Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 Volkswagen Touareg review

Face-lifted once since its 2002 born-on date, the VW Touareg is set for a full redesign for 2011. This saves about 400 pounds, which when combined with its increased body rigidity, should substantially sharpen on-pavement performance.

Volkswagen's first-ever production hybrid is based on a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 augmented by a battery-powered electric motor. Outside the new Touareg appears tauter and edgier, with more pronounced character lines and wheel arches. Early first-drive results reveal that the reworked 2011 Volkswagen Touareg has not only taken its place alongside contemporary rivals like Acura's MDX and BMW's X5, it also appears to have what it takes to compete against cutting-edge hybrid rivals like the Lexus RX 450h and Mercedes ML450 Hybrid.

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg ranks 1 out of 17 Luxury Midsize SUVs. Redesigned for 2011, the Volkswagen Touareg boasts a sharp new exterior, a luxurious and more spacious cabin, and an all-new hybrid model.

Though it’s significantly improved, the "2011 Touareg" is expected to cost about the same as the previous model. Though the base model is the cheapest, reviewers largely recommend its hybrid and diesel counterparts instead. The base Touareg’s 16/23 mpg city/highway rating is in the middle of the class. But while the base Volkswagen Touareg has some flaws, don’t entirely discount it.

If you’re considering the Touareg Hybrid, it’s also worth it to look at the RX 450h hybrid. Its 32/28 fuel economy rating is the best in its class, and the RX starts at about $8,000 less than the Touareg Hybrid.

As part of its redesign, the Touareg has lost its permanent four-wheel drive system. The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg comes in three trims: the base VR6 FSI, the diesel-powered TDI, and the all-new Hybrid. If you prefer the old Touareg, don’t despair.

There is a conventional gasoline V-6 (3.6-liter, 280-horsepower) unit, the clean-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 TDI that makes 225 horsepower, and then the new Hybrid, which combines a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with an electric traction motor for total power of 380 horsepower.

All three Touareg models use a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The Touareg Hybrid ain't light, and it feels every bit of its weight on the road.

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI has a 3.0-liter diesel engine that outputs 176 kW / 240 PS and 550 Nm of torque.

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