As impressive as Volkswagen’s Touareg is on the outside, it’s the interior that proves positively striking.

The flagship sports utility vehicle is packed with technology to the point that the German car maker says it is the most technically advanced Volkswagen yet.

That is clear from the second you sit behind the wheel. Gone are the conventional banks of buttons and switches, all replaced by the so-called ‘Innovision Cockpit’.

Digital instrumentation on a 12-inch display directly in front of the driver merges with a huge 15-inch display at the top of the centre console to form a digital operating, information, communication and entertainment unit that operates through a touchscreen.

It pays to take some time to understand all the choices available on this £2,400 option, but once you have mastered the layers of menus you have the ability to tailor the assistance, handling and comfort systems specifically to your personal taste.

These classy displays look great during the day but are simply glorious at night.

Compared to its predecessor, the third generation Touareg, which is priced from just under £50,000, is lighter, but also slightly wider and longer giving more interior space.

Sharing a platform with big-hitters such as the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and even the Lamborghini Urus, its added length leads to a sizeable increase in luggage capacity, with the boot covered by an optional electrically-extending and retracting luggage compartment screen.

Power on the test car came from one of the V6 turbodiesel engines on offer. Delivering a whopping 231 horsepower it is the least powerful of the three 3.0-litre engines available, but it emerges as a sublime, effortless long-distance cruiser.

Inside the Touareg I challenge anyone to identify this quiet power source as a diesel. Linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with all-wheel-drive, this five-door, five-seater is a supreme large tourer.

Active all-wheel steering helps to make the Touareg handle much more like a compact car than its size might suggest and electromechanically-controlled anti-roll bars keep the Touareg’s handling neat and tidy when pushing through tight bends.

But sports car-like behaviour is unlikely to be at the top of a Touareg driver’s wish list when choosing such a large, luxurious vehicle.

Of more interest will be features such as those on the R-Line specification car driven here like the front seats with electric 14-way adjustment for seat height, seat length, seat cushion angle, backrest angle and four-way electrically adjustable lumbar support.

Sitting on 20-inch alloy wheels the car also comes with keyless entry, an automatic parking system complete with a rear view camera, automatic electric opening rear tailgate, four-zone electronic climate control and multi-function heated steering wheel, not to mention four USB connections in the front centre storage compartment and wireless smartphone charging.

The technology on offer ranges from a night vision assistance system which detects people and animals in darkness via a thermal imaging camera, to roadwork lane assist that controls steering and lane keeping, accelerating and braking and front cross traffic assist which reacts to traffic crossing in front of the car.

Volkswagen made a clear statement when it staged the world premiere of the Touareg in Beijing, the first time it had launched a new model in China. It probably won’t be the last, as China is Volkswagen’s largest single market.

In Europe, the Touareg is available with a choice of three V6 engines – the 231 horsepower turbodiesel and a 286 horsepower model alongside a 340 horsepower petrol. A new 367 horsepower plug-in hybrid drive is being prepared for China, but its launch date in Europe has not been fixed.

Auto facts

Model: Volkswagen Touareg R-Line 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion

Price: £66,825 as tested

Insurance group: 41E (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 34.7mpg

Top speed: 137mph

Length: 487.8cm/191.5in

Width: 198.4cm/77.9in

Luggage capacity: 26.7cu ft/810 litres

Fuel tank capacity: 16.5 gallons/75 litres

CO2 emissions: 173g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles