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Long-term review

Volkswagen Touareg - long-term review

£58,335 / £74,555 as tested / £613 PCM
Published: 09 Jul 2020


  • SPEC

    Touareg R-Line Tech



  • BHP


  • MPG


  • 0-62


Life with a VW Touareg: the practical ideas

It’s very often the smallest and simplest features that can help make one car more appealing than another. For instance, the ice scraper neatly concealed behind a Skoda’s fuel filler flap must cost pennies to manufacture but always made me smile when I was running a long-term Octavia. It’s clever ideas like this, along with careful speccing from the options list that can make a car feel special. Our Touareg is full of nice little design features and was beautifully specced by the VW Press Office. As we prepare to hand the car back to VW HQ next month, I thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the stuff that has made me enjoy my time with the Touareg so much.

The first thing everyone mentions upon stepping into the Touareg are the stunning screens. There’s a neatly laid out and formattable 12 inch digital instrument screen and another huge 15 inch infotainment screen alongside. Rather cleverly, you can barely see the join between the two which gives the illusion of one single 27 inch piece of glass. The infotainment system is incredibly intuitive to use and I love the way that it utilises Google Earth images for the navigation maps.

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It’s from this screen that you are also able to control the ambient cockpit lighting which offers 30 different colour options – I’ve got mine set to an electric blue but it’s nice to be able to change from time to time, even if at £350 on the options list it’s a relatively expensive bit of fun.

Another option on our car is the £1,520 night vision system. I’ve written about this previously and whilst it’s a clever piece of kit and the focus of a recent VW advertising campaign, I’ve barely used it and probably wouldn’t spec it if I were ordering a new Touareg.

In the recent hot weather I’ve been using the ‘active front climate seats’ to blow cold air around my nether regions – but I’ve only recently realised that this £1,050 option also includes a massage function which adds a little luxury.

On a more practical note, there is a huge amount of storage on offer. The boot gives 810 litres of storage with the rear seats up which is 40 litres more than the Audi Q7. Better still, you can pull the rear bench seats forward by simply grabbing a lever which gives even more boot space whilst keeping the seats in the upright position – though it does of course limit rear legroom. It’s worth noting that under normal circumstances the legroom is excellent and for those that want to get really comfortable, the rear seats can also be slightly reclined. Elsewhere throughout the car there are plenty of cubby holes for storage including a decent sized bin under the driver’s armrest, two large cupholders and a covered storage space that doubles as a wireless mobile phone charging pad. There are also some handy spaces under the boot floor which are ideal for storing my ever growing collection of supermarket ‘bags for life’. It’s just a shame that the glove box is miniscule – so small in fact that it cannot even accommodate the owner’s manual which is instead stored in a net on the passenger’s side of the centre console – a pretty inelegant solution if you ask me.

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Our test car was supplied with an optional £1,260 panoramic sunroof with an electric blind. It’s almost a metre and a half long and gives the entire cabin a light, airy feel. Well worth the money in my opinion - I just wish there was some clever way of opening more than the front third of the glass on a hot day.

One final little touch that made me smile recently. My 18 year old lad has been driven mad by the rear child locks. Eventually I pulled out the manual expecting to find some complicated way of turning them off, but instead discovered that they are controlled by a pair of switches on the driver’s door. This makes it incredibly easy to flip the locks on when there are kids on board and off when there aren’t. I love simplicity like this.

This might not be ground-breaking stuff but the Touareg is an incredibly well thought out family car and I’ve found it a joy to live with – particularly in the spec supplied on our test car.

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