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2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Review

Reviewers said the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid has a smooth transition between power sources, an upscale cabin and a comfortable ride, but it isn't especially fun to drive and it has less cargo space than some rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy for the class
  • Upscale cabin materials
  • Smooth regenerative brakes
  • Seamless powertrain operation
  • Numb steering
  • Less cargo space than rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Overview

Equipped with a supercharged V6 engine and an electric motor, reviewers said the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid is plenty powerful. Shifts are well-timed with the eight-speed automatic transmission, they said, and added that the transition between gas and electric power is seamless. All-wheel drive is standard. The 2012 Touareg Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 20/24 mpg city/highway, which is superb for the class. Reviewers said the Touareg Hybrid has controlled handling through corners and accurate steering, though some wished the steering offered more feedback. Critics also mentioned that the Touareg Hybrid is not as fun to drive as some rival SUVs, but said it has a steady and comfortable ride, even on rough roads. Several test drivers praised the regenerative brakes for their good pedal feel, which is rare praise for a regenerative braking system.

Reviewers liked the 2012 VW Touareg Hybrid’s luxurious cabin, which they said features upscale materials and great fit and finish. Most test drivers agreed that the front and rear seats are very comfortable and that the back seat offers plenty of legroom. The Touareg Hybrid has 64 cubic feet of cargo space, which is the same as in the gas-only Touareg and a bit low compared to some rivals. The 2012 Touareg comes standard with navigation, a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, an audio system with an 8-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, an iPod connection, a power liftgate and rear parking sensors. Most reviewers said that the climate controls and navigation system are intuitive and easy to use.

Other SUVs to Consider

The 2012 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid also gets great fuel economy ratings for the class and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Test drivers said the Cayenne Hybrid has sharp steering and is one of the most nimble SUVs in the class.

The diesel-powered 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec gets even better fuel economy than the Touareg Hybrid. The M-Class also has much more cargo space than the Touareg Hybrid, and test drivers were impressed with its quiet cabin.

Compare the Touareg Hybrid, Cayenne Hybrid and M-Class »

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