Volkswagen Touareg plug-in hybrid assessment: worth, specs, drive impressions

V8-like efficiency with EV effectivity: that’s the gross sales pitch for Volkswagen’s Touareg R, the model’s first plug-in hybrid in Australia.

The brand new flagship mannequin combines a turbocharged V6 and an electrical motor to ship the kind of thrust as soon as reserved for efficiency automobiles. The hybrid system has a formidable pedigree: it’s similar to that when discovered within the Porsche Cayenne.

On faucet is a mixed 340kW of energy and 700Nm of torque, sufficient to propel the R to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds. That’s not dangerous for a sizeable SUV that comfortably seats 5 adults and comes lavishly appointed.

Peer previous the badge and it’s pure luxurious inside, with plush leather-based seats, high quality finishes, adjustable ambient lighting and an enormous glass roof. A mass of pixels throughout the sprint reinforces the hi-tech really feel. The worth tag is steep at about $140,000 drive-away however the Touareg R is brimming with trinkets.

As with different Touaregs it has a powered tailgate, electrical entrance seats, a 12-inch digital drive show and a vibrant 15-inch central touchscreen with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Different goodies embody 22-inch alloy wheels, quad-zone air flow, a heated steering wheel with energy adjustment, night time imaginative and prescient, heated rear seats and the next grade of leather-based.

The 14-speaker Dynaudio sound system is an enormous enchancment over the lower-level Touaregs.

The R stands out visually, too, with distinctive bumpers, black design components and blue highlights in and out, from brake calipers to seat stitching. The steel pedals and illuminated “R” scuff plates on the doorways are a pleasant contact. Using on air suspension the Touareg R is cosseting over bumps, not less than in its most snug drive modes.

The cabin hushes exterior noise, delivering a serene surroundings in line with the luxurious positioning.

Pushed in EV mode it’s quiet and clean, though it doesn’t supply the thrust of the hybrid set-up.

There’s a extra modest 100kW and 400Nm to play with, which works tremendous for trundling across the suburbs however doesn’t depart a lot in reserve at nation street speeds.

It pays to be light on the precise pedal to keep away from waking the petrol engine if gasoline effectivity is your mission, though that’s simpler stated than carried out when an honest hill enters the equation.

Claimed EV vary is 51km however 40-45km appears extra reasonable. That’ll suffice for most individuals’s on a regular basis operating, should you’re blissful to do with out the hybrid efficiency.

As soon as the battery is depleted the miraculous claimed fuel-use figures (simply 3.3 litres per 100km) disappear into the rear imaginative and prescient mirror.

The Touareg’s gasoline use can simply head into double figures should you’re often having fun with the total 340kW.

It’s a brisk system and one hardly ever left wanting for further pull.

Activate Sport mode and the suspension tightens for sharper responses and higher physique management via corners, whereas low-profile tyres present prodigious grip.

The brakes are highly effective, too, aided by the regenerative perform of the electrical motor.

It’s deceptively succesful, though you’re continuously reminded of its dimension and weight when altering course in a rush.

It achieves this spectacular poise with out the rear steering system and energetic stabiliser bars of the lesser R-Line Touareg (they had been omitted as a consequence of area consumed by the hybrid system).

When it comes time to recharge, the 17.9kWh battery takes as little as 2.5 hours via a wallbox charger. An ordinary energy level takes roughly eight hours.

As with all PHEVs, the Touareg R doesn’t ship on the perfect of each worlds gross sales pitch.

It additionally doesn’t sit comfortably within the R efficiency vary occupied by quick Golfs and Tiguans.

Nevertheless it’s a formidable luxurious SUV that may additionally ship driving tempo and pampering that luxurious rivals cost hundreds extra for.

Volkswagen Touareg R

PRICE: From about $140,000 drive-away

WARRANTY/SERVICING: 5 yrs/limitless km, $3400 for 5 yrs/75,000km

SAFETY: Eight airbags, auto emergency braking, blind-spot and lane-keep help, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, fatigue detection, speed-sign recognition

ENGINE: 3.0-litre V6 turbo hybrid, 340kW/700Nm

THIRST: 3.3L/100km

SPARE: Restore equipment

LUGGAGE: 810 litres


Three and a half stars

Doesn’t fairly ship the perfect of each worlds however this lavishly appointed SUV flagship has tempo and beauty.

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