2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 10/11 (3.0L 6cyl S/C gas/electric hybrid 8A)
I wanted a mid size SUV to accomodate our growing family, but also wanted to preserve some of the fun-factor of driving. I test drove the gas and diesel ML series, and found that while its a beautiful and luxurious truck (Merc has done a great job with the evolution of the exterior and interior) it was a little slow and a little sloppy in handling compared to the others.
The X5 looked awesome and is the standard bearer in terms of ride, but was too common and too expensive.
The Cayenne S is equally fun but fuel thirsty and expensive.
The Touareg was luxurious and crisp handling, the hybrid was extremely well-powered, and the slight improvement in efficiency a welcome bonus.
0 - 60 mph in 5.9 seconds
Huge amounts of torque from supercharged 3L engine
Minimal roll on corners
Ability to sail on highway and run on battery only
Interior tasteful and luxurious, does not try too hard
Technologically well-integrated -- connected to iPhone via bluetooth and was off and running in 20 seconds, with screen displays and playback controls, album art, and of course phone and voice activated commands.
Fast and easy to read 3D navigation system
Transitions between hybrid and turbo engine are not transparent but not jarring -- but this will be true on the $90-110K Cayenne S Hybrid and Panamera S Hybrids which share the same exact powertrain and specifications
This is clearly designed for performance and not fuel efficiency. So don't expect Prius performance, but you can get 27-29 MPG in stop and go traffic with a little discipline (by my experience and professional reviewers) which is amazing considering its pushing 5135 lbs around. And don't expect to recover the added cost of the hybrid drivetrain--its just faster and more fun
Stock 19" wheels are boring. 20-21" wheels require no modifications but improve handling and look a lot