Volkswagen’s Touareg, named after a nomadic people that inhabit the Saharan interior of North Africa, has been manufactured by the company since 2002. It is a mid-size luxury crossover made in a plant in Bratislava, Slovakia that is owned by the Volkswagen Group. That Group owns Audi and Porsche, and the Q7 and Cayenne models marketing by those firms are SUV’s based on the Touareg platform.
The Touareg, now in its second generation offering, comes handsomely equipped with power lift gate, big panoramic moon roof, navigation with 8” display, Vienna leather seating for five, heated front and rear seats, and keyless access/pushbutton start. Thus, the base price is $64,745.00 and coupled with freight, the total M.S.R.P. is $65,655.00.
The above listing of equipment is just part of the package, and the Touareg comes off as a very swanky mode of transportation. Passengers in the Touareg with Ruth and I gasped at the big, glass moon roof that of course powers open from the windshield to the middle of passenger compartment. Leather is present on the seats as well as the gear shift and heated steering wheel. My test car had black Anthracite trim inside.
Outside, the Touareg was painted Tungsten silver metallic with chrome trim on the lower four doors featuring a “Hybrid” designation. In a departure from many hybrids, the Volkswagen was equipped with large, dual, chrome exhaust finishers in the rear. A possible reason for that is the power plant, above and beyond for a hybrid. System power is 380 horsepower and the torque is a muscular 428 lb. ft. It is all lined up with an eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic capability, and acceleration is reportedly is zero to sixty in 5.9 seconds. The gas engine in the Volkswagen is a supercharged 3.0 liter V-6 and the drive system is 4Motion all-wheel drive.
Fuel economy ratings for the Touareg are modest, with the highway rating at 24 mpg and the city rating at 20 mpg. I observed 20.9 mpg for the week that I drove the Touareg. What Volkswagen is selling here is a performance hybrid; it would take a high mileage application to pay for the upcharge in this vehicle.
Styling is a hallmark of this SUV, and the silver paint was striking. The 19”, five-spoke alloy wheels were surrounded with Michelin Latitude Tour HP’s in size 265/50R19. On the rear was a trailer hitch and towing capacity was nearly four tons.
Back inside, the Touareg features an all-around camera system to allow the driver to effectively see the vehicle from above, parking lot stripes and all. The rear camera is present, as well, and it stays on until the car is moving forward at about three miles per hour. The navigation seemed above average and driving the Volkswagen was fine. Ride, interior noise, handling, and guidance on pavement were good.
The Hybrid Touareg is an elegant vehicle and I enjoyed my week driving it.
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