Perhaps the things that Volkswagen are most keen to talk about are the technological upgrades to the Touareg – “technological tour de force” may have been uttered once or twice. These include the much-vaunted parking assistant which can now be controlled from your phone from up to two metres away from a car. While there are plenty of reasons to be sceptical about how often such a system will be used to actually park your Touareg, the idea of being able to pull such a massive car out of a parking space when cars are parked close to the side without having to squeeze in is appealing and genuinely works. It’s controlled via an app that’s Bluetooth connected to your car, so you don’t need to worry about any data issues.
The other major new tech is the trailer assist, which helps even a towing novice like myself to master reversing a trailer around a corner. It’s not the most intuitive system – you steer using the wingmirror controls – but once you master it it’s really rather clever.
But the main tech has to be that humongous screen and as far as I was concerned the news was mostly good. The sheer scale of it means controls can be nice and large, which makes the transfer from physical buttons to touch slightly easier. The main screen is simplistically laid out in blocks and easy to work your way around and there’s even quick select buttons for the driving aids, which makes a big difference over many recent VW products.
It’s not all good news. The controls for the climate might be big but they aren’t always totally clear and while those quick use buttons are great, they don’t reverse the entry process the same way, leaving you tapping back through menus. On the steering wheel Volkswagen’s haptic controls have made an unwelcome return, but do seem to more readily respond to inputs than they once did.
As mentioned, the plug-in system isn’t the beefiest the world has ever seen and it will fill from empty on a 7kW charger in 2.5 hours. Standard features include cruise control, climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, automatic windscreen wipers and lights, wireless phone charging, heated seats and steering wheel and keyless go.