Going the Distance

These suvs are tailored for the long trip south

If you’re driving south for a winter getaway and want to make the trip in style, we have two choices to fit your motoring needs.
Either the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI or the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid – both built on the same platform – are ideal for the task, regardless of where the road takes you.
Each of these five-seat SUVs offers a comfortable, roomy environment with ample cargo space to haul all your vacation luggage. And their competent all-wheel drive systems ensure that your comfort and safety needs are top priority.

Both have expertly designed interiors, highlighted by lush leather, bright gauges and touch-screen systems that are quite easy to learn and use. I preferred the Touareg’s layout to the Cayenne’s, which has a middle console that’s busy with buttons and knobs; it’s not difficult to master but it’s certainly not as clean as the Touareg’s. Despite their size and power – the Touareg’s 3-L turbocharged diesel engine produces 225 HP while the Cayenne S Hybrid’s 3-L supercharged engine (combined with the electrical machine) outputs 380 HP – both are fairly economical at the pump, a must as you rack up the kilometres. During my testing session, the Touareg consumed 12.9 L/100 km, and the Cayenne S Hybrid managed 11.8 L/100 km: certainly not world-beating numbers but quite impressive for large, muscular vehicles.

The price is where these two vehicles start look different. The Touareg TDI starts at $53,190 for the Comfortline trim (the Execline reaches $63,135), while the Cayenne S Hybrid starts at $73,400 (with add-ons, it can very quickly top the 100k mark). But there’s not much to be disappointed with when it comes to vehicles in this price range (well, except with the price itself).

So if comfort and saftey are priorities on your drive south, these SUVs are excellent choices. And you’ll enjoy them even more when you arrive at your sunny destination, flashing a little style. 

—Travis Persaud

2011 Volkswagen Touareg tdi

Engine: 225 HP
Fuel consumption:
CITY: 11.9 L/100 KM
HWY: 8 L /100 KM

2011 Porsche Cayenne s hybrid

Engine: 380 HP
Fuel consumption:
CITY: 8.7 L/100 KM
HWY: 7.2 L /100 KM