Can the Volkswagen Touareg compete with the many other premium brands in its class and give them a run for their money? We take a look at the new Volkswagen Touareg and review how it lines up against some of the world’s most sought after brands, including BMW, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.
If you’re after a luxury mid-size SUV, the price of the Volkswagen Touareg is pretty hard to beat. Yes, there are cheaper models on the market, but none of them offers quite as much for your money as the Touareg does. It’s one of the most affordable and attractive models in its class, and is packed full of high-quality features. In terms of the VW Touareg vs BMW X5, the Touareg offers a whole range of premium features and an attractive performance.
The BMW X5 does cost considerably more than the Touareg, but there is one factor which works in its favour - BMWs tend to hold their value better, and Touaregs have previously experienced fairly harsh price depreciation. In addition, the BMW is much more likely to appeal to buyers looking for a more environmentally friendly option - the X5 has lower carbon dioxide emissions which is kinder to the planet, and kinder to your wallet too. Intended to encourage drivers to make a greener choice in their car buying, cars which emit lower levels of emissions are subject to lower rates of car tax.
The Volkswagen Touareg prides itself on the smoothness of its ride. It’s a great combination of a comfortable drive while being able to deal well with narrow and twisting lanes. Responsive and sharp, the VW Touareg spec offers a base-level 3.6-litre, 280hp engine with 266lb-ft of torque, which results in a satisfyingly smooth drive.
If, however, you’re looking for something which delivers fun, the BMW X5 will prove preferable. The BMW X5 is completely geared towards first-class handling and excellent driving dynamics, offering drivers a thrilling ride. It comes with an impressive specification too - the model provides 300hp with its 3.0-litre engine. In terms of fuel economy, the BMW also slightly outperforms the Touareg.
For those who are looking for a SUV which can tow heavy equipment, the Volkswagen Touareg looks like a far more attractive purchase. As far as raw power goes, the Touareg is the superior of the two models. Mid-range torque accounts for more than power when towing, and the Volkswagen has plenty of that. Plus, the standard 4Motion all-wheel drive system and additional towing accessories make it a great choice for heavy equipment haulage.
Most SUVs in this class offer the potential for a third row of seats, which allows for up to seven passengers. At present, you can only get the Touareg with five seats, and it does have smaller boot space than other models such as the Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5, or the Mercedes M-Class.On the positive side, only catering for five passengers means there’s heaps of space in the Touareg, along with all of the storage space that’s built in.
There’s also the level of noise (or lack of) and comfort in the cabin. The Volkswagen seats are high-quality and very comfortable - ideal for long distance driving and hours spent on the road. The Touareg is also perfect for those who want a quieter ride - there’s very little noise even at faster speeds, and the wind and road noise are kept to an absolute minimum.
The BMW X5 scores high in this category too. The X5 is on the bigger end of the spectrum in the mid-size SUV class, and it demonstrates this well in the amount of storage space which is on offer. There’s 35.8 cubic feet of trunk space, which increases to a very roomy 76.7 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded down. In terms of the BMW X5 vs the Volkswagen Touareg, the Touareg has just a maximum of 64 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded down. The X5 also offers the highly desirable third row of seating, allowing up to seven passengers to travel at any time. Arguably, this may feel a little cramped, but it may suit your needs if you’re catering for a larger family.
This is an area where the Volkswagen shows its quality craftsmanship for the price, with a range of high-quality materials used for the interior dashboard. Buyers can choose from either solid wood veneer or real metal inlays, and the overall feeling is of solidity and quality. Any parts made from plastic feel pleasingly heavy, and controls move with a well-damped smoothness. The use of analogue gauges lend a sophisticated air to the dashboard, and are certainly easy to understand.
Digital systems such as the sat-nav and audio are very responsive and user-friendly. Some features require a bit of finding - such as the heated steering wheel and heated seats- but overall the dashboard design of the Touareg is excellent.
This is an area where the BMW X5 trumps the Touareg - according to the latest EU combined fuel consumption figures anyway. Although Touareg does perform slightly better than models like the Land Rover Discovery, it can be an expensive car to run in terms of its diesel consumption.
When looking at the Volkswagen Touareg in comparison to the BMW X5, the Touareg does offer a lot for its price point in terms of space, comfort and reliability, whereas the BMW X5 performs well in terms of efficiency, performance and driving experience. Regardless of the model you choose, you can be assured a reliable, comfortable drive that won’t let you down.
When purchasing a car, always make sure you buy from a reputable garage or dealer such as Carwise Group. If you’d like more information about the Volkswagen Touareg or BMW X5, why not visit us at one of our showrooms in Harlow and Maidstone