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Mudfest 2013: Tom's Hardware Helps Test 23 SUVs

VW Touareg Hybrid

The last entry in the luxury class is Volkswagen's Touareg Hybrid. This one caught us by surprise. After being thoroughly disappointed by the Touareg TDI's driving dynamics, we hopped in the Hybrid assuming it would be worse. And we were wrong. The Touareg Hybrid drives much better than its diesel-burning sibling.

The Hybrid responded more confidently to steering input, its throttle reacted faster, power came on immediately, and the car felt more nimble, despite the added heft from its battery pack. I thought I was going crazy for preferring the Hybrid. But, after chatting with some of the other journalists, they came to the same conclusion. Our VW rep couldn’t say why, specifically, the Hybrid drove better, but our guess is that the Hybrid has better weight distribution with the battery pack.

After some post-Mudfest research, we learned that the Touareg Hybrid packs a 3.0-liter V6 with a supercharger and electric motor that makes 380 hp with 428 lb-ft of torque. That certainly livens things up a bit compared to the TDI’s 205 hp and 406 lb-ft.

Aside from its powertrain, the Touareg Hybrid was fairly identical to the TDI in terms of styling, its AWD, and infotainment system. 4Motion worked just as well on the Hybrid as it did on the TDI, too.

Vehicle Specifications
Vehicle2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
Trim levelHybrid
Engine3.0 L supercharged V6 Hybrid
TransmissionEight-speed automatic
InfotainmentVW Touchscreen navigation system
Notable featuresRear-view camera w/ park distance control
Fuel economy20 city, 24 highway, 21 combined MPG