Is VW trying to prove hybrids can't sell?
Volkswagen's first hybrid offers some impressive numbers, such as the ability to tow 7,700 pounds while offering up to 25 mpg in the city, but the most important Touareg hybrid number, and also the least impressive, is the price.
At $61,385 the Touareg hybrid doesn't just cost well over $10,000 more than the gasoline and the turbo-diesel versions, but also far more than the competition, including even BMW and Lexus.
Sure, the Touareg is loaded, offering “standard luxury amenities like leather-trimmed seats, panoramic roof, heated steering wheel and seats and a navigation system with a huge dashboard display.” Likewise, the hybrid Touareg offers the most torque and horsepower of any Touareg, resulting in the most powerful performance of any Touareg.
But is this what hybrid SUV seekers covet?
For $17,000 less small SUV buyers can buy an even more luxurious Lexus RX 450h, particularly if towing requirements are unnecessary. Or, if towing is key, but weight requirements are less than 6,200 pounds, a Chevy Tahoe hybrid isn't just $10,000 less than the Touareg hybrid but can seat up to 8 people.
Technologically speaking, the Touareg hybrid is an impressive vehicle, but the pricing simply doesn't make sense. I guess, if you're committed to buying a hybrid and you need to tow more than 6,200 pounds, but less than 7,700 pounds, then the Touareg hybrid is your kind of hybrid.