You can now order VW’s full-size Touareg SUV with a 4.2-litre V8 turbodiesel, which delivers a huge 800Nm of torque – 50Nm more than the old V10 diesel.
The new car sits above the £57,970, 34.4mpg hybrid at the top of the new Touareg range, but can VW really compete at this end of the SUV market?
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the VW Touareg
With the creamy-smooth V8 ticking over under the bonnet, and the excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox blurring the ratios, the powertrain is certainly befitting of the price. Just like with a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, it always feels like there’s plenty of performance in reserve should you need it.
Under full throttle, the acceleration is immense. There’s a swelling surge and, if you’ve selected the softest suspension setting, the nose tips skywards and you rocket down the road. However, this understated off-roader always feels more comfortable cruising around and taking things a little more slowly.
The optional air-suspension does a brilliant job in a straight line, ironing out bumps in the road with ease. We drove across a loose manhole cover and heard the wheels crash over it, but didn’t feel a thing from the driver’s seat.
In corners, though, the body rolls as the car struggles to contain its weight. Things can be improved by switching to the firmest of the suspension’s three modes, but you lose the suppleness over broken surfaces.
By most standards the cabin is sumptuous. It’s spacious, the build quality is superb and the large central touchscreen and good-sized display between the dials are intuitive to use and look great.
But somehow the VW lacks the depth of luxury that you’ll find in its sister car, the Porsche Cayenne, or the BMW X5. Still, the Touareg is well equipped for some light off-roading, with hill-hold, hill-descent and start-assist systems all included as standard. There’s a handy dial for you to toggle through the various off-road settings, too.