Find a car review

Make
Model

Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI SE diesel review

We drive the all new Volkswagen Touareg in 3-litre V6 diesel form and discover a real gem

Evo rating
Price
from £38,255
  • Great value and good to drive
  • The SUV image still ain't great

What is it?

The new Volkswagen Touareg, the sibling of the Porsche Cayenne – a somewhat controversial car in enthusiast circles, but one that’s dynamically impressive. This is the 3.0 TDI in SE trim, costing £38,255.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Technical highlights

For starters there’s a punchy but smooth V6 diesel mated to an eight-speed auto tiptronic gearbox. It’s probably not the most enticing combination you’ve read about on this website, but engine and transmission work together very well, and can hustle the two-ton Touareg along with plenty of vigour.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s a host of technology beneath the skin that stops the big VW feeling cumbersome, with 4MOTION four-wheel drive working with a Torsen limited-slip differential and an electronic diff lock on all four wheels. It’s no doubt a help for those who take the Touareg off road, but it’s kit that makes it handy on road, too.

On a green note, there’s a stop-start function and regenerative braking.

What’s it like to drive?

Good. And probably a lot better than you’d expect. There’s no getting away from its size and weight, yet along a tight, twisting road the Touareg shrinks around you, and when tackling corners it feels like a slightly podgy hot hatch rather than a full-size SUV. Sharing much with the Porsche Cayenne, this is perhaps no revelation, but it’s further proof that those lumbered with the need for big, practical transport needn’t despair.

The ride isn’t far short of superb. It swallowed up some incredibly gnarly Yorkshire roads when we drove it and is utterly refined when cruising. It all helps the car feel like a real luxury product.

How does it compare?

Advertisement - Article continues below

To its Cayenne compatriot, very well indeed. Despite being incredibly similar cars – the engine and gearbox are identical – the £38,255 VW is six grand cheaper than the Porsche, yet boasts two-zone climate control, a touchscreen DVD/satnav system and a luxurious leather interior. A similarly powered Range Rover Sport diesel weighs in at £46,995, yet has the same 3500kg towing limit as the far cheaper Touareg.

Anything else I need to know?

With a claimed 38.2mpg combined economy figure and 195g/km CO2 emissions, the sensible numbers are similar to those of hot hatchbacks, with tax costing £235 a year. That Range Rover will set you back £425 annually…

Specifications

EngineV6, 2967cc, turbodiesel
Max power237bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque406lb ft @ 2000rpm
0-607.8sec (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speed135mph
On saleNow, £38,255
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/land-rover/201637/2019-range-rover-evoque-review-the-baby-range-rover-reimagined
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

2019 Range Rover Evoque review – the baby Range Rover reimagined

20 Aug 2019
Visit/hyundai/201636/lighter-harder-hyundai-i30-n-project-c-announced
Hyundai i30 N

Lighter, harder Hyundai i30 N Project C announced

20 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201634/new-porsche-911-gt3-touring-spied
Porsche 911

New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring spied

19 Aug 2019
Visit/hyundai/201632/hyundai-rm19-sports-car-prototype-spotted-testing-at-the-ring
Hyundai

Hyundai RM19 sports car prototype spotted testing at the ‘Ring

19 Aug 2019

Most Popular

Visit/mercedes/201625/2020-mercedes-amg-e53-coupe-spied-with-mid-cycle-updates
Mercedes

2020 Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe spied with mid-cycle updates

A substantial refresh is coming for the E-class next year, which will spread to AMG’s smooth coupe
16 Aug 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/r
Volkswagen Golf R hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf R 2019 review

With no major flaws, yet a real depth of character and a peerless image, the Golf R is popular for good reason. It’s brilliant.
15 Aug 2019
Visit/article/201613/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-picked-by-porsche
Sponsored

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - picked by Porsche

Goodyear has many close associations with premium global car brands, but being asked to develop a trackday tyre for Porsche's extreme 911 GT3 RS was a…
14 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/201606/porsche-718-cayman-gts-vs-996-rpm-technik-911-csr-evo
Porsche

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS vs 996 RPM Technik 911 CSR Evo

Porsche’s Cayman GTS is an impressive and polished sports car, but what if you spent the same money going down the second hand route with help from RP…
13 Aug 2019