Review: Driving the Facelifted 2024 VW Touareg

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A full driving review of the updated VW Touareg. As you might know, this is also a sibling to the Audi Q8, the Porsche Cayenne, and the Bentley Bentayga and the chassis, all built in the very same factory, and this one here is basically the cheapest of the siblings. Is this a strong thing for the Touareg or is there more. And what have they changed? Let’s find out with Thomas and Autogefuhl in 4K, full screen, full length. Let’s go here with the front which has been updated here with the very nice horizontal stress. Look at that, this integrated light strip here in the middle now. And, new headlamps, now HD matrix, so you have an elaborated high beam function, for example, a new three-element daytime light signature. And you only see it really from the very front. Then, they are very visible, and you can also change a lot with the lights in the infotainment system. We’ll take a look at that very soon. Turning indicators in the front, dual styling in a way because you have the cascading function. At the same time, it comes like alive in a pulsing style, so either we usually see either or… In this case, they have combined both of these effects. 4 meters 88 or 192 inches is the length here of the Touareg. 19 to 22-inch wheels. These ones here are black 20-inch wheels with winter tires. So, they look in comparison a little bit smaller. New here with the facelift is a roof sensor, so it detects if you have roof weight or not, and then the suspension is tuned accordingly, and that is giving you actually a better ride also when you do not have some weight on the roof because before they had to calculate or set up the suspension that it would work with or without roof weight. In both cases. So, a better setup now for the suspension. Base versions of the Touareg will not get HD matrix lamps and also have the standard suspension. Most Touaregs being sold will now have the HD matrix lamps and the air suspension, this one here in the Elegance trim. However, then, for the plug-in hybrid, the usually available rear axle steering and the anti-tilt control, not available for the plug-in model. And the rear here with the very nice cascading turning indicators and new signature. At the sides, also in the middle part, and also illuminated VW logo here in red, that looks pretty striking. Big Touareg lettering. So, I think the rear is the thing that has changed most visually here with the facelift. Do you like it? And, for example, here in the IQ.Light settings, then you can also change the animations for the welcome and goodbye light. Key fob, slim, nice, good. Then, door closing sound… very solid, I like that. You can also get a soft closing here, like that, nice. Then, inside of the doors, really wrapped tightly, looks like good build quality. Here, we have a matte wood decor element, for example. And the inside door pockets, let’s check that out, also have some felt covering at the lower part, for example. Then interior here with some capacitive BS touch buttons at the steering wheel. Yeah, they’re not that good to use. At least we have the heated steering wheel command directly at the steering wheel as well. Then, we have contour stitches here on the soft-touch dashboard. Seats, sadly, only animal skin available, so there are no alternatives there on the horizon. They will also not change that. But, of course, different with the new ID models, for example. The seating comfort in general on these Ergo Comfort seats, however, is really good. Then, you have this upright seating position, command driving position. And the headroom here with 1.89, 6’2", still left. And you also have this panoramic roof. And the cool thing is, this is actually one you can still really open, and there’s also a shade available if there is a really, really hot day, but like that, you’re going to leave a lot of fresh air. Then, here, the middle console. You have adaptive cup holders, and it works for large bottles as well. Very good build quality. Here, still a turning jog here for the volume. Also… it’s an interesting sound. Also, there’s a real shifting lever for the automatic gearbox. That is cool. However, what I don’t favor that much is, here, this front cubby hole. You slide this one open, and then, you see, already, like, your hand is almost, like, you know, getting stuck in there. And then, when you want to push it back again… Like, you have to really push it hardly in, so, yeah, that’s not ideal. In the front inductive charging pad and USB-C charging. And then, here, this really large armrest, very well-attached, and USB-C chargers underneath. And what they have updated here with the facelift is here, this knee pad at the inside middle console on the driver’s side. This one here is softer, however, not on the passenger side. Interior cockpit overview: here, the steering wheel goes electrically in and out, up and down. And you have this innovation cockpit that has this one unit, but consists of two different screens, 15-inch here. So overall, a really nice and likable design here, once again, with these matte wood inlets. And you can also get this head-up display. The infotainment has been updated. Is it super quick now? Not really. However, this main menu looks better now, and that one also works faster. Most of the time, you will use Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration, it looks like this goes all the way here. That’s pretty cool. And one thing you actually have to know is, where are the options here? So you go to ‘Vehicle’, and then you ask yourself, okay, what else is there? And there it is. There are the settings. And then you can go through all the stuff, so you just have to know that it’s there. Climate control, by the way, here, plus and minus, and here for the seat heating or the seat cooling. And Dynaudio system is really nice, like that. And this is your drive control center. You can go Sport mode, but also to the Off-road modes, and so on. And you can also individually pump up the air suspension, but it also goes accordingly to the driving modes. When it’s dark and the headlamps are on, you can see the ambient lighting. Pretty cool here, and it’s also split. You can change the lower part, like this line here, and the cup holders, or you can also just change the upper part there with the integrated Touareg logo. It looks really spectacular, and of course, you can also sync that if you like. Yeah, pretty cool, isn’t it? And here at the side, you have a nice puddle light to show you the way to the door. Now, Lea is showing you a very interesting feature with the sun blinds right there because there is a double one. Not many cars have that anymore. So, here for the side sun, for example, and then when you have like special light situations where it kind of comes from both sides, you can protect yourself. Definitely have enough space here as a tall adult. Here, knee room-wise, even if a tall driver is driving like this, and also as for the headroom with 1.89 or 6’2" is fine with this panoramic roof. Very nice and upright seating position. You can also vary here the back angle of the seat, more sleeping position or more upright. This middle seat here has this huge middle tunnel but an own climate unit as well. And even cooler in this lower unit there… Look at that when you put this one open, USB-C charging now and a real powered socket here, 230 volt, that’s nice. And, actually, also the middle seat is fairly comfortable, and that is not that, you know, that often with the vehicles. You can put down this here for cup holders. They are not adaptive, though. Oh, and I like this manual rear shade here, very nicely cut out, and also this top part here is soft touch at the rear. Well, look at these touch lights here in the rear. They are nice, aren’t they? The trunk or the boot, 810 liters or 655, a little bit reduced for the plug-in hybrid. However, good width here, more than a meter or 40 inches. The length is about 90 centimeters or 36 inches. And here, the height, a little bit less than 80 centimeters or 30 inches. Overall, quite good result. You can fold the seats right here, left and right, easily done. You can then put the seats really flat from the passenger cabin if you like. And the overall length to the… seats we’re having here a little bit more than 1.70 in meters or 67 inches. The charging cable needs to be stored right here. You can also put that one flat here. Or battery vacuum cleaner. Just so everything always cleaned for you. And what’s also interesting is that we can lower the vehicle if you have the air suspension to load in and out things easier. And also the towing hook can be folded out electrically right here at the bottom. Takes some seconds. There we go. Nice! The Touareg is now all about the 3.0-liter V6 TDI, the diesel, or the TSI, the turbo petrol engine. This is also the basis for the plug-in hybrid version here, the V6 TSI. And usually the acceleration figure here is around 6 seconds. Classic all-wheel drive with some rear wheel bias. And in the plug-in hybrid version, then, you also have an integrated electric motor, so it doesn’t change the all-wheel drive distribution. However… With the update here now, still at 14 kWh net with the plug-in hybrid battery, they did not go for the battery upgrade like with the Porsche Cayenne. So, definitely a reason less to go for the plug-in hybrid. And also the consumption, which is still super, super high, around 13 liters here for the plug-in hybrid when the battery is depleted, which is very interesting or important because usually when… For some reason, we had the Toyota Prius, the plug-in hybrid version, and when the battery was depleted there, the hybrid system was working like it would be an in-built hybrid system. Here, it does not work at all. When the battery is depleted, you have actually even higher consumption than you would have with a pure petrol engine. Just of the, you know, the increased weight and so on. And in general, I have used this very engine here in several other models of the corporation, and here it’s the highest in the consumption even comparing to the Audi Q8 and the Porsche Cayenne. Hmm. Welcome to Thomas’s Driving Lounge, VW Touareg, Sport mode, 70 kilometers an hour to… 120. Hmm. That was quick. Really nice. Acceleration figure for the V6 TSI, usually around 6 seconds. And when you have the plug-in hybrid version here, due to the increased weight, the normal PHEV is a little bit slower. And the R PHEV, which has the same tech, it’s just a little bit tuned higher, that one is a second quicker than the pure petrol engine, actually. But all are more or less in the same region. And here on the motorway, German Autobahn, is a very good vehicle for that because it’s super comfortable with the upright seating position. It’s also decently silent even at higher speeds, although it’s pushing the wind most obviously. And suspension, here the air suspension is doing a good job in the Sport mode, by the way. It goes a little bit stiffer then. And when you would close your eyes now, theoretically, obviously, I won’t do it now. Yeah, Lea is also, he’s not going to do that, is he? I feel that this is very similar to the other siblings. So, yes, of course, they’re trying to sell you, especially the Cayenne and the Bentayga, for double the money or maybe even more. Are they worth it, technology-wise? Well, plug-in hybrid sense, in a plug-in hybrid sense, the Cayenne gets a bigger battery now. That is a significant technology difference, yes. And also, this one here doesn’t get the rear axle steering as a plug-in hybrid, but generally speaking, They are all more or less the same vehicle, and of course, Audi, Porsche, and Bentley don’t want to hear that, because they charge you much more money than here for the Touareg, but it’s just the case. They are built in the very same factory. Yes, the Bentley is then shipped over and then finished with all the details, but all the tech that is installed, they’re built in the same factory, and it’s more or less the same vehicle, not in the way of that it’s like pure batch engineering. There are differences, but the base feeling of that platform here is more or less the same, and it’s a good one, you know. Also, with this even entry, you know, like the door sill to the floor mat and so on, and it just works. It’s a very good product overall, no matter which one you pick of those. Here, let’s go back. Yeah, we are still in Sport mode. Acceleration, because we have freeway here now actually to unlimited speed. Also shows me that sign and instruments. And let’s see also this car passing right over here when I use the turning indicators. This blind spot monitor is also giving me another flash symbol, so an additional warning. Now from 100 kilometers an hour, we’re already at speed. Let’s check the acceleration. Let’s go! 140. 160, 170, 180, and now we cancel just for security reasons. Now we have some recuperation finally from the plug-in hybrid. So, good acceleration. Also, still, I mean, considering it’s a large SUV, very silent here, good noise insulation. Lea always has a very good sense for the noise… I mean, she has better ears than I do. Probably I went too often clubbing when I was younger, but I always wear earplugs, you know, but still, maybe that’s the case, or I don’t know. She can hear much better than I do, and that’s always a good sign. So, it’s very calm and relaxing, especially on long motorway trips. And of course, then usually you would go back to the Normal mode. You also can charge, by the way, the battery while driving, but that’s not efficient at all. It doesn’t make any sense. And then there are also these Off-road modes, for example. This is an off-road capable vehicle. We also have special off-road episodes of the Touareg from this generation. They’re super interesting to watch. You can check them all out. It’s easy, by the way, to find it also when you use the YouTube search. Just put in Autogefühl, so our channel name. You don’t have to use the German umlauts with U. It will work as well. Just ‘Autogefuhl Touareg’, and then you’ll find all of these episodes. For example, we’ve been driving this off-road in Morocco, which was a very epic ride, definitely. So, here again, on the gas. Very good performance and also steering input. It’s very precise, good reactions. Even the lane changes. It’s very good. Let’s do one at 150 kilometers an hour. Go here. Really nice, doesn’t shake up too much. The setup is actually quite sporty. I feel that the setup is a little bit sportier than the previous, you know, pre-facelift version. Maybe has to do with this new roof sensor also, because now it’s feeling, hey, there’s no roof float on it, so I can put the suspension in a way that it’s better for the handling without a weight under roof. Might be something about that. Do I miss the rear axle steering on the motorway? Obviously not, but in the city, yes, definitely. So, especially on tight European roads or parking in and basement garage, the rear axle steering definitely makes a lot of sense and is not available for the plug-in hybrid version. So, in Europe, probably, it is wiser to still go with the diesel for this version here. Yeah, really have to say that for the lowest fuel consumption. Kind of irritating, by the way, here’s the software version. When you change the temperature, here, in the CarPlay mode, everything in the background gets dark. What is this and why? Or here, when you use the seat heating or something, I don’t see a good reason for that. Only if you use the car internal GPS and then go for the temperature, it kind of gets blacked out. But, I mean, still, you can’t see stuff in the background. Yeah, I mean, when they did the software update now, I don’t know why they didn’t consider this, so this should be better. Also, you know, let’s see, I’m in here, and then I want to go back to the CarPlay again. Then I have to wait again here for this overlay, but at least you have this, you know, so this is actually good that you have these top symbols, you know, and then you can switch back to the CarPlay, for example, right here. So overall, yeah, the software update still makes sense. It’s also a little bit quicker and more reactive. How well this one is driving. This is really the specialty of this vehicle, how good this platform here is driving. That counts for the Q8 and the Cayenne and the Bentayga. Realistically, you really have to say the Touareg is the most clever choice of these ones because you just pay the least amount of money for more or less the same experience, especially when you’re in the Sport mode, it comes close to the Q8 or Cayenne experience. Yes, of course, the Cayenne will be even sportier, and there are sportier versions of that, and you can also get an eight-cylinder. We’re just talking about what is the most clever choice for the majority of customers. Still, they do not offer any animal skin alternatives here, so that’s what I would expect when I want to personally pick that vehicle. So, that would be a deal-breaker to me, but in general, of course, definitely a more clever choice in comparison to the more expensive models. And some city driving. So, what I do criticize, especially about the plug-in hybrid version is, usually, when I have plug-in hybrids, especially Toyota ones, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s hybrid or plug-in hybrid. If the plug-in hybrid battery is depleted, it works like a hybrid still, and here, when I lift my foot off the throttle, it doesn’t… Now, you know, like, sometimes, in very rare occasions, it goes back again. So, like, just for a split second, it goes in the electric mode, and that’s it. So, there’s hardly any recuperation into the battery, and that is then used as a significant buffer to move the vehicle when you’re just slightly on the throttle, and so on. You hardly have any electric moments. So, this here only makes sense if you still get a governmental subsidy in your country for a plug-in hybrid, for example. Other than that, the plug-in hybrid version of the Touareg makes no sense at all. And also, the Cayenne battery is not in here. So, this one is still at 14 kWh net. Maybe for rare occasions where someone has like a driving profile, 10 kilometers every day to work and back again, you can charge it, work at home, drive electric. And then on the weekend you drive with the petrol. That would make sense in a way, but all other cases, rather go for the pure petrol, or in this case, the pure diesel would also make sense. As I said earlier, the fuel consumption is really, really high, and I had a lower fuel consumption with the pure petrol engine, actually. Pure electric driving, by the way, would work up to a speed of 140 kmh. What is very good, however, is the noise insulation. So, it’s really silent here, for example, around 100 kilometers an hour, around 60 miles an hour, super easy, super comfortable as well, 20-inch wheels with winter tires here, have this upright seating position, good visibility roundabout, so this relaxed driving and traveling feeling, that is what makes this Touareg here so special, actually. And you should check out the competition, like the Porsche Cayenne or the Audi Q8.

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