The Touareg has been a halo model for Volkswagen for some time now, and today saw the launch of the fourth-generation model. DriveLife headed to Auckland for the launch, which consisted of an update on the new model and then some driving on Auckland’s country roads, out to Murawai.

To date, over 1.1m Touaregs have been sold, with the first generation being sold from 2002. The Touareg made a little history in 2006 when a V10 TDI model towed a 155-ton Boeing 747.

The second generation was launched in 2010 and was the first with hybrid-drive technology. In 2018, the third gen came along with its curved “Digital Cockpit” and included new driver assistance and chassis features.

2024 VW Touareg – Pricing and performance

For the first time, VW will offer a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in the Touareg. This is only available in the all-new top-spec R PHEV model, but it does mean a combined power output of 340kW.

VW New Zealand is aiming to sell 400 of the new Touareg in this calendar year. Last year’s sales of the model were 285.

The new models are:

  • V6 TDI $111,990 – 3.0-litre diesel TDI with 170kW power/500Nm of torque
  • V6S TDI R-Line $141,990 – 3.0-litre diesel TDI with 210kW/600Nm
  • R PHEV $159,990 – 3.0-litre V6 petrol PHEV with a combined 340kW/700Nm

The 2024 Touareg TDIs are around $5k more than the outgoing generation, but have a lot more standard features than the outgoing model, says Volkswagen.

All models are fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The TDI models have a fuel-economy rating of 7.9L/100km, while the petrol PHEV model is rated at 1.9L/100km. That’s pretty impressive for a vehicle weighing in at 2,435kg.

Using its 100kW electric motor and its 250kW petrol engine, that PHEV model has a WLTP range of 53km on a single charge and can accelerate to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds. VW New Zealand states the Touareg R PHEV is the most powerful VW production model ever made. Its PHEV battery pack is 17.9kWh in size.

Towing capacity is the same across all models, and that means a 3,500kg braked tow rating.

2024 VW Touareg – Features

Some of the highlighted features include:


  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • Rear logo illumination
  • 20” alloys
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • 15” infotainment screen
  • Wireless app connect
  • Qi wireless phone charging

Moving up to the V6S TDI R-Line adds:

  • 21” alloys
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Ambient lighting
  • Ventilated front seats
  • All-wheel steering
  • Air suspension with adaptive dampers
  • Automated parking
  • Heads-up display

The R PHEV adds:

  • 22” alloys
  • R exclusive exterior and interior trim
  • Panoramic sunroof with electric blind
  • Upgraded audio to 16-channel, 12-speaker DYNAUDIO sound system
  • Electric steering wheel adjust
  • 4 zone AC
  • Puglia leather
  • Massaging front seats

Due to the space requirements of the all-wheel steering system and the PHEV’s battery location, the R PHEV has all-wheel steering removed. The PHEV also loses the space-saver spare and instead has a tyre mobility kit.

Note these are only the highlighted features. We will have a full feature comparison list when we do a review of the 2024 Touareg.

2024 VW Touareg – Colours

VW New Zealand put it very well when they called it the “German Rainbow”. That means a mix of mainly grey, silver, black or white options. There is a total of seven colours available, including the hero colour of Lapiz Blue, which is only available in the R PHEV at a cost of $500.

2024 VW Touareg – Design

New for 2024 is an illuminated rear VW badge. This might sound like something not worth mentioning, but it’s actually pretty cool. The badge lights up in red, adding a little bling to the rear end of the 2024 Touareg.

Overall, the changes are subtle and definitely an evolution, and not a revolution. There’s a new upper and lower grille, new LED adaptive headlights, and a new front bumper with air intakes. At the rear, there are updated taillights, and alongside that illuminated badge is a full-width illuminated light strip.

There are Welcome and Goodbye functions for front and rear lights, and all indicators are now sequential. Adaptive headlights are standard across all models. With regard to lighting, there is also a new ‘Lane Light’ function that illuminates the lane next to you when changing lanes, to add safety to your manoeuvre.

R PHEV finished in black

2024 VW Touareg – Interior

As mentioned, there is now a 12” digital dash cluster, and an enormous 15” infotainment screen, all part of VW’s “Innovision cockpit”. Illuminated cup holders are new, as is a padded legrest on the centre console.

2024 VW Touareg – Driver Assist Systems

There are 25 separate features around driver safety and driver assistance systems, and we’ll cover them all in our review. Of note is that traffic sign recognition is not included in the ‘base’ model. Very surprising, seeing that we see this feature in sub-$30K cars.

2024 VW Touareg – First Drive – V6S TDI R-Line

Heading out to actually look at the cars, it’s unexpectedly noticeable that the silver window trim on the “base” model doesn’t look as modern as the black trim on the R-Line and R models. I really didn’t think it would make that much difference, but it certainly does.

2024 VW Touareg – R-Line TDI

We jumped into an R-Line first, with me as a passenger. There’s a very high dashboard in the Touareg, meaning it sort of towers over the passenger a little. Not an issue, but does take away that sense of space a little.

But then we get out on the road and hear that V6 diesel. I expect some people would lay money down that the car is a petrol V6, it sounds that good.

On the motorway, there is almost dead silence, with no engine noise and almost no road, tyre or wind noise. It’s a very nice place to travel. Sitting in the passenger seat, the usual VW quality is evident, with superb attention to detail around all materials and panel gaps.

That centre screen is massive and there is a lot of functionality – and many touch buttons available. All the AC controls are done via the screen which is not ideal, but they work ok. Talking about touch controls, the new Touareg has VW’s haptic steering wheel controls. We’ve never liked them on any car, and they are no better on the new Touareg. Hopefully, these get replaced with ‘normal’ steering wheel controls at the first update.

Haptic steering wheel controls

In all, the mid-spec R-Line is impressive on the road, even as a passenger.

Base model on the left and R-Line on the right; very little to tell them apart at the rear

2024 VW Touareg – V6 TDI

My turn to drive, switching to the base model. Again, the ride impresses. With 20” wheels and no air suspension; it’s a wonder the Touareg rides this well, an impressive engineering feat.

I didn’t notice too many missing features from the R-Line, but we’d only been in the car for an hour. I do notice the lack of traffic sign recognition and felt myself constantly asking my passenger what the speed limit was on these unfamiliar back roads.

Even though we have 30kW of power and 100Nm of torque less than the R-Line, the car still goes very well. It may be a different story if it was loaded up for a weekend away, but it felt fine tootling around Auckland’s country roads.

After a while of driving this car, you have to wonder if this will be the top-selling model; it drives as well as the R-Line and the comfort levels feel the same. For $30,000 less, I might struggle to justify the extra cost of the R-Line.

Lunch at Kula Shala

2024 VW Touareg – R PHEV

Time to try out the new kid on the block, the 340kW (455 hp) R PHEV. The first thing we did was turn on the massaging seats. Those who poo-poo massaging seats have never tried them – they are awesome. There are around 7 different massaging options in the new Touareg, so there’s something for everyone.

After the diesel V6, the V6 petrol engine sounds even better. It goes very well too, switching it into Sport mode will see a definite performance increase over the R-Line.

Being the R PHEV, the wheels are now 22” and yet the ride is still extremely impressive.

2024 VW Touareg – Summary

VW New Zealand expects that initially, the R PHEV model will be the biggest seller and then that title will move down to the R-Line. Will the V6 TDI pass them on the outside? Time will tell.

But the R PHEV is the halo model, and this is reflected in the first shipment of R models – they are all sold out. VW New Zealand says that those R PHEV sales have been existing Touareg customers. They also suggest that the Touareg will “likely to be the last VW model to go full EV”, due to its size.

Volkswagen New Zealand says that after research was carried out, it was identified that Touareg buyers are motivated by four things (in order): power, tech, size, and comfort. Our first impression of the 2024 VW Touareg is showing it’s hitting all those markers perfectly. Well done, VW.

We’ll book a Touareg for our usual feature-length review and live with the car for a week to make sure it’s as good as it first seems.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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