2019 Volkswagen Touareg review – Superior to the Audi Q7? | What Car?

2019 Volkswagen Touareg review – Superior to the Audi Q7? | What Car?

Let’s imagine you’re in the market for a
large, luxurious SUV, but perhaps the mainstays of this class, for example the
Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne, even the Bentley Bentayga, you find a little too
pretentious. So you still want large, and
comfortable, and luxurious, but perhaps badge appeal is not your greatest
concern, the Volkswagen Touareg then could be the one for you. The Touareg is the largest SUV Volkswagen
makes and is the manufactures flagship model, it’s crammed full of the latest
technology and is intended to help Volkswagen compete with truly premium
rivals by offering a luxury experience for less. Can it succeed though? Well, in
this review we’ll tell you what it’s like to drive, how easy it is to live
with, how spacious it is, and how comfortable it is, and remember if you
would like to buy one at the end of this review, go to our New Car Deals section
where we can help save you thousands. First though, let’s see what it’s like to
drive. Diesel is the order of the day, as it is
with most cars in this class, and it’s the three-litre V6 that we recommend, in
particular the higher powered version because it makes overtaking and towing
an absolute dawdle. It sounds a little bit
grumbly at idle, but once you get going, and you’re cruising it definitely
smooths out. And if it’s not so much power that you’re interested in, then the
entry level 3-litre is just simply good enough. If you want the kind of
acceleration that welds your skull to the back of the headrest then there is a
4-litre diesel, but bear in mind it does also have the running costs to go with it. If you’re not doing the mileage to
warrant buying a diesel, then there is a 3-litre petrol V6 and if you fancy some
fast and frugal power, there’s a 362 brake horsepower plug-in hybrid. Whichever version you go for you get
four-wheel drive as standard and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is
mostly smooth. Although when you are pulling away from a standstill it can
feel a little bit hesitant, and if you’re accelerating hard or pulling out
to overtake, you can find it scratching its head a little bit. In that case, I’ve been using this
little downshift here so we’ve got full control of our gears when we want them. If you specify your Touareg with the optional
air suspension it feels relaxed on the motorway, allowing you to cover long
distances in great comfort. You can also raise to go off-roading or lower it for
easier entry and loading. We certainly think the air suspension is a must-have
option because we found the Touareg thumps over large bumps and jostles you
from side to side over broken roads without it. Now the Touareg is a large
car, so it’s no surprise that it leans a little bit in the corners. But it’s not
excessive, even without air suspension it doesn’t feel like a tall ship at sea, and
if you have ticked the box for air suspension you also get four-wheel steering, which
gives you a really good turning circle for driving around town, and greater
stability when driving at speed. The Touareg’s interior is different to what
you’ll find in other Volkswagens, no surprise perhaps given that it’s the
brand’s flagship car. Conventional instruments have been replaced by this
configurable screen and in top spec you’ll find a massive 15-inch
touchscreen infotainment system as well. In many ways having this large screen is
a big moment for Volkswagen because it’s got rid of virtually every other single
button that you would expect to find in a car. On the downside though just to
adjust some simple settings such as, the climate control, or some of the seat
settings, you’ve got to go through menu after menu just to try and find what you
want to do! And if you’re on the move it
can be a little bit tricky and it’s angled towards the driver so asking your
passenger for help might not be so convenient either. On the plus side though,
you can configure it like your mobile phone so you’ve got regular items that
you need access to often. Elsewhere interior quality is a bit of a
disappointment, granted the items that you touch often such as the steering
wheel and the gear selector do feel very premium and good quality, but in other
areas you can tell that bits have been taken from the Golf and the Tiguan, which
is a little disappointing when the price tag is north of £50,000. That’s a shame because it’s very easy to find
a comfortable driving position because
there’s plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel, and also the seat, and
these large windows mean you have great visibility. There’s a whole host of
parking aids should you need them, and all round cameras for example. But parking sensors, front and rear, do come
as standard. If you’re looking at the
Touareg with the aim of carrying seven people, then you’re out of luck, because
even though it’s based on the 7-seater Audi Q7, it is strictly just a five-seater. That said, in the front there is so much
space it is borderline palatial, and there’s also bucket loads of storage,
there’s some there, there’s two cupholders there, more storage here, and
decent sized door bins, and a decent-sized glovebox. Good news if you’re over 6-foot tall
because there is so much space in the back here. There is plenty of legroom and
headroom, even if you spec the optional panoramic sunroof, and if you sit in the
middle seat, well there is plenty of space, but you are either have to
straddle this tunnel or put your feet on top if they are small enough. Another nifty feature is your rear seat
passengers can move the seat forwards and if they would like to have a little
sleep, they can do so. It’s quite comfortable actually! In sliding these rear seats backwards
and forwards you can prioritise either boot space or legroom,
not that you should need to because the Touareg boot is even larger than the Q7’s
in five-seat mode. So no matter who or what you’re taking with you,
you should have room to spare. That said if you’ve had an adventurous day
at IKEA you can drop the rear seats to extend
the load bay. There’s also a useful function that lowers the back of the car,
if you’ve gone for the optional air suspension! It’s worth noting that this
Volkswagen has had its emissions tested with the new far more strict WLTP tests
and that would explain why the CO2 emissions are slightly higher than some
of its key rivals. Three trim levels are
offered and we think the entry level SEL models have everything you’re going to
want, including a simpler 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay
and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, heated front seats, and adaptive cruise control. R-Line and R-Line Tech cars add extra luxuries
such as a reversing camera, four zone climate control, and a self parking
system, but this way the Touareg quickly becomes too pricey to recommend. Being based on the Audi Q7, which scored the
full 5-stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests, means that the Touareg is likely
to be a very safe car as well. We like the Touareg’s space, high speed comfort, and
towing capability. But, it is let down by its iffy interior and complicated
infotainment system. Therefore if you are in the market for a luxury SUV, we feel
the Audi Q7 is better. For plenty more on the Volkswagen Touareg,
including our full online review, head to whatcar.com, and remember we can help save
you thousands. Just go to our New Car Deals
section for your next new car deal! But before you go anywhere, hit subscribe
and never miss another video!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Both the Q7 and Touareg have a history of very poor reliability and extreme repair costs. I must say the Touareg is gorgeous inside and out but would never be interested myself. I like cars to be reliable and dependable and would never want one without warranty. It seems to many premium means extra gadgets but to me premium means build quality and reliability. Seems to have very high depreciation too more so than Audi. Saying that most premium SUV's have very poor reliability but at least some of them don't have such extreme repair costs.



  2. we would never miss an opportunity to see and hear the lovely Rebecca. nobody in the states would buy a diesel from vw anymore. just fyi.

  3. Rebecca, the Touareg is not the largest suv vw makes….. It's the largest they sell in Europe. In the USA, the VW Atlas suv is larger FYI….. All in all, great reviews…

  4. The EU stars on the number plate are for ironic effect, I guess. Wondering why £50k doesn't buy as much as before, as well, I reckon.

  5. nice shape, i love the curves, looks fast and sounds throaty but thats enough about Rebecca… the Toe rag is filled with cheaper VW bits from other models, i prefer the Audi Q7

  6. Does nobody know about the Touareg people? Desert guys in adventure novels… 80s – 90s – 00s adventure movies? Anybody remembers? I knew about those before the car (obviously) and am actually surprised somebody as old as the presenter has never heard of Touareg and pronounces it "toe rag"… Really shameful for somebody who keeps hooking up iphones to cars, not to at least use google to find out how to pronounce Touareg.

  7. I wouldn't buy a Volkswagen out of principle! Because I have morals, they lied trying to poison us all! , shiny paint pretty lady, but it still happened

  8. I drive the new A4 with Audi MMI plus and virtual cocpit and that type of user experience with no touch screen is the same like in Q7 and is far more safer and with no hand streaching all the time much more user friendly…. I hate that Audi went with all touch screens in new A6 and A8… this is not a couch and using an Ipad style tech in a car is a no go for me, you have to look on the road….

  9. Rebecca do you ever test drive a interesting car or is it just these stupid jacked up bloted suv crap…that are shit going off road and shit on the road… thay just for soccer mom's too take kids too school while blocking up the whole road…

  10. First time i saw the new touareg next to the 2018 Q7. The dealer was hiding the touareg before the launch in the Audi delivery area. And i was surprised to see that the touareg has better infotainment layout design than the Q7

  11. It’s a diesel…. shortly to be banned in a city near you! Come on VW – the other vehicles using this base have a hybrid option. You promised one in the last model. ?

  12. "A little bit hesitant" pulling away from standstill. That really is an understatement. Try before you buy. Start counting when you put your foot down and expect to get to 4 before anything happens.

  13. Yes, sir. This pertains to my interests. The Touareg of the SUVs!
    Unfortunately, it still has the same interior materials. I hate the plastic that your knee keeps banging.

  14. The Bentayga is not only pretentious, it is ugly as sin and expensive as fuck.

    The Touareg however- a steering wheel from a Polo in the largest SUV?! Seriously VW?
    I drive its smaller brother-the Tiguan with the same idiotic wheel that drives me mad.

  15. You mention there are other alternatives to the 3.0 V6… But the 4.0L doesn't exist either on the German website or the UK website….
    Is this engine coming out ?

  16. Great review! You're also the first person from the UK who actually pronounces the Touareg's name correctly. Bravo!

  17. omg this car is manufactured with Q7 and cayenne and q8 also on one line people. ITS funny to compare them, they are exactly same only bodykit is other 😀

  18. I'm sure the ride must feel great, this Touareg is the European version. I'm pretty sure the US version will have idiot proof controls. I own a 2014 Touareg Executive TDI. I had several offers from people that want to buy but no way! I test drove the Cayanne, Macan, and Audi Q5/Q7. Those SUVs feel exactly the same except they're Porsche and Audi and a few more options that I didn't care about. They tow almost the same 7,700lbs. I can pass cars within secs, City is 26/27 and highway I get around 33mpg. 26 gallon tank 720 miles. Never had a problem just making sure I continue doing it's maintenance service. Always fun to drive.. it's an awesome durable and power machine!

  19. The back is very good, the new VW front grill sucks… and they made it too big, don't know why any new model should be bigger then the previous that also sucks but it is for all manufacturers

  20. So in the coming years if in case the touch screen malfunctions and stops working you cant turn on the AC and do the other million functions that the screen provides?

  21. What is with all these cars putting something like climate control in the info screen. I adjust climate multiple times in every journey, just leave the buttons there for something people are finicky about. Stupid and dangerous idea.

  22. VW! Please please please 🙏 🙏, bring this car back to the USA 😭😭😭. We need this beautiful, sexy German creation! You can take the Atlas back, but please bring this back

  23. I'm sorry but I have to totally disagree with this review. I really think this car is more unique than the Audi Q7 the interior design is better the dash is better and it just looks more up class that's my opinion.

    Sounds to me she thinks the q7 is far more superior. Not will to give it a far try……. smh

  24. Unfortunately after 6 months or so the whole sensory system that feeds the adaptive cruise control and so on has STOPPED WORKING. VW have had the car for 2 days and sent it back without a fix. Really unhappy about this. It's now been about 3 months without the adaptive cruise control and all that. Disappointed that they don't appear to have the answers or want to get in touch.

  25. Your opinion that the glovebox is "pretty decent" isn't shared by all. Another reviewer said it's "very, very, average"

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