Host Ross Rapoport spent a week in the all-new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Sport, a brand new redesigned premium SUV that is as fun to drive as it is comfortable and elegant.
Sharing some design cues with the far-more expensive Porsche Cayenne, the Touareg has flowing lines and a pronounced back-end, making its silhouette look eerily similar to its European cousin. Also for 2011, the Touareg has managed to drop over 400 pounds while increasing its cargo capacity and overall size, a fairly noteworthy improvement over the course of one year.
The Touareg for 2011 comes in several different engine options, including a brand new hybrid option which unfortunately we didn’t get to test drive. However, our 3.6L VR6 engine, with 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, was more than capable of getting us around town with its ample power and acceleration. Gas mileage is decent considering the engine and the weight, you’ll be mustering roughly 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. With the hybrid engine, you’ll be getting slightly better numbers: a supercharged V6 with 333 horses and 324 pound feet, with gas mileage coming in at 20/27. Do the math and that extra power and mileage might not be enough to justify the additional $9,000 or so it takes to upgrade to the hybrid engine. And all of the Touaregs come with VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system to manage all the twists and turns your commute can throw at you.
Inside, the Touareg is functional and efficient, if a little plain. The execution is user-friendly, with a highly intuitive climate control and navigation system. All in all, the cabin is practical, but doesn’t contain any particular cutting-edge technology that you might expect in a SUV at this price. In fact, the Touareg doesn’t contain real leather seats, a sunroof, or a third row of seats.
The 2011 Touareg has undergone some very desirable upgrades and changes for this year, and remains a very powerful front-runner in the midsize and luxury SUV segment, giving many of its more expensive competitors in its class a run for their money. Our VR6 Sport Touareg starts off at $45,600 with an as tested price of $46,420.
For more information, pictures of the Touareg and a downloadable window sticker with prices visit:
Host: Ross Rapoport
Vehicle: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Sport
Base Price: $45,600
Price as tested: $46,420
Engine: 3.6L VR6 engine
Horsepower: 280 hp / 265 lb-ft torque
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
EPA: 21 city / 27 highway MPG
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