Volkswagen Touareg Review 2024

Volkswagen Touareg At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Volkswagen Touareg is a big, luxurious five-seater SUV that's been updated for 2023. You now get more equipment for your money as well as a wider range of engine choices. It's not cheap, though, while many buyers would prefer a premium badge.

+Excellent ride quality on air suspension. Comfortable, upmarket interior. You can now get a more affordable plug-in hybrid.

-Not really a budget alternative to the Audi Q7. Not available with seven seats. 2023 updates are relatively minor.

New prices start from £42,254
On average it achieves 90% of the official MPG figure

The biggest SUV in VW's now expansive line-up, the Volkswagen Touareg is a comfortable and slightly left-field alternative to the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and BMW X5. Recent updates are minor yet add to its appeal, while a strong engine line-up adds to its competitiveness. It's just a shame it's so expensive...

You'd struggle to spot the difference between the latest 2023 Volkswagen Touareg and a pre-facelift model. Cosmetic highlights are limited to a slightly brasher front end and an illuminated light bar on the back, incorporating a light-up VW badge - a first for the brand.

Inside, the big news is that the excellent (massive) 15.0-inch infotainment screen is now standard across the range. There's an additional 12.0-inch display alongside it, acting as an impressive digital instrument cluster.

There have been a few welcome upgrades to the cabin, too, in terms of interior finish. It's not that earlier Touareg models are lacking, but it's never been quite as posh as other premium SUVs inside. It's spacious and supremely comfortable, too, although you can't get a seven-seat Volkswagen Touareg. You'll need to look elsewhere if you've got a big family.

Volkswagen Touareg buyers today get a choice of engines: including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power. Don't bother with the petrol - it's very thirsty. The plug-in hybrids are more appealing, especially as you can now get the entry-level Volkswagen Touareg Elegance as a PHEV. This will, in theory, cover 30 miles or so under electric power alone - while there's a 3.0-litre petrol engine on hand for those longer journeys.

Don't dismiss the diesel, though, especially if you're planning to cover a lot of motorway miles or tow a caravan. It's still not massively efficient, but it's surprisingly refined and its torquey nature suits this big SUV well.

To drive, the Volkswagen Touareg is impressively comfortable - especially if you get one with the air suspension. A Porsche Cayenne or Range Rover Sport feels more agile, but the Touareg's soothing nature makes it an excellent companion on long journeys. You can get it with optional all-wheel steering, too, which helps with tight manoeuvring.

With prices starting from more than £67,000, we reckon most large SUV buyers will overlook the Touareg for glitzier alternatives. We wouldn't necessarily blame them but, if you're not fussed about the badge on the bonnet, the Volkswagen Touareg is now a more desirable choice than ever before.

Ask Honest John

Is swapping from petrol to diesel a good move?

"I am on the cusp of trading in a 2016 TSI VolkswagenTiguan (Mk2) for a 2018 TDI Volkswagen Touareg (Mk3). Putting the cash differential to one side (the Touareg is broadly twice the price of the Tiguan and they have done very similar mileage), is going from a 2016 petrol to a 2018 diesel a smart move? They are both fossil fuel cars so ‘satanic’ either way for some! "
While in some areas of the media/car community diesels are somewhat 'demonised' now, unless you regularly need to drive into cities well into the future we'd say it's a wise swap. You should be getting better fuel economy from a TDI Touareg than a 4Motion TSI Tiguan in most circumstances, so that benefits CO2 emissions, while the newer diesel such as the Touareg are a high enough emissions standard (greatly reduced NOx/particulates) to have no restrictions on them. In 5-10 years time? We can't say for sure that stricter regulations won't mean potential charges required to enter cities.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen Touareg cost?