New 2018 Volkswagen Touareg review – a Bentayga without the badge? - Engine and gearbox

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

As previously mentioned, the new Touareg is available with a single 282bhp V6 TDi engine shared with many an Audi. The engine is impeccably hushed, with only a soft dieselly grumble before it quickly becomes near-silent at higher operating speeds. Although power is impressive, it’s the car’s 443lb ft of torque that gives the Touareg its deep reserves of effortless performance.

Unfortunately, accessing that performance can be a little tricky, as like so many modern diesels, response seems to come at the mercy of efficiency, with, as mentioned above, the gearbox quickly shuffling to the highest gear possible. The gearbox’s constant need to kick down a load of ratios when called upon only accentuates the Touareg’s turbo lag, making it feel lethargic at times. Once up and running, the Touareg is as fast as you could reasonably wish it to be, but it lacks the crispness we’ve come to expect in rivals like the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox is otherwise seamless, swapping between its ratios imperceptibly as it gathers speed on the motorway. Drive with a gentle gait and the whole drivetrain quickly recedes into the background, as one would expect of an SUV such as this, but hustle and it starts to become undone. Later in 2018 two further engines will be offered, topping and tailing the range. The first will be a 228bhp version of the same V6, while a 417bhp V8 TDI, spiritual successor to the original V10 TDI, will act as a halo model for the entire VW range.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/saloons/202277/bmw-m5-competition-v-mercedes-amg-e63-s-600bhp-supersaloons-go-head-to-head
Saloons

BMW M5 Competition v Mercedes-AMG E63 S - 600bhp supersaloons go head-to-head 

The BMW M5 Competition and Mercedes-AMG E63 S both boast more than 600bhp, 0-62 times in the threes, and massive road presence. Which begs the questio…
22 Feb 2020
Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
21 Feb 2020
Visit/seat/leon-cupra/22765/new-2020-cupra-leon-revealed-cupra-hits-back-with-hot-hatch-and-estate
SEAT Leon Cupra

New 2020 Cupra Leon revealed

Cupra’s launched not just one, but a whole range of hot Leons to rival the rapidly expanding hot hatch class in 2020
21 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019