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Long-term review

Volkswagen Touareg - long-term review

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


  • SPEC

    Touareg R-Line Tech



  • BHP


  • MPG


  • 0-62


Life with a VW Touareg: does a big SUV need 7 seats?

I can’t think of a single occasion when I’ve regretted not having a seven seater car. Larger families will disagree but I’ve never seen the point in lugging around all that extra weight on the off chance that someday half a football team might need a lift. It therefore doesn’t bother me that the Touareg is only available with five seats – and in any case, it remains a remarkably practical family car.

Audi’s seven seat Q7 is 19 cm longer than the VW, but offers 40 litres less boot capacity with the rear seats in place. What’s more, the Touareg’s boot capacity can be even further increased by simply pulling a lever and sliding the rear bench seats forward a few inches. Obviously this impacts rear passenger legroom, but the VW is generous in that department anyway with plenty of head and legroom front and rear - and it’s a nice option to have when you can’t quite fit everything in for that family weekend away.

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There’s also a decent amount of storage under the boot floor around the space-saver spare wheel. In the cockpit there’s a big storage bin under the driver’s armrest and a covered compartment which houses a wireless phone charging pad. In fact, the only element of the VW’s storage that doesn’t impress is the glove box, which is so miniscule you’d be pressed to keep more than a pair of gloves in there. This means that the leatherette owner’s manual is housed in a net on the passenger side of the centre console – which is a rather inelegant solution for a premium car like this.

As well as being practical and comfortable, the cabin has a nice airy feel – particularly with the £1,260 optional panoramic sunroof fitted, though I wish someone would come up with a clever way of opening more than just the front third of the glass on a hot day.

The Touareg works extremely well as a versatile luxury family car and deserves consideration alongside the Q7, X5, Discovery and others. If the seven seats are an issue, I imagine you’re already on your way to the Audi or Land Rover dealership – but if not the VW ticks all the boxes pretty firmly in my experience.

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