Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

* Hybrid breaks new ground for VW * Range starts from 37,000 * New car is longer and lower...

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

This is the all-new Touareg that will break new ground for Volkswagen in the UK this August as the brand's first hybrid.

The 4x4's 3.3-litre petrol engine is boosted by a 46bhp electric motor, which can power the Touareg Hybrid by itself up to speeds 30mph, for up to a mile.

Average fuel consumption of 34.4mpg and emissions of 193g/km aren't as impressive as the 148g/km and 44.8mpg of the Lexus RX450h hybrid. The has a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 149mph.

Conventional undercuts hybrid power
The Touareg Hybrid model is likely to cost from around 57,000 20k more than an entry-level 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which does 38.1mpg and emits 195g/km of CO2.

This 237bhp entry-level engine is likely to be the best-seller in the range and will be available in SE, Altitude and Escape trim. Escape models get a five-stage off-road 4XMotion drivetrain that includes reduction gearing and locking differentials for more demanding conditions.

The final engine in the range is a 335bhp 4.2-litre V8 diesel that does 31mpg and emits 239g/km of CO2. Most cars in the range will come with engine stop-start technology as standard.

Touareg reaches new dimensions
The new car is longer than before, but its 20mm lower overall and 200kg lighter. However, the hybrid version adds 175kg back into that equation.

The rear seats now slide backwards and forwards by 160mm, and also recline. Boot space ranges from a minimum of 580 litres up to 1632 litres.

Exterior design follows the new family path, set by models such as the latest Golf and Polo, while inside it feels as if quality has taken a stride forward, too.

New VW Touareg summary
3.0-litre V6 TDI
3.3-litre V6 Hybrid
4.2-litre V8 TDIPower (bhp)
335Average economy
31mpgCO2 emissions