2018 Volkswagen Touareg First Drive: The Crown Jewel

As a sign of the current trends and times, Volkswagen’s newest flagship model is not the distinctive Arteon saloon. Instead, that honor now belongs to the all-new Touareg SUV. It faces tough competition, but the gadget-laden third-generation Touareg is using technology to its advantage. It won't be coming to the U.S. – we'll have to make to do with the Tiguan and Atlas SUVs – yet we thought you'd still be interested to find out what the Touareg is up to overseas. 

First Impressions

This new model aspires to sell many more copies of itself than the old one, and so VW has brought its A-game to the SUV party. The new Touareg sits on the same platform as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga – so it’s in good company. Despite being larger than before, it actually weighs 234 pounds fewer thanks to a body that is now 48-percent aluminum.

It’s quite a smart-looking thing, don’t you think? While its huge chrome grill that encompasses the headlights is domineering, the rest of this SUV is more subtle than some rivals. Polite creases and soft curves create a grownup look that isn’t desperately trying to capture every passerby’s attention. Sure, it is a bit showier than its subdued predecessor, but it retains a sense of maturity. Some may argue that an SUV should be a style statement, but those who aren’t keen on vivid paint or huge chromed alloys will val...