Small boys love their Tonka toys and I am quite sure big boys will really appreciate the new Volkswagen Touareg.

This is an upgrade of the second generation model, the first taking to our roads and off road terrain back in 2003.

In its latest guise it moves a gear up the premium SUV sector with its sharper design, high quality interior and level of standard equipment.

This improved styling provides the new model with a strong on-road presence and for Volkswagen it is going to be for the global market.

In our market the heart of the newcomer is diesel power, three litres in two states of power output, 204 and 262 PS linked to a very smooth and effortless operation eight-speed automatic gearbox.

There are three trim levels to choose from: SE, Escape and the range-topping R Line, and the forecast from Volkswagen is that 85 per cent of sales will go to this model with 13 per cent to the SE and the remainder to the Escape.

Good news on the performance and economy front – there are improvements with emissions, ranging from 173-180 g/km. I only have the manufacturer’s figures regarding economy: 40.9-42.8mpg depending on the model.

All versions have wheel drive, with the Escape having a slightly different system and this is the version to look at should you wish to indulge in some serious off road driving.

This is one Volkswagen for the occasion when the going gets tough.

It is a very capable off-roader dressed in luxury – a level of comfort and equipment that can go head to head with any luxury saloon.

Even the entry level SE is offered with a palette of equipment – 19-inch alloy wheels, RNS 850 sat-nav with an eight-inch touchscreen, DAB digital radio, zZone climate control, etc.

Move to the Escape and you have the already noted 4XMOTION system, a larger fuel tank, underbody protection and a headlight cleaning system.

The range-topper, the more sports-styled R Line, features a special body kit, 20 inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, panoramic glass sunroof, R Line seats and even a heated steering wheel.

A number of options will be available including Area View to assist in those difficult parking situations especially with a trailer.

Safety is always a priority with this German manufacturer and the new Touareg gets a raft of features, many already available in a lot of their products.

Behind the wheel, and comfort scores highly as does all-round vision, and despite its rather generous dimensions it is a very easy vehicle to drive.

For those who will use the new Touareg to tow with, capacity is 3,500kg, making this an ideal vehicle for those with caravan or marine interests.

Dealers are taking orders now. First deliveries are expected in November. prices range from £43,000- £47,500.