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In 2004, the Volkswagen Touareg made its way to the U. S. and added fuel to the automaker’s resurgent fire. The midsize crossover started off with plenty of engine options—V6, V8 and V10—but it wasn't until 2011 that the Volkswagen added a new twist with the introduction of a hybrid that reduces fuel consumption and harmful emissions.
The Touareg hybrid carries over from the 2012 with the addition of LED taillights. Under the hood, a supercharged 3-liter V6 engine and an electric motor combine to produce 380 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed transmission delivers the power to all four wheels, and the Touareg can sprint to 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds.
Fuel economy stands at 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, a 3 mpg increase in the city and 1 mpg increase on the highway when compared to the base Touareg V6.
On top of being relatively easy on fuel, the Touareg Hybrid is rather utilitarian too. It can tow up to 7,700 pounds, giving it a huge advantage over most other crossover SUVs. Additionally, it can hold up to 1,243 pounds of total payload, meaning you can get more done in a single trip.
It's obvious that the Touareg Hybrid is stylish, quick and relatively easy on gasoline, but there's a problem: an MSRP that's just shy of $63,000. For that price, you can have a fully loaded TDI Executive model that gets 29 mpg highway and gives you a few grand in change. Also, at this level, a crossover should have a genuine leather interior, not the faux leather found in a Touareg.
The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid is offered in just one trim level—Base—and it comes standard with: a black rear diffuser; trailer hitch preparation; dual chrome exhaust tips; tinted glass; chrome upper and lower front grilles; bi-xenon automatic HID headlights; LED daytime running lights; power side-view mirrors with heat and power-folding features; 19-inch alloy wheels; rain-sensing wipers with heated washer nozzles; Park Distance Control; a rearview camera; dual-zone automatic climate control; cruise control; a leatherette interior; keyless entry; a 115-volt power outlet; power locks and windows; an RNS 850 navigation system; an eight-speaker audio system with SiriusXM, an iPod cable and auxiliary input jack; and a heated and leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.
Great mpg, low base price and stylish looks, but lacks luxury and underpowered
Stylish body, built like a sports cars and equal power, but slightly slower and super-expensive
28 mpg across the board, low base price and Toyota quality, but lacks refinement and luxury
Stunning exterior, 28 mpg highway and low price, but fake leather and slower to 60 mph