Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Whether you go for the 3.0 V6 TDI 231 or 3.0 V6 TDI 286 diesel engine, CO2 emissions are 173g/km – slightly lower than the Audi Q7 but still into the top benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax bracket. We managed to average around 37mpg with the 3.0 V6 TDI 231 and 34mpg with the 3.0 V6 TDI 286; about what you’d get out of the equivalent Q7 and better than a V6 diesel Land Rover Discovery will manage. You'll struggle to get much more than 27mpg out of the 3.0 V6 TSI 340 petrol.
The Touareg is a little cheaper to buy than the Audi Q7, and even the cheapest SE trim gets decent levels of equipment, including all the infotainment and visibility aids we've mentioned earlier, along with 19in alloy wheels, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, adaptive cruise control, auto lights and wipers, power-folding door mirrors, and two-zone climate control. If you stick with that model to keep the cost down, the Touareg looks good value next to its rivals. SEL trim is also worth considering but requires a fair increase in outlay, while the higher trims push the price into the territory of far better and more recommendable rivals.
The Touareg received a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, although it didn’t score as highly as the Volvo XC90. Still, automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, traffic sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance are standard. As for reliability, Volkswagen came in 16th place out of 31 in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey; finishing above Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche and Mercedes, but below Volvo.
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