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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Fresh faced Volkswagen Touareg emerges with new LED light tech

First overhaul for Volkswagen's flagship SUV since 2018 comes with a restyled facia and subtle changes inside.

The announcement made on Tuesday, Volkswagen, overnight, unveiled the heavily updated Touareg South Africa will be receiving later this year.

A first time revision for Wolfsburg’s flagship SUV since its debut five years ago, the prominent, at the front, adaptations sees the Touareg sporting a look similar to the North American Taos and indeed, previewing what the next generation Tiguan will look like.

New LED light tech

As indicated by the most recent teaser image in February, the Touareg gains not only a new more expansive grille with an optional illuminated bar, but as an option, Volkswagen’s latest Matrix I.Q LED headlights fitted with a total of 38 432 micro diodes.

Amounting to 19 216 LEDs within each bulb, the high definition lights are said to provide enhanced illumination by emitting a so-called carpet of light, called Lane Light, that doesn’t startle oncoming traffic even on full beam.

ALSO READ: Revised Volkswagen Touareg shows almost all in final teaser

Elsewhere, Volkswagen has restyled the front bumper, availed the ever popular black styling package to R-Line models and fitted chrome accents as standard to the mid-spec Elegance and R-Line derivatives.

Facelift Volkswagen Touareg revealed
Restyled rear facia gets a new LED light bar and illuminated Volkswagen logo. Image: Volkswagen

At the rear, the makeover is less dramatic, but easy to spot as the bumper has been “rounded” off and a LED light bar, complete with an illuminated Volkswagen logo, inserted between the restyled LED light clusters.

The final external tweaks are the alloy wheel options that now come in four designs; standard 19-inch Coventry wheels, 20-inch Braga on the Touareg R and two options; 21-inch Napoli and 21-inch Leeds wheels.

Underneath and inside

Underneath its skin, more subtle changes have applied, namely improved steel and optional air suspension, plus a load sensor integrated into the roof Volkswagen says has been intertwined with the Touareg’s electronics in order “to transfer higher transverse forces and thus increase road agility”.

Facelift Volkswagen Touareg revealed
Innovasion Cockpit has received minor tweaks. Image: Volkswagen.

Dimensionally, the Touareg is unchanged, though inside, the expansive Innovision Cockpit, made-up of the 15-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment system and 12-inch Digital Cockpit instrument cluster under a single piece of glass, has been refined to include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus updated readouts in the case of the latter.

As a result of buyer demand, and in order to improve comfort, upgraded materials have been used on the design of the centre console, the armrests upgraded with softer leather and physical buttons added to the new steering wheel.

Facelift Volkswagen Touareg revealed
R-Line seats a standard inclusion on the R-Line and flagship Touareg R. Image: Volkswagen

Improved voice activation and recognition, illuminated touch points and new type-C USB ports round the interior off, along with a wireless smartphone charger and from the options list, a revised Head-Up Display as well as a 730-watt Dynaudio sound system.

No standard hybrid assistance

In perhaps the biggest surprise, Volkswagen opted against introducing a 48-volt mild-hybrid system as part of updating the Touareg’s powertrain options.

No longer offered though is the 2.0 TSI engine that made 185kW/370Nm, and which had been offered in select European markets only. Also not carried over as it departed three years ago is the bi-turbo 4.0 TDI V8 that made 310kW/900Nm.

Volkswagen finally debuts updated Touareg
Plug-in hybrid Touareg R again tops the range. Image: Volkswagen

It, therefore, means that for the first time since its debut 21 years ago, the Touareg derives motivation exclusively from six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

In the case of the former, 3.0 TSI produces an unchanged 250kW/450Nm, while the same unit in the eHybrid makes 280kW/600Nm. The stalwart 3.0 TDI is again offered in two states of tune; 170kW/500Nm and 210kW/600Nm.

Volkswagen finally debuts updated Touareg
Blue brake calipers and 21-inch alloy wheels key differentiating factors of the Touareg R. Image: Volkswagen.

Sitting at the top of the range, the plug-in hybrid Touareg R retains the combination of the 3.0 TSI and the 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to produce 340kW/700Nm in combined form. The claimed all-electric range is 45 km at up to 140 km/h.


As before, all models receive Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, the ZF-sourced eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox, four driving modes; Eco, Normal, Comfort and Sport with a E-Mode for the eHybrid, and on some models, the optional off-road pack furnished with two additional modes; Gravel and Sand.

Volkswagen finally debuts updated Touareg
All three generations of Touareg, along with the mammoth V10 TDI R50 (blue). Image: Volkswagen.

Depending on the model, new or updated safety systems, both optional and standard, comprise Trailer Assist, a 360-degree surround-view camera system, Night Vision, Park Assist Plus and Travel Assist that allows for semi-autonomous driving, where allowed, at speeds up to 210 km/h.

In South Africa soon

Now available in Germany with prices ranging from €69 200 (R1 434 839) for the unbadged base model to €93 870 (R1 946 364) for the R, the Bratislava, Slovakia-built Touareg has been confirmed for South Africa from the fourth quarter of this year.

Therefore, expect sales to start either towards the end of this year or in early 2024 with only the TDI engines as options.

NOW READ: Volkswagen commences striptease of facelift Touareg

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