Volkswagen Touareg -

Used Car Review

Volkswagen Touareg, side, static
Volkswagen Touareg, front, off road
Volkswagen Touareg, front
Volkswagen Touareg, side
Volkswagen Touareg, rear
Volkswagen Touareg, interior
Volkswagen Touareg, rear seats
Volkswagen Touareg, boot

IT might not have the same cachet but the second-generation VW Touareg is very much the same car as the Porsche Cayenne and is built on the same production line.

Not only is the VW far cheaper, it's also better to drive and easier to live with than the Porsche.

This last model, built since 2010, may have much the same look as the one that went before but it is quite different in many ways.

It has better poise, taking the corners with improved grip, and it is generally more refined and relaxed at cruising speeds.

It's just as quick as the Porsche with the same engine under the bonnet and to my eyes at least is better looking.

Early models were available with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel producing 201 or 258bhp, plus a V8 diesel with 335 and a hybrid V6 petrol/electric with 328bhp.

This last is not worth bothering with because it doesn't match the 3.0-litre diesel in either economy or emissions.

The two 3.0-litre diesels have been the only engines available since 2014 and are by far the best choice for any owner.

They are punchy and still economical, managing a government figure of 40-plus mpg and zero to 60mph in about nine seconds.

But the eight-speed automatic gearbox that comes standard in all means there's always a right gear to give excellent acceleration for overtaking.

It's a tiptronic gearbox, so that it has drive and sport modes as well as a manual for those who like to do things themselves.

The VW is a big well-built 4x4 that's very capable off-road and hugely likeable and easy to drive on the road.

I remember taking one around my local 4x4 driving centre, which has some very tough terrain, and nothing phased it at all.

Comfort is in the luxury car class where it should be, and it takes every road surface completely in its stride, and shrugs off speed humps with great aplomb.

All come with a raft of electronic aids, plus alloys, climate, cruise and an excellent stereo. Top models get electric heated leather seats and later models will have sat nav.

The big seats are very comfortable and still offer plenty of support and the driving environment is marvellous.

Pay about £20,800 for a '12 12-reg Touareg3.0 TDI autoBluemotion SE or £27,600 for a '14 14-reg R-Line.

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