Buying guide: new 2018 Volkswagen Touareg

Plug-in hybrid model will join the range

The third generation, 2018 Volkswagen Touareg has been revealed at the Beijing motor show, in China.

The large SUV is promised to be the most advanced family 4×4 on the road. And VW will be adding a plug-in hybrid model to the UK range.

Here’s everything car buyers need to know about the 2018 Volkswagen Touareg.

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When does the 2018 VW Touareg go on sale?

The new, third-generation Touareg will go on sale in the UK this summer. VW says more models will be added to the range in the autumn, and by 2020 a plug-in hybrid model will be added, too.


How much will the 2018 VW Touareg cost?

The company has not yet revealed the prices of specific models. All it has said is that the new range is expected to cost from £50,000, which is approximately £5,000 more than the outgoing model.
UK trim levels are still to be announced but VW’s familiar R-Line and Elegance trim levels are likely to be offered.


Which engines will there be to choose from?


When the new Touareg goes on sale in the summer, it will initially be offered with a 3-litre, V6 turbodiesel engine, with 282bhp. It will have an eight-speed automatic gearbox and VW’s 4Motion four-wheel drive fitted as standard.

In the autumn, two more models will go on sale in Britain. There will be a less powerful, 228bhp version of the 3-litre V6 turbodiesel, and for drivers who prefer petrol power, a 3-litre V6 turbo with 336bhp will be available.

By 2019, a 4-litre, V8 turbodiesel with 417 will go on sale, as the flagship of the Touareg range.


When will the VW Touareg plug-in hybrid go on sale?

Volkswagen has not yet committed to a firm date for the launch of a plug-in hybrid Touareg, but it is expected to go on sale by 2020. It will boast a combined power output of 362bhp and is expected to be able to drive around 30 miles on its battery charge.


Is there a seven-seat Touareg?


Although there is more space in the cabin, thanks to a longer, wider (but lower) body, VW has not upgraded the car to feature seven seats. However, it does have a vast boot, with 810 litres of luggage space when all five seats are in use.


What about the rest of the interior?


It’s thoroughly modern and packed with touchscreen tech. VW has completely redesigned the cabin and infotainment system, and the 2018 Touareg debuts a new system called Innovision Cockpit, which combines a 12-inch digital instrument display with a 15-inch touchscreen on the dash. The pair create a digital control interface that the driver can configure to their preference.

Innovision Cockpit replaces traditional buttons on the dashboard, and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and features a WiFi hotspot that allows up to eight devices to be connected at one time. A driver’s head-up display can be added as an option.

For the kids in the back seats, a panoramic sunroof, climate control, USB ports and even a 230 volt household plug socket should help keep them comfortable, and the outer rear seats can slide independently of one another.


Any cool gadgets?

There will be Night Vision to detect humans and animals in darkness, using a thermal imaging camera. Also featuring are Roadwork Lane Assist, to steer, brake and accelerate for drivers at speeds of up to 37mph.


What are the technical highlights?


The car is lighter, by up to 100kg. Engineers apparently wanted the third-generation to have better road manners. So it now boasts air suspension, to smooth out the ride comfort, electromechanical active roll compensation, to prevent it wallowing around like a ship at sea, and four-wheel steering to enhance the feeling of agility. Many of these features first appeared on the Audi SQ7.

VW claims it can wade in water of up to 570mm. The 4Motion four-wheel system has a locking centre differential, and there are five standard and four optional driving modes, depending on what option packs drivers order.

A new off-road pack is one option some drivers may wish to choose. It adds the extra driving modes, a larger fuel tank and extra protection for the underside of the car.


Will it still haul a horse box?

The towing weight is still highly competitive with the 4×4 heavyweights. VW says the new model can pull braked trailer loads of up to 3,500kg, when fitted with the retractable tow bar.

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