Britannia Banner

Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 V6 TSI eHybrid 4Motion R 5dr Tip Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol Parallel PHEV
  • 5 door suv
  • 53 g/km CO2
  • 462 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The most powerful car in the entire Volkswagen line-up is this model, the Touareg R. This dynamic 462PS luxury large SUV was the first of the brand's sporting R models to feature plug-in drive. And it was the first all-wheel drive model in VW's PHEV range. Here's the improved version.


The Touareg R is a step beyond any version of Volkswagen's largest SUV that we're previously seen. It's also a very different car from any that the Wolfsburg marque's 'R' sub-brand has attempted to develop before, taking its place above the T-Roc R and Tiguan R performance SUV models that the brand's R division launched before it. Before we first saw this Touareg R in 2020, some had expected this fastest Touareg to use the fiery 600PS mild hybrid petrol V8 from the Audi RS Q8. Or perhaps the 507PS V8 TFSI engine from the Audi SQ7. The 462PS petrol V6 it arrived with instead turned out to be more than sufficient to justify the 'R' branding. Unlike the two other engines just mentioned, this one is a plug-in hybrid powertrain - essentially the same unit used by the Bentley Bentayga, but delivered here without the six-figure price tag. This model's mid-term update in mid-2023 brought a slightly sharper look, bigger wheels and a higher price tag.

Driving Experience

There are no significant changes under the bonnet with this improved Touareg R. That evocative badge suggests a rorty exhaust, neck-snapping performance and the usual extra 'race' R drive mode but actually, a Touareg R doesn't have any of that, nor is it intended as any sort of credible alternative to a comparable BMW M or Mercedes-AMG SUV super-sports model. And with basically the same turbo petrol V6 as the ordinary eHybrid model (just boosted in power to 462PS) with the same modest 450Nm torque figure, it's equally misleading to present it as any sort of follow up to the memorable 5.0-litre V10 diesel-powered Touareg R50 model of 2007, which had so much torque that Volkswagen UK once hitched it up to tow a 155-tonne Boeing 747. What we've got instead of all that is a flagship variant that suits likely customers rather better, if the sales figures for this variant so far are any guide. Keeping that sales momentum going with this updated Touareg R might be difficult though because disappointingly, as with the ordinary Touareg eHybrid, the PHEV powertrain in use here is the older VW Group PHEV package based around a 2.9-litre V6, a 138PS electric motor and a 14.3kWh battery. We'd hoped that Volkswagen would have taken the opportunity presented by this facelift to update this set-up to the far more modern Plug-in Hybrid system lately adopted by the updated version of this Touareg's Porsche Cayenne cousin, which in E-Hybrid form uses a 3.0-litre V6, a completely new 176PS electric motor and a much bigger 25.9kWh battery. Which is why that car can go up to 46 miles between charges, while both PHEV Touaregs are limited to just 31 miles. A rival Mercedes GLE 400e PHEV can go up to 70 miles on battery power. So yes, this Touareg's Plug-in tech is some way behind the tech curve. But you might still like one. Despite nearly two-and-a-half tones of kerb weight, it feels reasonably responsive - in 'Sport' mode anyway, with 62mph dispatched in 5.1s en route to 155mph. That's with the 'Hybrid' drive setting engaged; switch to 'Electric' mode and the top speed on battery power alone will be 84mph. The switch between the two drive sources is reasonably smooth but certainly noticeable and you'll particularly hear the engine if you take up the (rather inefficient) 'Eco' drive mode option of using that V6 combustion unit to act as a generator for the battery. Another feature carried over from the regular eHybrid model is the 'reserve charge' feature that allows you to preserve battery charge for when you might need it at the end of a trip. Air suspension is standard but disappointingly given the handling agility you'd usually want from a Volkswagen R model, this one can't be ordered with the rear-axle steering and Active Roll Compensation systems we mentioned earlier; the PHEV packaging doesn't allow for it.

Design and Build

Visual changes to this improved model are slight: basically larger lower front bumper air ducts and revised headlights. Plus as part of this update, you get larger 22-inch 'Estoril Black' diamond-turned alloy wheels. As before, from the outside this top Touareg sets itself apart from humbler variants with various little touches - R-style bumpers, black louvres in the air intake grilles, black trim strips on the side windows, black mirror housings and a radiator grille with black trim strips. Plus if you should miss all of that, there's a pair of large trapezoidal tailpipes to clue lesser drivers in on what's just flashed past them. Inside, the enhancements are equally subtle. Things like embossed R logos for the unique sports steering wheel and for the head restraints of seats trimmed in Puglia leather upholstery with 'Crystal Grey' stitching. 'Silver Wave' aluminium decorates the dash and the doors and you get brushed stainless steel pedals and cool white background lighting. As in top versions of the standard model, there's a huge 15-inch infotainment display on the centre stack and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster. As part of this update, the central infotainment monitor has had software and functionality updates which have brought more advanced HD map data, plus an updated voice control system and wireless 'Apple CarPlay/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. As usual on a Touareg, there's a comfortable back seat with sliding and seat reclining options. Luggage space, accessed via a powered tailgate and a stainless steel load sill protection plate, is slightly compromised by the PHEV system's battery, so is down from 810 to 655-litres. Think in terms of 1,675-litres with the seats down.

Market and Model

The most expensive versions of more conventional Touaregs already cost around £70,000, so you'll need to think in terms of needing a budget of around £80,000 for a Touareg R, which is about the same as you'd pay for an identically-engineered Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. Console yourself with the thought that an identically-engineered Bentley Bentayga PHEV could cost you nearly twice as much. Obviously, the standard spec is comprehensive, including 22-inch 'Estoril Black' diamond-turned wheel rims with blue calipers and decorated with a silver R logo. Also included are IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, a panoramic sunroof, 4-zone air conditioning, a special sports steering wheel and unique upholstery. The 'Innovision' in-car screen package gives this model a 15-inch central touchscreen and a 12-inch digital instrument binnacle display. Plus there's also the latest version of Volkswagen's 'Travel Assist' adaptive cruise control system which can accelerate, steer or brake this Touareg at speeds of up to 155mph. Options include a 780-watt sound system and Night vision (which detects people or animals in the dark using a thermal imaging camera). Camera-driven safety features include 'Front Cross Traffic Assist' - which responds to traffic crossing in front of the car. For autonomous driving, there's 'Traffic Jam and Roadwork Lane Assist' which offers partly automated steering and lane departure warning up to 37mph, plus autonomous acceleration and braking.

Cost of Ownership

Because, like an ordinary Touareg eHybrid, this Touareg R retains the VW Group's older, smaller 14.3kWh PHEV battery, rather than the larger 25.9kWh unit now fitted to its close cousin, the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid, the Ev range on offer here - around 31 miles - is some way down on the current prevailing class standard. As, correspondingly, are the efficiency stats (up to 122.8mpg on the combined cycle and up to 53g/km of CO2). And the car's BiK tax rating (which is 15%, rather than the 8% figure you'd now get with most direct class rivals). A mode 3, 32-Amp / 7.2 kW charging cable is included to top up the battery from public charge points. Charging an empty battery in this way will take two and a half hours from a garage wallbox, while using a household three-pin socket will take eight and a half hours. As usual with a PHEV, there's the option of saving battery charge for later in your trip (urban driving you might have to complete at the end of a long motorway journey for instance). And if the plug-in system's 14.3kWh battery is running low, you can (rather inefficiently) charge it using the V6 petrol engine as a generator.


This potent plug-in powertrain suits this ultimate Touareg very well. If you want more straight-up power from a Volkswagen Group-engineered premium large SUV, there's always the Audi RS Q8: if you want more torque, there's always the Audi SQ7. But those two models look a little one-dimensional alongside this one. A Touareg R, after all, has much more to offer than just barnstorming performance. At one extreme, there's the potential for largely fuel-free near-silent commuting. At the other, this car's capable, when properly equipped, of dealing with the kind of challenging off road track you might hesitate to attempt in a Land Rover product. And in between, it's capable of scaling sixty from rest as quickly as would a Porsche 718 Cayman sports car. There's something very appealing about a product like that. Particularly one that also comes with the warm eco-centric glow you get these days from choosing something electrified. A car not quite as efficient as its rivals but still with very affordable tax liability. And a set of fuel and CO2 stats that'll stop Greenpeace carpers in their tracks. Yes, it'd be nicer to have a Bentley Bentayga or Porsche Cayenne with this same tech. But a Touareg R makes so much more financial sense. We think you'd like one.

  • eCall emergency system
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Diversity antenna for AM/ FM reception
  • We Connect and We Connect Plus functionality
  • Black style comfort bumpers
  • Electric front tilt/slide panoramic sunroof and fixed rear sunroof
  • External USB type C socket and charging sockets
  • Gloss black roof rails
  • Rear exhaust tailpipe
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Stainless steel door sill protection
  • 12V socket in centre console
  • Airbag label on sun visor and B-pillar
  • Brushed stainless steel pedals
  • Door and side trim panel with Leather quilting
  • Front centre armrest
  • Illuminated scuff plates in door apertures
  • Leather wrapped multifunction sports steering wheel, heated, with touch control and shift paddles
  • Puglia leather upholstery with "R" ergoComfort
  • Tool kit
  • Memory pack plus - Touareg
  • 3 point seatbelts, outer rear with ECE lable
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver and front passenger safety-optimised head restraints
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Front seat side impact airbags
  • Height adjustable 3 point front seatbelts with pre tensioners
  • Passenger airbag deactivate switch
  • Three 3 point rear seatbelts
  • Two tone horn
  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Alarm system with interior protection
  • Easy open and close sensor controlled luggage compartment opening and closing with remote unlocking
  • Keyless Access Keyless locking and starting system with SAFELOCK
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 14.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 510
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 150
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 7.2
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: N
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 7.2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 5
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 14.3
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 24.2
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 2.6
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 48
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 30
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 53
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 2995
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 84.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 89
  • Engine Code: RC8RZJ
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 2.3
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 122.8
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Badge Power: 462
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: V6 TSI eHybrid 4Motion
  • Coin Series: R
  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 49E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 89
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 86
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 72
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 81
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 462
  • Engine Power - KW: 340
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5300
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 332
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 45.9
  • Engine Torque - NM: 450
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1340
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 285/35 R22
  • Tyre Size Rear: 285/35 R22
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: ESTORIL
  • Wheel Type: 22" ALLOY
  • Height: 1693
  • Length: 4902
  • Wheelbase: 2899
  • Width: 1984
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3020
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 665
  • Max. Loading Weight: 614
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 3500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2406
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.2