2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

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$61,995 - $61,995
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EngineEngine V-6
MPGMPG 20 City / 24 Hwy
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2012 Touareg Hybrid Overview

Polished Utility Impresses, Just Not At The Pump With its subtle badging out of sight, and from a distance greater than 30 feet, Volkswagen's flagship Touareg Hybrid can hardly be differentiated from its entry-level Touareg V6 sibling. But pop the hood or take it for a quick spin, and the gasoline-electric utility quickly reveals itself as one of the most complex vehicles ever to grace the German automaker's showroom. Predictably, there is always downside to such technical wizardry. Comprehensive development and revolutionary components, including a large nickel metal-hydride battery pack, don't come cheap. As a result, the Touareg Hybrid is the most expensive vehicle in today's Volkswagen lineup, with a base price eclipsing the standard Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and even the Porsche Cayenne. So why would someone spend more than $60,000 to put this particular Volkswagen in his or her driveway? To answer that question and to learn more about the automaker's flagship softroader, we spent a full week with it. Volkswagen's Touareg Hybrid is one very complicated machine. To best understand it, one needs to back up a few years and take into account Volkswagen's ongoing relationship with Porsche. Before both became siblings under the umbrella of the VW Group, the two were working together to develop a hybrid on their shared first-generation SUV/crossover platform (sold as the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7). Early gasoline-electric prototypes emerged in early 2009, and we were fortunate enough to get seat time in Porsche's Cayenne Hybrid prototype in March of that same year. Consumers, however, weren't allowed behind the wheel of a production Touareg Hybrid until the 2011 model year when the SUV rolled into showrooms on a shared second-generation platform (Porsche rolled out its mechanically identical Cayenne Hybrid around the same time). Volkswagen has positioned its new Hybrid at the top of its food chain. Volkswagen has positioned its new Hybrid at the top of its food chain – a flagship of technology and innovation – with a base price for the 2012 Touareg Hybrid of $62,865 (including a $870 destination fee). That figure not only makes it Volkswagen's most expensive offering today (the W8-powered Phaeton sedan's last year was 2006, and it departed with a base price of $68,655), it slots well above the base price of the standard naturally aspirated Touareg V6 ($44,245) and Touareg TDI ($47,745) models. The sticker is a bit easier to swallow when consumers realize that the Hybrid arrives loaded with just about everything as standard equipment. The upgrades over lesser Touaregs include Vienna leather upholstery, walnut trim, 12-way power seats, an eight-inch touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth audio and smartphone connectivity, panoramic moonroof, keyless access and start, 19-inch alloy wheels and much more. This loaded Touareg Hybrid is effectively a halo model for the Volkswagen nameplate, and its low volume (less than five percent of sales) ensures its exclusivity. For lack of a better comparison, consider it today's version of the discontinued (yet memorably awesome) Touareg V10 TDI. Volkswagen touts …
Full Review

2012 Touareg Hybrid Overview

Polished Utility Impresses, Just Not At The Pump With its subtle badging out of sight, and from a distance greater than 30 feet, Volkswagen's flagship Touareg Hybrid can hardly be differentiated from its entry-level Touareg V6 sibling. But pop the hood or take it for a quick spin, and the gasoline-electric utility quickly reveals itself as one of the most complex vehicles ever to grace the German automaker's showroom. Predictably, there is always downside to such technical wizardry. Comprehensive development and revolutionary components, including a large nickel metal-hydride battery pack, don't come cheap. As a result, the Touareg Hybrid is the most expensive vehicle in today's Volkswagen lineup, with a base price eclipsing the standard Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and even the Porsche Cayenne. So why would someone spend more than $60,000 to put this particular Volkswagen in his or her driveway? To answer that question and to learn more about the automaker's flagship softroader, we spent a full week with it. Volkswagen's Touareg Hybrid is one very complicated machine. To best understand it, one needs to back up a few years and take into account Volkswagen's ongoing relationship with Porsche. Before both became siblings under the umbrella of the VW Group, the two were working together to develop a hybrid on their shared first-generation SUV/crossover platform (sold as the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7). Early gasoline-electric prototypes emerged in early 2009, and we were fortunate enough to get seat time in Porsche's Cayenne Hybrid prototype in March of that same year. Consumers, however, weren't allowed behind the wheel of a production Touareg Hybrid until the 2011 model year when the SUV rolled into showrooms on a shared second-generation platform (Porsche rolled out its mechanically identical Cayenne Hybrid around the same time). Volkswagen has positioned its new Hybrid at the top of its food chain. Volkswagen has positioned its new Hybrid at the top of its food chain – a flagship of technology and innovation – with a base price for the 2012 Touareg Hybrid of $62,865 (including a $870 destination fee). That figure not only makes it Volkswagen's most expensive offering today (the W8-powered Phaeton sedan's last year was 2006, and it departed with a base price of $68,655), it slots well above the base price of the standard naturally aspirated Touareg V6 ($44,245) and Touareg TDI ($47,745) models. The sticker is a bit easier to swallow when consumers realize that the Hybrid arrives loaded with just about everything as standard equipment. The upgrades over lesser Touaregs include Vienna leather upholstery, walnut trim, 12-way power seats, an eight-inch touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth audio and smartphone connectivity, panoramic moonroof, keyless access and start, 19-inch alloy wheels and much more. This loaded Touareg Hybrid is effectively a halo model for the Volkswagen nameplate, and its low volume (less than five percent of sales) ensures its exclusivity. For lack of a better comparison, consider it today's version of the discontinued (yet memorably awesome) Touareg V10 TDI. Volkswagen touts …Hide Full Review