Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

With smart black plastics, luxurious leather seats and a stylish metal effect trim the interior of the R50 is thoroughly modern. Aluminium-look pedals with the 'R' logo help differentiate the cabin from lesser models while the badging also appears on the door sill protectors and head restraints. The chunky switchgear goes with the off road image and the touchscreen sat nav (which also controls the stereo) is slick and easy to operate.

The elevated driving position gives a good view out (although you're always aware that you're in a substantial vehicle) while visibility is impressive for such a big car.

On the motorway the Touareg is quiet and smooth, but hard acceleration results in excessive engine noise and on rougher roads the suspension feels too firm. As a result, poorly surfaced A and B-roads can be a far from relaxing experience for passengers. The leather seats are excellent however, providing good side support and there's decent room in the back, while the R50 comes with dual-zone climate control and heat insulating glass as standard.

Heated front and outer rear seats are also standard.