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Volkswagen Touareg (2014 - 2017)

The independent definitive VolkswagenTouareg (2014-2017) video review
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    DESERT DUELLER (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Introductionword count: 89

    Volkswagen's much improved post-2014-era second generation Touareg is a large luxury SUV that's dynamically better than you expect it to be, both on road and off it. True, it can't offer more than five seats, but then neither can key rivals from this era like BMW's X5, Mercedes' GLE-Class, Jeep's Grand Cherokee, the Lexus RX or Porsche's Cayenne. If you're looking at one of those contenders in this segment, then this under-rated Touareg offers a very complete package with a used value proposition that could prove hard to resist.

    Modelsword count: 7

    5dr large SUV (3.0 V6 TDI 204PS/262PS)

    Historyword count: 277

    Large luxury SUVs tend to be more about style than substance. Here's one that's different, the much improved post-2014-era version of Volkswagen's second generation Touareg. If you're searching for a large, plush 4x4 of this kind, convention suggests that there are really only two main buying options. On one hand, it's possible to prioritise style and on-road driving dynamics with something like a BMW X5 or a Mercedes GLE-Class. Or, taking the opposite perspective, you might prefer to put off road capability first and get yourself something more capable but a little clunkier - say a Toyota Land Cruiser or a Jeep Grand Cherokee. But does it have to be like that? After all, few of us like to be pigeon-holed in our buying preferences and a contender in this class truly able to offer the best of both worlds ought to be very welcome. That's always been the appeal of this Touareg, striking as it does a very appealing compromise when it comes to looks, tarmac capability and off piste prowess. The first generation version of this car, launched back in 2003 and thoroughly updated in 2007, satisfied plenty of people and also formed the base for sister brand Porsche's hugely successful Cayenne model. This second generation Touareg, a car we first saw in 2010, also shared its underpinnings and mechanicals with the Cayenne but initially attracted much less of a following, despite being lighter, sleeker and better equipped than its predecessor. So in the Summer of 2014, Volkswagen introduced the much improved MK2 model Touareg we're looking at here as a potential used buy, a car that claimed to be safer, smarter and more efficient.

    What You Getword count: 353

    At its original launch in 2010, one of the most impressive things about this second generation Touareg was the way that its designers managed to make what was a significantly bigger car look significantly smaller. This improved second generation Touareg design stayed on-message with this current trend, a leaner and slightly more cohesive look disguising the fact that it was actually a little longer and wider than before, 6mm longer and 68mm wider. It's still got an imposing kerbside presence though, thanks primarily to a redesigned front end featuring larger Bi-xenon headlamps that flank a deeper, more stylish chromed radiator grille with four rather than just two horizontal fins. Compared to the original MK2 model, there's a re-profiled bumper too. Inside the boot, there's 580-litres of luggage space on offer, more than you get in a rival Lexus RX. It makes it all the more surprising that the designers of this Touareg chose not to offer the extra fold-out third seating row you'd get in direct competitors like Audi's Q7, Volvo's XC90 and the Range Rover Sport. Perhaps the Touareg development team were concerned that adding such a feature might compromise the room available for rear seat folk. There's plenty of space for heads, legs and knees, particularly if you take advantage of the fact that the seats recline for greater comfort on longer journeys. And use the facility to prioritise either leg or luggage room by sliding the rear chairs back and forth. Up front, though there's the usual commanding SUV driving position, though it doesn't deliver quite the all-round vision you'd get in, say, a Range Rover or a Land Rover Discovery because this Touareg's window level is that little bit higher. As previously in this car, there are supportive six-way-adjustable heated leather seats with lumbar support that position you perfectly in front of a thick three-spoke leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel that of course you can tailor for both reach and rake. The centre of the dash is, as you'd expect in this class of car, dominated by a large infotainment touchscreen. All the usual accoutrements then, of 21st century motoring.

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    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    60%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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