In Depth

Volkswagen Touareg 2018: prices, specs and release date

Third-generation SUV is VW’s most advanced car yet as firm targets buyers in China

An all-new version of Volkswagen’s Touareg SUV has been unveiled in Beijing and it’s being touted as the most technically advanced vehicle the company has ever made. 

The new car, which is set to go on sale this summer, is the third-generation version of the German vehicle giant’s flagship SUV.

Critics think the new Touareg could be a key export to China, which is one of the fastest growing markets for new cars in the world. 

According to Autocar, demand for crossovers in China has “seen rapid growth” in recent years. In 2007, 8% of new cars sold in the country were SUVs, the magazine says. By 2017, that figure had “skyrocketed” to 45%.

We’ll have to wait a few months to see whether the range-topping SUV is as much of a hit in China as it is in Europe. 

Until then, here’s everything you need to know about the new Touareg:

Price and release

Volkswagen has yet to announce an official release date for the third-generation Touareg, but WhatCar? says the car is expected to go on sale around the world this summer.

Prices will be revealed closer to the SUV’s launch, but the car site estimates it’ll have a price tag of “around £50,000”. This would make it “slightly cheaper” than its rival, the Audi Q7, but more expensive than the Volvo XC90.

Design

Volkswagen has completely overhauled the look of the new Touareg.

The most noticeable changes can be seen at the front, where the front bumper and grille has been revamped to reflect the company’s current design language. The Touareg’s styling is similar to VW’s new Arteon saloon and the latest Passat. 

The front of the car also gets a hi-tech upgrade, says Auto Express. VW has fitted the new Touareg with “LED Matrix” headlights, which automatically adapt to different lighting conditions, with each cluster containing 128 individual LEDs. 

Other visual tweaks include a sharper tail light design and a thin crease line that runs along either side of the car. 

Underneath the Touareg’s “premium” bodywork sits the same production platform as the Porsche Cayenne, says Autocar. Despite sharing the same underpinnings, the only visual component the two cars share is the windscreen. 

The new platform has allowed VW to extend the Touareg’s length by 77mm over the outgoing model, increasin the car’s boot by 113 litres as a result, says the magazine. That brings total luggage space up to 810 litres with the rear seats in place.

Interior tech

The new Touareg is “the most technically advanced Volkswagen of its era”, the company says. Compared to the second-generation SUV, it has a completely revamped cabin, which includes a hi-tech dashboard and semi-autonomous safety systems. 

One of the standout new features in the cabin is its 15ins touchscreen display, Car magazine reports, which is home to the car’s “Discover Premium” infotainment system. 

The system allows drivers to manage the Touareg’s numerous assistance, handling and comfort settings, the magazine says, along with controls for the sat-nav and entertainment features. 

The 15ins display is coupled to a 12ins screen that sits behind the steering wheel, says Auto Express

Both are “fully customisable”, the magazine says, so you can choose which screen you want certain menu options to be on. Rather than having the sat-nav on the centre screen, for example, you can move it to the 12ins panel directly in front of the driver with the press of a button.

Engines and performance

At launch, Evo says the new Touareg will be available with just a 282bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.

But three additional engines will join the lineup after the car goes on sale, the magazine says. These include an entry-level 228bhp V6 diesel, a turbocharged V6 petrol and a range-topping 417bhp V8 diesel. 

Buyers in China will be given the option of a 362bhp plug-in hybrid, says Autocar, which is due to arrive in late 2019.

Every engine option comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and an all-wheel drive system as standard, the magazine adds.

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