2014 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Review

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"The Touareg has improved drastically over the years, and VW's even jumped onto the 'green' bandwagon by adding a Touareg Hybrid to the mix. Unfortunately, the 2014 VW Touareg Hybrid is an expensive SUV proposition without a major return on your hybrid investment in terms of fuel economy," said Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela. Check out Varela's review for more.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Kristin Varela

By Matt Schmitz | September 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Ten Cars That Won't See 2015

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Automakers give all sorts of reasons for canceling a model. Sometimes it comes from a deliberate one-and-done cycle, as Scion often employs. Other times a car too similar to its corporate siblings — compare the ultra-luxury Maybach brand to an optioned-out Mercedes-Benz S-Class — and allowed to age without a redesign can spell doom. And some cars just plain stink: Four of our 10 Worst Cars of the 2000s sputtered out with no direct replacement.

Whatever the cause, cancellations often coincide with lackluster sales. Consider former Volvo spokesman James Hope, whose eulogy for the now-defunct S40 and V50 was short and sweet. "The S40 and V50 are great cars," Hope said. "Our focus, however, needs to be on our [sales] volume vehicles."

More than a dozen models were discontinued in 2013. We polled our editors to see which cars we think will meet their end next year.

By Kelsey Mays | December 18, 2013 | Comments (46)

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Cars.com Review

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The Volkswagen Touareg has come far in the years since Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela last critiqued it, but the SUV still has a ways to go. Varela was pleasantly surprised by the 2014 Touareg's refined ride and fun-to-drive spirit — especially the powerful acceleration she found difficult to resist when the light turned green. A luxurious interior, a panoramic roof that puts the world on display and an optional foot-swipe opening liftgate all enticed. Still, Varela says it's too spendy for a non-luxury nameplate with so-so standard offerings. Read her review below.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Review

By Matt Schmitz | December 11, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Volkswagen Touareg: Family Checklist

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The 2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI is easy to like. This five-seat crossover is enjoyable to drive, offers lots of convenient features and has an attractive, roomy interior with plenty of storage. Because it uses diesel fuel, it even manages decent fuel economy, which is seriously lacking in the midsize crossover arena.

Though minutely hesitant when you first press the accelerator, once the 240-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine gets going, it has enough zeal to carry you wherever you need to go and amuse you while doing so. The Touareg drives like a smaller car and handles corners, city streets and highways nimbly. As a TDI — turbocharged direct injection — it takes diesel fuel. It gets an EPA-estimated 20/29/23 mpg city/highway/combined, while its gas-powered 3.6-liter V-6 gets 17/23/19 mpg. Of course, TDI also means that you have to find a gas station that sells diesel fuel, which isn't always the first station you visit.

By Courtney Messenbaugh | October 23, 2013 | Comments (5)

VW to Offer R-Line Trim on 2014 Beetle Convertible

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Volkswagen announced ahead of today's 2013 Chicago Auto Show media preview that the 2014 Beetle convertible would become the fifth member of the VW family to offer the sporty styling of its performance-inspired R-Line trim package.

The convertible R-Line's exterior enhancements include 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on lower-profile all-season tires, a combination that the automaker said "gives more dynamic driving characteristics." The package will also include an R-Line badge on the front grille and bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with LED running lights. Interior flourishes include metallic-finish dash and door trim; a flat-bottom, multifunction leather steering wheel; stainless-steel scuff plates; aluminum sport pedals; and leather sport seating surfaces.

VW said it would announce pricing closer to the Beetle convertible's launch date later this year. The Beetle convertible joins other R-Line offerings: the CC "four-door coupe," Beetle coupe, Tiguan compact SUV and Touareg SUV.

Related
2013 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line at the L.A. Auto Show
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible: Up Close
2013 Volkswagen CC R-Line Starts at $33,020
By Matt Schmitz | February 7, 2013 | Comments (1)

Volkswagen 'Snowareg' is Ultimate Winter Attack Vehicle

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As the Northeast continues to be pounded by a severe blast of winter weather, including as much as a foot of snow in some places, many motorists might find that their all-wheel-drive SUV just isn’t tough enough. If only there were an SUV … with tank tracks.

The snow-savvy Swedes have just the thing: The Volkswagen Snowareg. While little information is available on the Snowareg beyond some photos on Volkswagen Sweden's Facebook page, what you're looking at is a Touareg V-8 TDI that VW outfitted with caterpillar tracks more commonly found on, say, a bulldozer or a Panzer.

According to Autoblog.com, the Snowareg sends 340 horsepower and 590 pounds-feet of torque to a modified set of treads at each wheel. Judging by the photos, Autoblog stated, the Snowareg "appears to come with the full bevy of VW options, including Dynaudio stereo, panoramic moonroof, dual-zone climate control and (of course) heated seats."

No word on fuel economy, but think of the Fix-A-Flat savings alone.

Related
Volkswagen Sweden builds a Touareg tank to tackle winter (Autoblog)
Research the Volkswagen Touareg
Tips for Safe Winter Driving
By Matt Schmitz | December 27, 2012 | Comments (2)

VW's Next SUV Aims at U.S. Market

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Volkswagen has seen huge sales successes with Americanized versions of its latest Jetta and Passat sedans. The company now plans to do the same with its next SUV.

VW executives told reporters earlier this week that the next SUV would be built in the U.S. and tailored to American shoppers much like the Jetta and Passat.

What does that mean? This unnamed SUV will be larger than the current Tiguan but smaller than the Touareg SUV. There’s also word that it will cost less than the Tiguan, which starts at $23,820 including an $825 destination charge. Both SUVs have seen sluggish sales in the U.S.

Final decisions around the SUV have not been made, so we don’t expect to see it take shape until after 2013.

Related
Volkswagen plans to build new SUV in U.S. (DetroitNews)
Volkswagen Reveals its Taigun Concept
Research More SUVs

By David Thomas | October 24, 2012 | Comments (3)

It's Time To Buy 2011s, But Incentives Are Hard To Find

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Around this time every year, dealers are hard at work trying to sell the remaining cars on their lots as new-model-year vehicles start to roll in. This year is no different, and while some 2012s haven’t arrived yet, it’s still the best time to buy a 2011 … as long as you know what to look for. That’s where we come in.

We diligently report on even the slightest changes between model years as soon as possible. Sometimes this means a car will look the same but get an all-new engine and transmission like the upcoming 2012 Mazda3 sedan that’s expected to get 40 mpg highway. Other times, nothing significant has changed between model years, and then there are the all-new cars that have been redesigned from the ground up.

You’ll find the best deals in that second group of vehicles that go from 2011 to 2012 without much change. It’s been a challenge this year to find bargains because manufacturers are making more significant model-year changes and incentives for these older models just aren’t that alluring.

Here are some of the best deals we could find:

By David Thomas | August 16, 2011 | Comments (1)

Limited Supplies Force VW to Cancel Backup Cameras on Some Models

Volkswagen will no longer offer a backup camera option on the 2012 Touareg, Tiguan and Passat CC sedan because of supply shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to the New York Times.

The 2012 CC with Lux Plus, Lux Limited and 4motion Sedan VR6 Executive trims have standard backup cameras. The 2012 Tiguan has an available backup camera with its touch-screen navigation system. All 2012 Touareg models come equipped with the feature, according to Autoblog.com.

Some 2012 models already have a backup camera in them, according to VW, but the feature is no longer being installed in newly produced models. VW doesn’t know when the cameras will be available again.

Shortage Forces VW to Cancel Back-Up Cameras (New York Times, via Autoblog)

By Colin Bird | June 14, 2011 | Comments (5)

The Worst Hybrids for the Money

Every year, we determine which hybrids are the best for the money, based on body style. This year, we also take a look at the worst hybrids for the money.

What we mean by worst is this: hybrids that end up with a very low score after you divide the car’s combined EPA mileage estimate by its MSRP and multiply that number by 1,000. Our best finisher was the Honda Insight. Who was at the other end?

To be fair, many of the cars on this list are luxury cars, and you’re paying for that as much as you’re paying for the hybrid drivetrain. And some of these perform, percentage-wise, far better than their gas counterparts. (Take the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, for example.) And some shoppers, of course, want and/or need a large SUV but would like to make some kind of statement. Still, my 2003 Honda Pilot scores better (0.58) than all the cars on this list, and it’s not even a hybrid.

Here’s the bottom 10:

By Patrick Olsen | April 11, 2011 | Comments (9)

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