By Samuel Smith
Last updated on: November 15, 2019 at 2:00 am
VW has filled the new Touareg with a class-leading level of standard features.
Winner: Volkswagen Touareg Launch Edition
Variant: Launch Edition 3.0 V6 TCDI
Engine: 3.0 litre turbo-diesel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
ANCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars
Second place went to the Range Rover Evoque SE and the Volvo XC90 D5 Inscription placed third.
What sets it apart from the rest
The new third-generation Touareg has a class-leading level of standard features, both in the cabin and under the bonnet. VW has upped the ante in the safety stakes with the inclusion of predictive pedestrian monitoring, adaptive lane guidance, park assist, traffic jam assist and front and rear cross traffic assist.
At this price point you expect the luxury treatment, and it starts with 18-way electrically adjustable front seats wrapped in Savona leather, which are heated and ventilated. To top it off, they also have a massage function that uses 10 pneumatic air pillows that inflate up to six centimetres to provide 8 different pre-set massage programs.
Rear passengers can have their legs stretched right out as the Touareg’s space is equal to the third-placed Volvo XC90 and almost the largest in the category with a cavernous cargo area.
- Class-leading level of standard features, both in the cabin and under the bonnet
- A powerful 190kW, 600Nm V6 turbo-diesel engine
- Predictive pedestrian monitoring, adaptive lane guidance, park assist and traffic jam assist
- 18-way electrically adjustable front seats wrapped in Savona leather
- 9.2-inch Discover Pro navigation system with gesture control
- Iconic Volkswagen 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system
What it’s like to drive
Where the Touareg increased its odds of winning was in the performance category both on and off the road. Even though it’s hauling two tonnes of metal, the 190kW/600Nm V6 turbo-diesel engine, 8-speed automatic gearbox and torque-sensing 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system deliver sedan-type acceleration and surprising nimbleness through corners.
It gains these handling benefits from sharing the same underpinnings with the sporty Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, which are also in the VW family.
The adaptive air suspension is a large part of the handling recipe, and although there are three suspension settings, in real-life cases it’s likely it will live in the ‘set and forget’ Comfort mode.
How the finalists compared (scores for each category from 1-10)
|AWD SUVs $70,000 - $125,000||Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6||Range Rover Evoque SE||Volvo XC90 D5 Inscription|
|Cost of depreciation||4||9||3|
|Running & repair costs||1||8||1|
|Warranty & dealer access||7||2||2|
|Build & finish quality||9||8||8|
|Smoothness & quietness||8||8||8|
|Off road ability||7||7||6|
Images: Mark Rogers, Magnum Photography Australia