NEWS: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Supercharged Hybrid

January 14, 2011
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You wouldn't know by looking at it, but the new Touareg has shed a couple hundred pounds -- cue golf clap from supportive circle of portly SUVs. The new hybrid powertrain is also a big move to help curb this VW's thirst, but at first glance it appears to be somewhat less than successful. On the straight shot across I-94 coming in to Ann Arbor from the airport, I got an indicated 22 mpg, which is not any better than lots of other four-wheel-drive crossovers. Also, the regenerative brakes are touchy, the throttle response is syrupy, and the steering is nervous. Opting for one of the other available powertrains might fix two out of those three problems.
- Joe Lorio, Senior Editor
2011 Volkswagen Touareg Supercharged Hybrid Side
22 mpg is a damn sight better than the 18.5 the Touareg seemed to settle on during my few days of driving it. Either way, I can't imagine ponying up for the hybrid, as it's money you will never recoup at the pump. I thought the engine response was hesitant at times in accelerating, and the brakes were indeed touchy and hard to use smoothly.
On the plus side, the interior is very nice, driving position and visibility is excellent, the front seats are roomy and comfortable and there is a ton of legroom in the rear. Climbing into and out of the Toaureg was surprisingly easy for an SUV-something my wife and kids often complain about. Good-sized cargo area as well, and comes with a free day-glo orange safety vest!
- Matt Tierney, Art Director
This is a remarkably refined hybrid powertrain, aside from the non-linear brakes that my colleagues have mentioned. It's really quite pleasant to drive. However, the Touareg V6 TDI Sport, which is powered by a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine, costs less than $50,000 and gets 19/28 mpg city/highway.
As mid-size SUVs go, the Touareg is very handsome, very refined, very comfortable, and very luxurious. There's a lot to like here. But I agree: $61,385 for this hybrid model is just silly. Get the diesel, folks.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
2011 Volkswagen Touareg Supercharged Hybrid
2011 Volkswagen Touareg Supercharged Hybrid Rear Three Quarters Driver
Base price (with destination): $61,385
Price as tested: $61,385
Standard Equipment:
3.0-liter supercharged TSI V-6 hybrid engine
8-speed automatic transmission
4motion permanent four-wheel drive system
RNS 850 touchscreen radio navigation system
Single disc CD player
Rearview camera with park distance control
Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
Bluetooth connectivity
Media device interface with iPod cable
Sirius satellite radio
Leather seating surfaces with heated front seats
12-way power front seats
40/20/40 split folding rear seat with heated outside seats
Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control
Keyless access with push-button start
Panoramic sunroof with power tilt/slide
Multi-function heated steering wheel
Cruise control
HomeLink
Power windows/locks/mirrors
Power liftgate
Fog lamps
Rain sensing windshield wipers
Trailer hitch preparation
Options on this vehicle:
None
Key options not on vehicle:
Trailer hitch -- $500
Fuel economy: 20/24/21 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Engine:
Size: 3.0L supercharged TSI V-6
Horsepower: 333 hp @ 5500-6500 rpm
Torque: 325 lb-ft @ 3000-5250 rpm
Electric motor
Horsepower: 46 hp
Torque: 221 lb-ft
Total hybrid system power
Horsepower: 380 hp
Torque: 425 lb-ft
Drive: Four-wheel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Curb weight: 5135 lb
Wheels/tires: 19-inch alloy wheels; 265/50R19 all-season tires
Competitors: Acura MDX, BMW X5 xDrive35i, GMC Acadia

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