Volkswagen pulls no punches with the new Touareg. It’s one of the best big 4x4s for tow car drivers.

The Touareg’s biggest fault in some eyes will be the absence of a third row of seats, even as an option. However, if five seats are enough, no passenger goes short of space. Some might feel the cabin isn’t special enough on a car that costs more than £40,000, but you do get plenty of toys included in the price.

The best plaything of the lot is the 3.0-litre diesel engine. With 237bhp and 406lb ft of torque it drags the Touareg and a caravan from 30-60mph in just 9.8 seconds. It’s refined as well as powerful.

With its electronic parking brake, there’s no danger of rolling backwards on a steep slope, and the V6 easily pulled car and van to the top of the test hill.

At high speeds the Touareg is stable and assured, with the Al-Ko ATC sensors recording very little movement. In the lane-change test the VW was well on top of things, right up until the final high-speed run, when the back of the car was pulled out of line.

The official combined economy figure of 37.2mpg is impressive, and you can expect the car to hold on to 48% of the original price after three years.

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