2019 VW Touareg Gets A Stern Talking To During In-Depth Review

VW brand products often pride themselves in offering good value for money, and despite this being VW’s most expensive model by far, the new Touareg is still on average a little bit cheaper to purchase than its direct rivals.

The question is then just how well it measures up to the competition, and while things might look really good on paper, an in-depth analysis of the Touareg’s shortcomings might just prove sufficient so as to have you look elsewhere for a premium people hauler.

At least that’s what Carwow presenter Mat Watson seems to think, after finding himself less than impressed with the SUV’s interior built quality. He also noticed the Touareg’s slow to react automatic transmission, which doesn’t really help its case against something like a BMW X5.

Still, the biggest issue has to be that of hard and scratchy plastics on various surfaces inside the cockpit. We don’t get the sense that the interior is poorly built overall, but it’s just not on the same level as that of its rivals, according to Watson.

Then there’s the seating position, which is quite low – some drivers might like that, while others not so much, especially if they’re looking for a more commanding view.

As for things he did like about the Touareg, they include the rear-wheel steering system, the spacious interior, cornering ability (it feels very car-like to drive) and sufficiently punchy engine, once the transmission figures out what it is you want.

In the end, the reviewer said that potential buyers should just consider buying a Touareg without actually shortlisting it, seen as how there are more luxurious alternatives out there.


  • VAG has to pay escalating costs of diesel-gate…hence cheap, hard plastic [email protected] [email protected] all over VAG products.

    • MayTheBestCarWin05

      Why has everyone become so concerned with how soft the materials are (specifically) on the lower section of the door?

      I get these are expensive vehicles, but it seems to be the go to critique for modern car reviewers.

      • Because your body parts rub up and bump against them. Hard plastics squeak and rattle over time. There’s that.

        • MayTheBestCarWin05

          Hmmm….in all my years of driving, my legs have never rubbed up against the lower portion of my doors. But, just because it hasn’t happened to me, doesn’t mean that other folks don’t run into this problem.

          • You must also not have children.

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            I’ve got two.

          • You should ask them what’s the ride like in the back. Usually, the hard plastics are much worse in the back, in both upper and lower parts of the rear seating and door areas.

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            They’re too young (4.5yrs and 8 months). But you are spot on, the plastics on the tops of the rear doors are hard plastic. Which is fine bc kids are messy and tough hard plastic is preferred during these years.

            I get why one would want soft touch plastics where my arms and elbows fall, but soft fancy plastics down by my ankles?? Not very worried about it.

          • So, God forbid you’re in an accident, would you prefer your kids’ body parts hitting hard plastics or soft? Just saying. There’s a science behind this.

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            I’d prefer their body parts hit all the airbags that will deploy. Plus, if we’re in a car accident…..a quarter inch of ‘soft touch material’ is not going to lessen the bodily damage done by a Tahoe t-boning us.

          • Air bags won’t get everything. You need to speak to First Responders about what happens to people in auto accidents. It’s not pretty. Airbags mitigate, they don’t stop. That’s a very important distinction.

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            of course airbags don’t get everything. But stating that soft plastics will yield a better result than hard plastics in an accident seems incorrect.

            Maybe if its a low speed accident?? But in a real accident, no first responder will say “gee, look at how well these soft plastics on the lower and upper door trim saved everyone’s lives”….

          • I guess you didn’t take a physics class and you use cinder blocks for pillows in your bed.

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            I’m the one who is being questioned about my understanding of physics when you literally said “God forbid you’re in an accident, would you prefer your kids’ body parts hitting hard plastics or soft?”.

            As if any accident with the force that would cause occupants to smash into a door panel would somehow be better off smashing into a “soft touch” door vs. “hard plastic”???

            My face connecting with door trim at 50mph is gonna suck….soft plastics or not.

          • Kinda hard to have a discussion with someone who is somewhat clueless. Cheers!

          • MayTheBestCarWin05

            Glad name calling strangers on the internet makes you happy.

            God Bless!

          • Bless your heart!

      • alexxx

        Short answer would be:people are becoming more and more crybabies…
        Long answer:same as short answer

        • MayTheBestCarWin05

          Or, cars in general have improved so much that bitching about how scratchy lower door panels are is all reviewers have left.

          • alexxx


      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        I’ll say this with a preface that I don’t care about soft touch materials.

        The real reason is because true luxury vehicles have soft touch plastics all over. If you’re trying to compete with a luxury vehicle and you’re missing certain elements, you should be called out on it. You can’t cut corners when you get to a certain tier.

      • Matt

        I’d care because there’s a fair amount of cars in this segment (not BMW/Merc etc )that have those soft materials. I just remember when VW used to be a fair amount ahead in terms of material fit & finish inside in it’s price point and now the competition through the years have largely stepped up or surpassed them. Personally i would care about the little comforts like nice soft materials everywhere if i was getting upper class suv.

      • Miknik

        Because it was especially VAG who became obsessed with them, and called them out as what makes an interior premium, or, infact, a car; And when they are very obviously saving most at interior materials suddenly, yes, I do think that is worth a mention. Even in the newest AUdis you find a lot more cheap interior bits than just 3 or 4 years ago….

    • Cobrajet

      Just because it’s has plastic, doesn’t make it bad quality.

      • Yeah, it does. But it’s a type of plastic, hard plastic.

  • Stephen G

    Crap article. You can’t compare two vehicles with a 20% price difference.

  • alexxx

    Tuoareg is one of a few vw cars that I actually like…

    • Roland Fairwater

      I like most Volkswagens (turquoise T-Cross excluded), and the Touareg has always been one of my favourites. Shame to see that such a cool car is allegedly falling short.

      • alexxx

        It’s falling short just cause reporters are comparing it with best in class…for most people it’s a great car..

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