VW introduces its first hybrid vehicle in the form of the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid. As a luxury SUV, the newest addition to the Touareg lineup promises to deliver V-8 performance from a more efficient V-6 package. Keep reading to learn more about the new VW Touareg Hybrid so you can determine if it is worth the $60,000 price tag.
Styling: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
Across the lineup, all 2011 Touareg models receive a major facelift when compared to last year's design. On the exterior, these changes result in a bolder crossover SUV that incorporates larger wheel arches and a less rounded body design. The vehicle has also increased in size slightly (1.6 inches longer and half an inch taller). Overall, the vehicle delivers the familiar balance of minimalist European design and understated elegance for which VW is known.
Inside, the added exterior dimensions greatly improve rear seat passenger space (maximum capacity it five). Luxury is in line with other SUVs in the class, with a high level of craftsmanship, soft-to-the-touch materials and sound dampening materials that combine to deliver a whisper-quiet drive and upper crust driving experience.
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Performance: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
While most hybrid variants on the market boast a less powerful engine than standard gas models, the Touareg Hybrid is actually the most powerful trim for the 2011 Touareg lineup. The VW Hybrid makes use of a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine and electric motor to deliver 375 horsepower and 428 lb-ft. of torque (the gas engine has previously been used in Audi vehicles). In comparison, the base Touareg delivers 280 horsepower and the six-cylinder diesel delivers 225 horsepower.
VW claims that the hybrid goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph.
The EPA estimates that fuel ratings for the Touareg hybrid are 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. These numbers are somewhat low for a hybrid vehicle. However, 21 mpg combined is excellent given standard all-wheel drive and the high number of horses under the hood. Still, if saving on fuel is your top concern, then the diesel Touareg may be a better option. The EPA estimates that diesel models return 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Review full 2011 Volkswagen Touareg specifications.
Safety: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
The Touareg comes with a long list of available safety features. These include antilock brakes, six airbags, rearview camera, rollover sensor, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, engine brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution. The very similar standard gas 2011 Toaureg earned a "Top Safety Pick" award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Prices and Features: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
Base price for the VW Touareg Hybrid is set at $60,565. For that price, car shoppers get a lot, including leather seats, panoramic sunroof, power/memory front seats, heated front and rear seats, navigation system, heated steering wheel, keyless ignition and a premium stereo. An innovative power tilt-telescoping steering wheel is also available.
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