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Volkswagen Touareg 2022 review: 210TDI R-Line - off-road test

Daily driver score

4.5/5

Adventure score

3.5/5

Contemporary large all-wheel drive SUVs represent a nice balance between on-road comfort and at least some sort of capability to tackle traction-compromised surfaces, such as rain-slicked bitumen or when the blacktop turns to dirt or gravel.

And when a vehicle’s price-tag heads north of the $100k mark surely you can be assured of a top-quality all-round driving experience, right? 

Well, we tested a 2022 Volkswagen Touareg 210TDI R-Line to see if it’s worthy of your consideration.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The VW Touareg 210TDI R-Line is a four-door, five-seat AWD wagon with an MSRP of $112,690, excluding on-road costs.

Our test vehicle had Antimonial silver metallic paint at an extra cost of $2200, as well as a Volkswagen Genuine Part towbar, which costs an extra $1110, plus $495 for fitment labour. Those features push the as-tested price of this vehicle to $116,495.

20-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Marcus Craft) 20-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Marcus Craft)

As expected on a vehicle with such a price-tag, the standard features list is a bloated one and includes a 15.0-inch touch-screen multi-media system (with Apple Car Play and Android Auto), a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display, massage functions (!) on the power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats, power second-row seats, 20-inch alloy wheels…as well as leather everywhere, of course, and plenty more where all of that came from.

15.0-inch touch-screen multi-media system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. (Image: Marcus Craft) 15.0-inch touch-screen multi-media system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Options include Metallic Paint ($2100), Metallic Paint Premium ($2400), Pearl Effect Paint ($2100), a powered panoramic sunroof (glass, $3000), and a Sound and Comfort Package priced at $6500.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

This large SUV is 4878mm long (with a 2899mm wheelbase), 1984mm wide, 1686mm high and has an official kerb weight of 2169kg.

This large SUV is 4878mm long (with a 2899mm wheelbase), 1984mm wide, 1686mm high and has an official kerb weight of 2169kg. (Image: Marcus Craft) This large SUV is 4878mm long (with a 2899mm wheelbase), 1984mm wide, 1686mm high and has an official kerb weight of 2169kg. (Image: Marcus Craft)

There are nice touches inside and out and surely features like chrome roof rails, highlights and exhaust tips will bring at least a slight sly smile to even the most jaded SUV admirer’s face.

This is a sleek, stylish and so very premium-looking and feeling vehicle that it makes a lowly peasant like me feel more than a little bit uncomfortable.

How practical is the space inside?

If you’re considering a Touareg as your next SUV, there’s a good chance that you’re already pretty familiar with all that’s on offer inside, but I’ll give you the drum: this interior manages to succeed at being a nice mix of luxurious and practical. 

While there are leather and soft-touch surfaces seemingly everywhere, there are also plenty of storage spaces, cup-holders, bottle-holders, USB charge points (front and second row), 12-volt power outlets (front and cargo area), temp and air-vent controls (front and second row), bag hooks (on backs of front seats and in cargo area), cargo tie down hooks/rings (cargo area) and a raft of other features that are well suited to real life.

The driver and front passenger seats are power-adjustable and heated and ventilated. (Image: Marcus Craft) The driver and front passenger seats are power-adjustable and heated and ventilated. (Image: Marcus Craft)

All seats are supportive and comfortable. 

The driver and front passenger seats are power-adjustable and heated and ventilated.

The rear seats are a 40/20/40 split configuration. (Image: Marcus Craft) The rear seats are a 40/20/40 split configuration. (Image: Marcus Craft)

The rear seats are a 40/20/40 split configuration and the row can slide and recliners two separate sections. It has a fold-down centre arm-rest with cupholders.

There is 1800 litres of cargo area volume with the second row folded; 810 litres with it in place.

  • 2022 Volkswagen Touareg I Boot 2022 Volkswagen Touareg I Boot
  • 2022 Volkswagen Touareg I Boot 2022 Volkswagen Touareg I Boot

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

This diesel Touareg has a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine – producing 210kW at 4000rpm and 600Nm at 1750 rpm – and it has an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

3.0L turbocharged V6 engine. (Image: Marcus Craft) 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine. (Image: Marcus Craft)

It has VW’s 4Motion AWD and a variety of driving modes including eco, comfort, normal sport, individual, off-road (auto and expert), and snow, which adjust vehicle characteristics, such as engine performance, throttle response, and damping and steering, to suit your selection.

What's it like as a daily driver?

Very comfortable. 

For starters, as driver you have the ability in the Touareg cabin to set up your preferred position with almost-pinpoint accuracy via the 18-way powered seat (with memory) and the tilt- and telescopic-adjustable steering wheel/column. The steering wheel is even bloody heated!

The 3.0L V6 is a punchy unit and the Touareg manages to harness its 210kW/600Nm via the eight-speed auto with mostly considered control.

This is a reasonably dynamic vehicle – for a large SUV – and it manages to maintain a commanding stance on-road and on the move, while feeling nimble enough around town and on bush tracks – more about that later – to deftly avoid any criticisms about being a clumsy drive. 

It has a turning circle of 11.19m.

Acceleration is mostly okay from a standing start and while overtaking on the open road, although persistent turbo lag in those scenarios is off-putting. 

Cycle through the driving modes (eco, comfort, normal, sport, individual, off-road (auto and expert), and snow) – via a dial near the auto shifter – to further determine your sweet spot in terms of steer-ability, throttle response, engine performance, damping and steering, among other characteristics, to match your selection.

The 3.0L V6 is a punchy unit and the Touareg manages to harness its 210kW/600Nm via the eight-speed auto with mostly considered control. (Image: Marcus Craft) The 3.0L V6 is a punchy unit and the Touareg manages to harness its 210kW/600Nm via the eight-speed auto with mostly considered control. (Image: Marcus Craft)

Speaking of steering, its all-wheel steering is pretty sharp as is and, as mentioned, the auto is generally on-point, but for an even more direct driving experience switch to manual mode and have fun with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Adjustable air suspension with electronic adaptive damping control lends a welcome flexibility to ride and handling, which is generally well sorted. The rotary dial control to adjust the air suspension is to the left of the drive mode dial. 

Features a heated steering wheel. (Image: Marcus Craft) Features a heated steering wheel. (Image: Marcus Craft)

If you notice an all-wheel drive system actually working then that’s probably not a good sign and if you notice the Touareg’s 4Motion kicking in then you’re more sober than I am: it’s a seamless application, capable of sending up to 70 percent of drive torque to the front axle, or up to 80 percent to the rear axle, depending on driving conditions. It is quietly effective during daily driving and seemingly masterful in traction-compromised circumstances of which we have had many due to recent heavy rainfalls; I’m talking about rain-slicked blacktop through to muddy gravel tracks – again, more about that soon. 

The Touareg’s tyres – Pirelli P Zero (285/45 R20) – are well suited to driving on sealed surfaces and well-maintained and dry gravel and dirt roads, but they’re far from ideal for anything more challenging than that.

It has a "weight and space saving inflatable spare wheel”.

What's it like for touring?

The Touareg copes well with light-duty off-roading: driving on well-maintained gravel tracks or dirt roads in dry weather – and it’s very effective on wet sealed surfaces.

And that’s probably as far as I’d push this SUV because it simply isn’t set up – or indeed intended to be used – to traverse anything more challenging than those slightly traction-compromised circumstances.

That’s not to say there’s anything inherently underdone about its AWD system, but this vehicle is just not purpose-built for low-speed, 4WD-style off-roading.

And that’s perfectly fine because a Touareg owner can still undertake appropriate adventures – on the aforementioned controlled surfaces – but just be realistic about its off-road capabilities.

This Touareg has a maximum listed ground clearance (unladen) of 213mm, so it is handicapped somewhat by that off-road, though its adaptive damping does help it get through deep ruts and potholes without too much fuss. Smaller, sharper and more frequent corrugations in dirt tracks do tent to rattle the Touareg a bit.

The Touareg has a listed maximum towing capacity of 750kg (unbraked), and 3500kg (braked). (Image: Marcus Craft) The Touareg has a listed maximum towing capacity of 750kg (unbraked), and 3500kg (braked). (Image: Marcus Craft)

Slow, considered driving helped to get the Touareg through deeper ruts and small rock steps and we avoided any underbody-scraping over the bumpier terrain.

The AWD system can be adjusted to suit off-road (auto and expert) and snow conditions.

This SUV’s Pirelli P Zero tyres are little help when it comes to even light-duty off-roading, because they are designed for safe, comfortable travel on sealed surfaces, not for optimising traction on rocks, gravel, dirt or mud. You also can't drop the air pressure in these tyres to aid off-road grip because there isn't much tyre there to start with.

It’s not unheard of for Touareg owners to fit out their vehicle with aftermarket mods to boost its off-road game – including all-terrain tyres and a mild suspension lift – but there’s not a lot of scope to turn these VW SUVs into hard-core off-road tourers, if that’s your intention. They’re simply not designed or engineered for that sort of driving.

The Touareg has a listed maximum towing capacity of 750kg (unbraked), and 3500kg (braked).

How much fuel does it consume?

It has an official fuel-consumption figure of 6.8L/100km on a combined cycle, but on test we recorded 11.7L/100km, measured at the pump.

It’s worth noting here that we did do some low-speed AWDing along a very washed-out track. 

This Touareg has a 90-litre fuel tank so, going by that as-tested fuel-consumption figure, you can reasonably expect a driving range of approximately 719km from a full tank, but that’s factoring in a safe-distance buffer of 50km.

It has a 24-litre Adblue tank.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Touareg has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating as a result of testing in 2018.

It has eight airbags (driver and front passenger, driver and front passenger side, rear side, curtain – front and rear), three child seat top tether anchorage points on the rear seat-back, and ISOFIX child seat anchorage points on the outer rear seats.

Safety tech includes AEB, lane assist, park assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, area view camera, front cross traffic assist, as well as hill descent control and more.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

The Touareg has a five year / unlimited kilometre warranty and that includes one year of 24-hour roadside assistance.

This variant requires a service every 12 months or 15,000 km, whichever comes first.

Assured Service Pricing applies to the first five standard scheduled services with listed prices of $539, $886, $539, $1306, and $539.

The Touareg is a plush, comfortable SUV which is very nice to drive and, in R-Line guise, it has a welcome bit of saucy sportiness about it.

Let’s be honest: this is not a hard-core off-roading wagon, but to expect it to be such a vehicle is to miss the point entirely. 

The Touareg is more than capable of tackling the large SUV market’s own version of dirt-driving adventures and it does it with aplomb and it does it while the driver and passengers enjoy supreme comfort.

 

$116,290

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

4.5/5

Adventure score

3.5/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.