After a teaser campaign that lasted months and ran until 24 hours before debut, the facelifted third-generation Volkswagen Touareg is here — “here” being Europe and other markets that aren’t America. The obligatory facets of a facelift are here, beginning with the LED light bar under the new grille, connecting the headlights. Buyers who want to upgrade the headlights can opt for VW’s new IQ.LIGHT HD matrix units, each housing corralling 19,216 individual LED pixels. VW says these provide a glare-free main beam, the automaker pledging to propagate them throughout the SUV lineup now that the company’s technology leader has them (please bring them to the U.S.!). In back, a full-width LED light bar turns into the taillights at the flanks, stopping in the middle at an illuminated VW logo, the first time there’s been a dayglow rear logo on a VW in Europe.
Engineers tweaked the standard steel and optional air suspensions to boost handling and comfort. They also tied the Touareg’s dynamic control unit into a roof load sensor, the result being that when the control unit detects additional weight on the roof, it changes parameters for the stability control to improve safety. Four new wheel options start at 19 inches and end at 21 inches, and can be wrapped in optional performance rubber.
Inside, the Innovision Cockpit’s 12-inch digital gauge cluster and Discover Pro Max 15-inch infotainment screen are now standard equipment. Infotainment improvements mean finer lane-level navigation, better high-res map data, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, more conversational commands for the voice control, and USB charging ports upgraded to 45 watts from 15 watts. Current owners asked for more padding in the center console armrest, VW delivered.
There’s a choice of five engines depending on trim and market, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to both axles. The entry mill is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 gas engine making 335 horsepower. Above that come two turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesels making either 228 hp or 282 hp. Then it’s back to gas with a plug-in hybrid system combining the 3.0-liter V6 with an e-motor in the transmission and a 14.1-kWh battery, output standing at 375 hp.
The Touareg R eHybrid flagship gets a more powerful version of this PHEV powertrain making 456 hp and 516 lb-ft. Along with the R badges, special identifiers include blue brake calipers, 20-inch Braga wheels, and blue accents in the cabin. For this one, a panoramic sunroof and quad-zone climate control join the list of standard equipment. The R and R-Line can be ordered with an exclusive Silicon Gray Matte color as well, the R with the signature Lapiz Blue Metallic.
The base Touareg available in Germany will continue with the pre-facelift front fascia. It starts at €69,200 ($74,252 U.S.). Above that, the Elegance starts at €75,070 ($80,550 U.S.), the R-Line at €79,660 ($85,475 U.S.), and the R eHybrid at €93,870 ($100,723 U.S.). Order books for the performance models open on June 22.