Volkswagen Touareg

Volkswagen Touareg 2023 hero front
Volkswagen Touareg 2023 hero front

‘Flagship’ is a term typically assigned to cars of luxury and class: when we see it tagged onto a press release of a new car, we expect a certain level of refinement and quality.

It's perhaps slightly incongruous in the context of a Volkswagen – the people's car – but its large SUV, the Volkswagen Touareg, has been a quiet mainstay of the Volkswagen range since 2002.

Even so, it has always been a slighly more affordable and level-headed alternative to the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne, despite sharing plenty of technology with the latter.

Now, five years after the launch of the third-generation Touareg, Volkswagen has given its brand-defining SUV a an update so it can keep pace with its rivals, which have also been thoroughly refreshed recently.

Much of the technological revisions are software related, with the facelifted Touareg gaining the previously optional Innovision Cockpit infotainment system as standard – 12.0in and 15.0in digital displays are available. There’s greater flexibility in the software, with upgrades made to HD map data and a new voice-control system with more conversational functionality.

So is this ‘new’ SUV set to boost the 1.13 millions Touareg sales, or does it fall short of its German and Swedish rivals? Let's find out.