The 2011 Touareg starts at $44,450 for the base 280-horsepower, V-6 gasoline engine, which is rated 16/23 mpg city/highway. The 225-hp, turbocharged V-6 diesel, rated 19/28 mpg, will start at $47,950, and the new supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 hybrid model, rated 20/25 mpg, will start at an eye-popping $60,565. All models are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive standard. None of the prices include an $820 destination fee. Overall, base prices on the naturally aspirated gas V-6 and diesel powertrains have increased by around $4,000 compared with last year’s model.
Comparing the Touareg’s pricing with its mainstream competitors, such as the Honda Pilot or Chevrolet Traverse, puts it into a whole different stratosphere. The Touareg’s pricing is higher than even some premium brands like the Buick Enclave ($35,615) and Acura MDX ($42,580), and it nearly matches established luxury players like the Mercedes-Benz M-Class ($46,490) and BMW X5 ($46,300) in this segment. The Touareg Hybrid is priced higher than the 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid ($55,790) but less than the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid ($73,840).
However, before we jump to the conclusion that the Touareg is overpriced, we should look at its generous list of standard features.
The gasoline and diesel powertrains will be available in Sport, Lux and Executive trim levels.
The base Sport trim level comes with leatherette upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, navigation, rearview camera, power and heated driver and passenger seats, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The Lux trim adds 19-inch alloy wheels, real leather upholstery with genuine wood inlays, panoramic sunroof and 12-way power-adjustable front seats with driver memory.
The Executive trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, keyless entry with push-button start, rearview camera with parking sensors and a premium stereo.
Volkswagen has yet to divulge the price of the Lux or Executive trim levels.
The top-of-the-line hybrid trim comes with everything on the Executive trim, plus all-season low-rolling-resistance tires, a chrome accent package and upgraded chrome exhaust pipes.
Once you consider that Volkswagen has made standard many features that are optional on its competitors, the Touareg is more in line with premium makes from Buick and Acura than, say, the other German carmakers.
Still, there seems to be a disconnect with the Touareg — which arguably could be considered the flagship VW in North America — and its new value proposition models like the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta and upcoming Next Midsize Sedan.
Volkswagen hasn’t announced a launch date yet for the 2011 Touareg.
2011 Volkswagen Touareg pricing (2010 pricing)