Say hello to Kylo.
There’s more than a vague resemblance to the Star Wars character’s helmet thanks to the black paint and extensive silver bars on the nose of the 2018 Volkswagen Touareg. It’s not a design that everyone will embrace but it’s certainly striking.
Not so obvious is the much larger size of the third generation Touareg. It’s 77mm longer, 44mm wider, and just a tad lower than before. Despite that, the new vehicle is 106kg lighter than the old.
The Touareg tested here is a $107,990 TDi V6 210, with 210kW of power and a massive 600Nm of torque. It’s a nice powerful engine, but there’s an issue with the power delivery. When starting off from rest there’s a serious lack of engine response. It doesn’t really feel like turbo lag, but rather some ‘slack’ built into the electronic throttle. There’s a pause as the vehicle begins to move and then a large surge of power.
The same thing happens when accelerating on the move, only not as noticeable. It’s as though the Touareg has been tuned to be driven on light throttle openings in a smooth manner. This makes a certain amount of sense, but the vehicle does have that impressive 600Nm of torque on hand to exploit…
You can option the car with air suspension, but the steel suspension on the test car was supple enough for most road surfaces while keeping body roll under control during hard cornering.
On the inside, the instrument panel is a TFT screen while the dashboard display is one large touchscreen. As you would expect you can configure the instrument display in many different ways and while it takes some time to get used to the various menus and settings on the dashboard display it soon becomes easy to operate. There’s also a hot key section in which you can place often used functions.
Thanks to the extra size of the new Touareg there’s heaps of legroom for the rear seats and the seats are “traditionally German” firm but comfortable. Also, thanks to the extra size the increase in boot volume of 112 litres came in handy when packing for a family holiday as it swallowed everything we had and asked for more.
The front seats are power operated and have side bolsters in the cushion and backrest that power in and out, although even on the narrowest setting they may not firmly hold anyone that’s less than average width. I’m appreciably larger than average width and I could have done with a bit more lateral support. Nonetheless the seats are comfortable for long drives.
The third generation Touareg is a comprehensive update on the last model, and it’s virtually certain that the new model will go on to be big seller for Volkswagen.