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    • Value significantly improved for 2024
    • Impressive interior technology and layout
    • Ride and handling balance, even on steel springs
    • Some of the tech is still fiddly
    • New look is more anonymous from the rear
    • Explaining why it's the real deal to badge snobs
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    Volkswagen is once again nipping at the heels of BMW and Mercedes-Benz with its flagship Touareg SUV.

    The big, bad family hauler has been overhauled for 2024 with a new look, even more technology, and a sharper price than the car it replaces. That’s right, after industry-wide price hikes and feature removal, the Touareg signals a move in the opposite direction.

    On paper, the new Touareg shapes as a real luxury bargain thanks to its trick matrix LED headlights, a leather-lined interior featuring more big screens than a JB Hi-Fi runout clearance, and proper V6 turbo-diesel power on even the base model.

    It even shares core bits of its chassis with the Bentley Bentayga, which is esteemed company at this price point. But luxury isn’t experienced on paper. It plays out in the way things feel, and sound, and react on the road.

    Does the Touareg live up to its on-paper promise in the real world?

    How does the Volkswagen Touareg compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Volkswagen Touareg against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Volkswagen Touareg cost?

    The 2024 Volkswagen Touareg lineup has seen price cuts as well as increased specification across the range.

    Model$RRPPrice cut
    Volkswagen Touareg 170TDI$86,790$2450
    Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI Elegance$99,990$8250
    Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI R-Line$109,990$7550
    Volkswagen Touareg R$129,990N/A

    Prices exclude on-road costs

    To see how the Touareg lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

    What is the Volkswagen Touareg like on the inside?

    This is a big, comfortable car.

    It’s also an expensive-looking one, with a flashy dual-screen setup dominating the dashboard and open-pore wood trim that could have been lifted from an Audi.

    The fundamentals are excellent here. The driver and passenger sit in generously stuffed armchairs with heating, with acres of adjustment to dial in the perfect driving position for long trips.

    Massaging and ventilation are on offer higher in the range, and further reinforce the luxury vibes.

    Along with the death of the cheap-looking base infotainment system and analogue gauges from the last 170TDI, the Innovision screen setup has been treated to a few choice upgrades. The graphics have been polished, while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now wireless.

    CarPlay now takes up the whole screen, rather than sitting in an awkward little window. It looks great, but it’s strange that using the climate controls or seat buttons at the base of the screen blanks out that full screen display.

    Beyond that, the system is snappy to respond and easy enough to navigate. Most of the icons are big and colourful, so they can be spotted and prodded simply on the move.

    Volkswagen hasn’t killed the haptic steering wheel buttons in the Touareg, which means you’re still stuck with fingerprint-prone gloss black on the spokes – the sooner that goes, the better.

    The 12.3-inch digital driver’s display is crystal clear, and blends a range of thoroughly modern options with the option for classic-looking gauges. It’s also been massaged for 2024, with new colours and graphics on offer.

    With a storage bin under the dashboard (home to the wireless phone charger), cupholders on the centre console, a decent bin under the armrest, and spacious door pockets, there are plenty of nooks and crannies for snacks, devices, and keys on long road trips.

    As you’d expect of a hulking family SUV, the Touareg has acres of space in the rear. There’s enough legroom for lanky adults to sit behind lanky adults, and the front seats are set high to free up enough toe room for chunky winter boots.

    Top tether points feature on all three rear seats, and there are ISOFIX points on the outboard rear seats.

    Headroom is good, but the angled C-pillar does make it feel a bit tighter back there than maybe it needs to.

    Then again, it puts the mid-sized Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC in the shade for rear space – despite being priced in line with them, the Touareg is a more substantial car.

    The boot is a broad space, complete with remote releases for the rear seats and a luggage cover that slides automatically up when you pop the boot to make loading big items easier.

    DimensionsVolkswagen Touareg
    Height1718mm – 1757mm
    Wheelbase2894mm (170TDI) – 2888mm (210TDI)
    Boot space (seats up)810L
    Boot space (seats folded)1800L

    What’s under the bonnet?

    The 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in the Touareg 170TDI we drove hasn’t changed for 2024, nor has the more powerful 210TDI sitting above it in the range.

    Engine3.0L turbo V63.0L turbo V6
    Transmission8-speed auto8-speed auto
    Driven wheelsAWDAWD
    EV batteryN/AN/A
    Claimed fuel economy7.3L/100km7.4L/100km
    Observed fuel economy6.6L/100km (highway)N/A
    Fuel tank90L90L
    Towing (unbraked)750kg750kg
    Towing (braked)3500kg3500kg
    Gross Vehicle Mass2850kg2850kg
    Gross Combined Mass6350kg6350kg

    To see how the Touareg lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

    How does the Volkswagen Touareg drive?

    Big and relaxed on the open road, even the base Touareg is a lovely car in which to eat up the miles.

    We spent most of our time in the 170TDI on the highway, but we did also have a quick go in the city where the light steering and smooth-moving diesel engine make it easy to pilot.

    Ride quality on the base steel springs is good, keeping pimply city streets and harsh speed bumps out without too much trouble.

    Despite the chubby tyres that come standard on the base 19-inch alloy wheels, it doesn’t quite float through the world like more expensive models on their air suspension – but that’s a very high bar, and ultimately the blend of compliance and control on offer here is pretty damn good.

    The surround view camera makes it easy enough to place what’s a relatively big car in tight spaces, and the steering is direct enough that you’re not constantly twirling the wheel to squeeze into parking spots. It’s well equipped for the school run, which no doubt plenty of Touareg owners will be doing.

    Refinement is impressive. The 3.0-litre diesel V6 is whisper quiet at idle, and there hardly any vibrations or awkward noises in the cabin.

    It’s smooth off the mark, and has plenty of torque in the mid-range to surf around town for a luxurious, effortless feeling.

    On the highway it immediately settles into a relaxed cruise, ticking over barely above idle in eighth gear doing 100km/h.

    There’s minimal wind noise from the mirrors, and minimal road roar from the tyres which means you don’t need to raise your voice to chat with passengers, or turn up the radio to drown it out. That’s not always the case in European cars.

    Although it’s technically the ‘base’ engine, the 170TDI has enough of a punch to feel potent on the highway. Put your foot down and the smooth-moving eight-speed automatic transmission drops a gear or two to put you in the meat of the torque band, offering a solid shove in the back.

    Only when you really put your foot down to overtake at highway speeds is there a sense you’d want the more expensive 210TDI, such is the way it delivers its performance.

    As for the ride? The R on its air suspension has an extra degree of belligerent wafty-ness about it, but even this base model on its steel springs is a comfortable cruiser. It dispatches big bumps, and doesn’t do the awkward bouncing or bobbing thing some big, heavy cars can over highway crests and dips.

    Volkswagen’s adaptive cruise control is smooth and smart, maintaining a gap to the car in front with minimal fuss, and the active lane-centring function included as part of Travel Assist keeps you between the white lines without trying to wrench the wheel from your hands.

    What do you get?

    Touareg 170TDI includes:

    • 19-inch alloy wheels
    • Power tailgate with kick activation
    • Power-folding exterior mirrors with memory and auto-dip
    • IQ.Light HD matrix LED headlights
    • Innovision Cockpit
      • 15-inch touchscreen
      • 12-inch digital instrument screen
    • Satellite navigation
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
    • FM, AM, DAB+ digital radio
    • Wireless phone charging + 5 x USB-C ports
    • Heated, power-adjustable front seats
    • Vienna leather seat trim
    • 30-colour ambient lighting
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • Open-pore dashboard wood trim
    • Illuminated door scuff plates
    • Cargo management system for boot

    Touareg 210TDI Elegance adds:

    • 20-inch alloy wheels
    • Varenna leather seat upholstery (Blue, White interior optional)
    • Ventilated front seats
    • Massaging front seats
    • Auto-levelling air suspension

    Touareg 210TDI R-Line brings:

    • R-Line interior/exterior styling package
    • 21-inch alloy wheels
    • Puglia R-Line leather interior trim
    • Brushed stainless steel pedals
    • Stainless steel scuff plates with R-Line logo in front doors
    • Rear privacy glass
    • Rear-wheel steering
    • Active anti-roll stabilisation
    • Heated sports steering wheel
    • Brushed aluminium interior trim
    • Black headliner

    Is the Volkswagen Touareg safe?

    The pre-update Touareg had a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing carried out in 2018.

    It achieved scores of 89 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 72 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 78 per cent for safety assist functions.

    Standard safety equipment across the range includes:

    • Front, front-side, rear-side, front and rear curtain airbags
    • Autonomous emergency braking
    • Front cross-traffic assist
    • Blind-spot monitor
    • Rear cross-traffic assist
    • Adaptive cruise control with active lane centring
    • Dynamic road sign monitoring
    • Surround-view camera

    How much does the Volkswagen Touareg cost to run?

    Like the broader Volkswagen range, the Touareg is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Volkswagen Touareg
    Warranty5 years, unlimited kilometres
    Roadside assist12 months, extended with each scheduled service
    Service schedule12 months or 15,000 kilometres
    Three year service plan$1900
    Five year service plan$3500

    CarExpert’s Take on the Volkswagen Touareg

    The updated Touareg is Volkswagen doing what it does best – taking it up to the German luxury establishment, without demanding the same money.

    It looks and feels expensive, and there’s real talent to back up the premium feeling in the base 170TDI with its V6 diesel.

    Big, comfortable, and refined on the open road, it’s an impressive large family SUV. Under the skin, parts of this Volkswagen are shared with the Bentley Bentayga and Audi Q7, and that depth of engineering really does shine through.

    Throw in the fact it’s picked up extra equipment and been treated to a price cut for 2024, and it’s a seriously compelling alternative to more expensive mid-sized luxury SUVs from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Buy a Volkswagen Touareg
    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Touareg

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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    Overall Rating
    Cost of Ownership8.5
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    Fit for Purpose9
    Handling Dynamics8
    Interior Practicality and Space8
    Fuel Efficiency8.5
    Value for Money8.5
    Technology Infotainment9
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    Volkswagen MY23 $12,000 Bonus Offer.
    Drive away from $97,616
    $12,000 bonus
    For a limited time, receive a $12,000 Bonus* when you order your Touareg, ends 30th June 2024. Touareg 170TDI Driveaway from $97,616.
    Manufacturer's recommended driveaway price (MRDP) for new MY23 Touareg 170TDI 8-Speed Automatic purchased from 01/04/2024 and delivered by 30/06/2024. MRDP is an estimated price that includes the recommended retail price, 12 months of private registration, 12 months of compulsory third party insurance (CTP), an estimated dealer delivery charge, stamp duty, options entered during the configuration process, and other applicable statutory charges. Actual prices and stock availability will vary between locations and dealers, and on-road costs will vary according to individual circumstances. Please contact your local Volkswagen Dealer to confirm your individual price and vehicle lead-time. Excludes other offers. Volkswagen reserves the right to extend, withdraw or change all offers. Conditions and exclusions apply, see Your rights under this warranty are provided in addition to, and in some cases overlap with, consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law and do not limit or replace them.
    Refer to Manufacturer or Dealer website for more details.

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