkswagen refers to as the ‘Digital Innovision Cockpit’, combining a 15-inch infotainment screen with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display. Add them up and you’re looking at a 27.3-inch screen in front of the driver. Wasn’t it just a few years ago when we had 32-inch screens in our living rooms? Let that sink in…
In the back, there’s good amounts of headroom and legroom and the sliding and reclining second row makes sure occupants are just as comfortable as those in the front. The four A/C vents and dual zone climate control system add to rear seat comfort while 2 concealed USB charging ports mean you won’t be hearing any complaints from gadget-loving kids in the back.
Hitting heavy on the feature front, the new Touareg has a lot to offer to lure buyers away from the competition. A few highlights include a full-length panoramic roof that is the largest fitted to any Volkswagen to date, seat massagers that could quite possibly be the best in the business, a 30-color ambient lighting system, wireless phone charger, and soft closing doors.
On the safety side of things, the Touareg offers blind spot monitoring, self-parking assist, night vision assist, and full adaptive cruise control with lane keeping that does a great job of keeping the car in the center of the lane at all times.
The all-new Touareg is available with two engine options and what we have fitted to our tester is the larger, 3.0-liter turbocharged unit that produces 340 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. All this power is sent through an 8-speed automatic transmission to a permanent all-wheel-drive system that Volkswagen refers to as 4Motion.
Speaking of all-wheel-drive, the new Touareg is also fitted with all-wheel-steering meaning it is a lot more maneuverable and responsive than the model it replaces. Composed of 52% steel and 48% aluminum, the new Touareg’s has in fact lost a whopping 106 kilos despite being longer and wider than the older model.
The air suspension, which offers four ride heights to choose from depending on whether you’re driving on-road or off-road, does a great job of soaking bumps in the road and offers an extremely comfortable ride. With minimal road, and wind noise, comfort is the Touareg’s forte but if you wish to take it out of its comfort zone there are 7 drive modes to choose from including a Sport mode and an Off-Road mode as well.
As mentioned at the start of this review, the Touareg shares a lot of its components with pricier cars such as the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, and Porsche Cayenne. If you want a German SUV that is well built and packed with features there are plenty of options, but if you want the most affordable German SUV that is well built and packed with features then it would be difficult (if not possible) to better the full-option Touareg at AED 242,445 excluding VAT.
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