Johannesburg - Volkswagen’s all-new Touareg large SUV has landed in South Africa in two derivatives, one priced at just below the R1-million mark and the other just over.

Following its world reveal in Beijing, China, in March, the third-generation Touareg reaches local showrooms in a Luxury model selling for R999 800 and an Executive version for R1 088 200. Both are gunned along by the well-known 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6, with outputs of 190kW and 600Nm (up from the 180kW and 550Nm made by the former Touareg), with all-wheel drive.

The new Touareg shares its MLB Evo platform with the Bentley Bentayga and Audi Q7. At 4878mm long it's slightly longer (and wider) than its predecessor but sheds 106kg due to its body being construced of lightweight aluminium and high-tech steels.

Along with more cabin room and a boot that swells in size from 697 to 810 litres, the Touareg features a completely new digitalised interface which VW calls the Innovision Cockpit. It comprises a 30.4cm digital instrument cluster that flows into a huge 38cm central infotainment hub that almost completely does away with conventional buttons.

This Innovision Cockpit is an extra-cost option, and the Touareg comes standard with a 23cm touchscreen with 'Discover Pro' navigation. 

The terrain-taming VW also boasts a raft of driver assistance and comfort functions  including semi-automated steering, lane-keeping assist, an accelerating and braking system that operates at speeds of up to 60km/h, Front Cross Traffic Assist, and a thermal imaging camera that detects people and animals at night.

As a standard feature the Touareg also features the largest panoramic sliding roof yet created by VW. The transparent roof section is 1 270 mm long and 825 mm wide, and the front half of the roof can be continuously opened and electrically moved back by 495 mm and raised. 

The standard package on both models also includes a power-operated tailgate, LED headlights, electrically adjustable front seats, rear view camera with park assist, electrically folding towbar, climate control, and adaptive cruise control.

The Executive derivative adds a sportier-looking R Line exterior package, LED matrix headlights, four zone climate control, and Dynamic Chassis Control with a tyre pressure monitor.

Optionally available on both versions is air suspension and a 730 watt Dynaudio sound system with sub woofer. The Executive can additionally be specced with four-wheel steering which boosts handling and stability at higher speeds, and reduces the turning circle at lower speeds. Dipping further into the options budget gets you the Advanced Safety Package which includes Lane Assist and Side Assist with Night Vision and Head-up Display.

Both Touareg models are sold with a three-year/120 000km warranty and five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.

KEY RIVALS

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro 183kW and 600Nm R1 094 000
BMW X5 xDrive 30d 190kW and 560Nm R1 118 554
Jaguar F-Pace 30d AWD S 221kW and 700Nm R1 106 634
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Limited 179kW and 569Nm R1 047 900
Land Rover Discovery SE Td6 190kW and 600Nm R1 166 906
Mercedes GLE 350d 190kW and 620Nm R1 138 297
Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Momentum 173kW and 480Nm R1 016 500

IOL Motoring