It’s not even a fair fight anymore…

Volkswagen has finally introduced the third-generation Touareg, and it comes to prove a point that Volkswagen isn’t playing around in the premium segment. The exterior gets a healthy restyle that brings it inline with more aggressive offerings on the market while the interior pushes technology to a whole new level. Of course, you can see some Audi and Porsche cues here and there but, for the most part, the Touareg stands on its own four wheels. The new Touareg will initially be offered with two variations of a diesel-drinking V-6 and a V-8. A gasoline V-6 is scheduled for the future while China is set to get a hybrid powertrain.

Quick Breakdown of the 2019 Volkswagen Touareg

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame
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How did the Touareg’s Exterior Change?

On the outside, the Touareg takes a number of updates, some of which help set it apart from it’s Audi- and Porsche-branded cousins. In the front VW dropped the height of the hood and increased the height of the grille. This ultimately led to a smaller, more refined air dam and we’d be lying if we said those corner vents don’t remind us of the Golf front end. The headlights are sleek and thin, with a stylish new LED layout.

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame Exterior Wallpaper quality
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As far as the side profile goes, it’s more precise than ever. The body lines have been sharped and enhanced compared to the outgoing model with the rear haunches reminding strongly of the Audi Q5. The beltline remains largely the same, but the lower corner of the rear glass now sits much higher. More important is the roofline which is now more sloped than ever which serves an aerodynamic purpose but provides some fresh style too.

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The rear end ditches the look of yesteryear and now features a more slanted rear hatch that sits a little higher than before. The taillights are more refined with a sporty LED layout and lighter print than before. The exhaust outlets are more rectangular, and the insert at the bottom of the fascia is now wider, creating a more dominating appearance.

How did the Touareg’s Interior Change?

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame
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The 2019 Touareg’s interior has changed dramatically. It’s not only sportier, but it’s packed to the gills with technology.

The 2019 Touareg’s interior has changed dramatically. It’s not only sportier, but it’s packed to the gills with technology. The center console sits higher, and the gear shifter takes on the Porsche and Audi look. The cupholders now sit parallel with the shifter which allows it to be a little thinner than before. What’s more important on the cosmetic level, however, is the inclusion of stitched leather, perforated seats, and the angle of the dash that aims the infotainment screen directly at the driver.

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame
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On the technology front, the Touareg gets all the goodies of VW’s Innovision Cockpit. It’s got the 12-inch digital cockpit similar to what we’re used to seeing from Audi, and there’s a massive 15-inch infotainment display as long as you opt for the Discover Premium infotainment system. This new system works with the instrument cluster and drastically reduces the need for physical buttons on the dash and center console.

Let’s Talk About Cargo Space and Weight

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame
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When Volkswagen redesigned the Touareg, it did so with space in mind. That’s why it’s not only longer but wider too. As such, cargo space has been increased to 810 liters with the rear seats in the upright position. That’s an increase of 113 liters over the outgoing generation. Full specs have yet to be released, for the interior, but you can bet passenger volume and space has increased as well. As far as weight goes, sometimes more can mean less as the new Touareg is 106 kg (233 pounds) lighter – that translates to better fuel economy and better handling.

2019 Volkswagen Touareg Performance

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame
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VW is also working on a plug-in hybrid powertrain that will deliver some 367 PS (361 horsepower)

This is where things really get fun. See, Volkswagen doesn’t plan to bring the new Touareg to the United States, so you probably won’t be surprised to see that there’s only one gasoline engine for the taking. But, we’ll get back to more of that in a minute. At launch, there will be two variations of a V-6 diesel available, with one delivering 231 PS and the other 286 PS (227 and 281 horsepower, respectively.) In the near future, Volkswagen plans to offer a diesel-powered V-8 with some 421 PS (415 horsepower) and a V-6 gasoline engine with around 340 PS (335 horsepower.) There’s no word on torque just yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we say torque fall in the mid-600 range for the V-8 diesel and probably somewhere between 350 and 450 pound-feet for the V-6 diesels.

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame Exterior Wallpaper quality
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And, for those of you who want a lighter environmental impact, VW is also working on a plug-in hybrid powertrain that will deliver some 367 PS (361 horsepower) from the engine and electric motors. This specific powertrain is being designed with China in mind, but VW has said that the “exact launch date in Europe is still open,” which means it will be coming to Europe at some point too. Our guess would be sometime in late 2019 or early 2020 at the latest.

Final Thoughts

The Volkswagen Touareg is Here, and It Puts the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE to Shame Exterior Wallpaper quality
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With Volkswagen introducing a new five-seat Atlas to its U.S. lineup, and the new Tiguan pretty much trumping the current-gen Touareg, it’s no surprise that VW isn’t bringing the third-gen Touareg to the States. However, after looking at this thing, VW has some work to do if it wants to get right with the premium segment here in the states. One thing is for sure, the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE will find themselves struggling to compete, so that should be interesting to see. For now, this is about all we know about the new Touareg, but more information will be coming our way soon, so stay tuned for that. Until then, enjoy the full gallery of images below!

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