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VW Touareg

You don’t need to spend £70,000 to buy a range-topping SUV

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Touareg is good looking, drives well and is sturdily constructed. But despite its name, this Altitude model doesn’t take the 4x4 to new heights. It amounts to little more than a makeover, while the styling doesn’t really suit the VW’s lines. The car isn’t particularly good value, either, so we’d recommend you stick with the regular SE.

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You don’t need to spend £70,000 to buy a range-topping SUV – how about this new, special-edition Touareg? Called the Alti­tude and starting at £34,000, it celebrates the fact that VW’s 4x4 set a new world record by scaling the highest point on earth a car can reach.

Based on the SE trim, the Altitude has 19-inch alloys, stainless steel twin exhaust pipes, a sporty roof spoiler, side skirts and beefed-up bumpers. Tinted rear glass finishes things off.

The trouble is, we don’t think the result is a success. The bodykit doesn’t blend in with the VW’s shape and, at an extra £2,765, doesn’t seem good value. What’s more, ground clearance is reduced, affecting off-roading ability.

However, as most Touaregs stay on tarmac, maybe that isn’t so important. Despite the extra stiffness of the low-profile tyres and larger alloy wheels, the suspension absorbs road bumps very well and offers sporty responses.

Add the punchy, refined V6 diesel of our test car, plus a well equipped and com­fortable cabin, and you have a very capable SUV. The only thing the Touareg really lacks is a seven-seat option.

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