Volkswagen’s giant plug-in: where performance meets budget
I don’t know if to be impressed or confused – or both – about this week’s test car.
t is a powerful plug-in hybrid R version of the Volkswagen Touareg, which, as you probably know, is a big, muscular SUV. It impresses in many ways, not least in terms of power (462 hp accelerates to 100 km / h in just 5.1 seconds) and its general handling and dynamics.
But what’s the use of all that thundering if you want the frugality of a PHEV? This is what most people can reasonably believe is what plug-ins are all about.
The thing is, if you have a V6 petrol and a powerful engine that works together, you can tweak the dial in favor of performance.
I assume potential buyers won’t Ask too much about the frugality aspect when you can afford the nearly $ 100,000 it would cost to buy the fully featured version I drove.
But since there is no chance that I will get into this bracket – and I will Let us assume that most people were set up in a similar way – I can ask again: What is that supposed to mean? Is it a viable proposition?
First, let me outline some of the benefits of the eHybrid.
It’s a powerful looking machine in the true sense of the word. It is imposing and does exactly what it should be: a powerful SUV.
On the road over extensive journeys to the west and the Midlands, it has certainly kept its promise. In addition, my version had air suspension. It enabled different ride heights, depending on what was below.
Since I spent the entire time behind the wheel on the tarmac, it chose the lowest center of gravity. And, gosh, it definitely felt close to the road when you squeezed it – real compliments to the tech that helped reduce body roll.
Those 5.1 seconds attributed to his 0-100 km / h time are definitely believable, trust me. It took a searing turn when asked. Exciting power on four wheels, I have to say.
However, the cabin drew conflicting judgments; some passengers did it not like the huge screen angled away from the driver in the center of the dash, and one of them thought the Audi Q7 was a far better deal.
Others were just happy to step on board relaxed after a long flight and still have their luggage stored, while after setting up they realized how calm and smooth it was. It tipped over the kilometers with agile ease, I admit, but they did weren’t there when I tried the 0-100kmh test a couple of times.
The contrast was dramatic. The steering was maybe a little blunt, but it was straightforward and true. All in all, I suppose You’d be tempted if you had the money.
But the best I could get out of it – and I drove really smoothly most of the time – was 30 mpg, or 7.8 liters, consumed every 100 km.
This only included an electrical charge to begin with, so it’s a bit unfair, but I think it’s being replicated by a lot of PHEV owners for one reason or another. Volkswagen claims it will only cover 45 km with all-electric driving. we will give them the benefit of the doubt and say 40mpg is probably a more accurate return if i had it charged a couple of times. It but it’s still not that great, is it?
So what’s up with this huge engine, which despite its tremendous power manages to keep emissions so low thanks to the combination of electrical and gasoline technology that only 150 euros per year are paid in vehicle tax? I can imagine owners of humble little gasoline hatchbacks scratching their heads wondering why they are paying more.
It seems crazy, but that’s how things are on the tax front. For now. I would Don’t be surprised if things change in the next budget or two. I can hear the fair question: why should a large SUV with 4WD be treated so cheaply?
It sure opens the whole debate about taxing PHEVs. Are the rest of us subsidizing the rich few who can afford to raise the money for people like the Volkswagen and pay so little road tax?
Nevertheless. Would i buy it? I’m ambivalent about that.
I would be less honest if I did do not admit to having a great predilection for his general behavior. And I speak of his quiet presence on the street as well as glimpses into his impressive display of power.
But could I live with it in everyday life? I said at the beginning that I was impressed and confused by it. I am still impressed and confused because something in me recoils when I want to drive something other than a sports car with a 3-liter V6 gasoline engine.