New 2018 Volkswagen Touareg review – a Bentayga without the badge? - Performance and 0-60

The all-new Touareg is full of engineering excellence, but it’s not in the pursuit of driver entertainment

Evo rating
  • Imperious example of German engineering, exceptional refinement, next-generation tech
  • Not much fun to drive, feels its weight on the road, knobbly ride on larger wheels

With only one, high-spec 282bhp V6 diesel, the Touareg is an admirable performer, feeling more than brisk enough considering its deliverables. From a standstill, 62mph arrives in an impressive 6.1sec, and thanks to a stout 443lb ft of torque there is also plenty of mid-range grunt. On the motorway it’s all too easy to surf on a wave of torque up to and above the speed limit, something exacerbated by its impressive refinement at speed. 

There is a blemish on the drivetrain package, though, in the form of its dull response, even in Dynamic mode. The diesel engine’s peak torque is at a relatively high 2250rpm, and the gearbox’s tendency to shift to the highest gear possible can make the whole car feel lethargic. When it is up and running, it’s definitely brisk, but you have to call on it and wait before the fireworks begin.

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The incoming entry-level 228bhp diesel won’t represent a massive drop in torque, so we expect that it will remain fast enough, while the 417bhp diesel is a little down compared to the SQ7 and Bentley Bentayga V8 diesel, but will also be lighter than both of those cars and likely to be more brisk than it has any right to be.

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