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Volkwagen Touareg vs Tesla Model X

Volkwagen’s luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Touareg, is more like the Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model X than most people would suppose. One of the differences between the two is that the Touareg is available immediately to customers. The waiting list for the Model X is a year long. How the power plants on each vehicle work it radically different. People are crowding the order list for the electric car but will not buy VW’s diesel. And there is the Tesla mystique, which makes the car a legend before the first one is sold. The VW’s image has been tainted by the parent company’s cheating scandal.

The Touareg 2016 base model sells for $42,750. For that, the driver gets a six-cylinder 3.6-liter engine that posts 23 mpg, and it operates with four-wheel drive. The top of the line TDI Executive with 21-inch alloy wheels has a starting price of $63,685 and runs on a 3.0-liter diesel engine that gets 29 mpg in highway driving. It has a panoramic roof, premium audio system, climate control, heated seats, rear-view camera, keyless entry, navigation system, overhead video camera, emergency braking, lane departure warning system and adaptive cruise control. If not for the diesel engine, it would be competitive with the high-end BMW X5 or Mercedes GLE.

ALSO READ: Will Volkswagen Have to Sell Audi?

The Tesla Model X aims to take on all these high-end SUVs. For the most part, it more than succeeds. It is fast and big:

Model X is the safest, fastest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history. Standard with all-wheel drive and a 90 kWh battery providing 250 miles of range, Model X has ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. And it’s ludicrously fast, accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. Model X is the SUV uncompromised.

It has safety features like those in other high-end SUVs:

Model X continually scans the surrounding roadway with camera, radar and sonar systems, providing the driver with real-time feedback to avoid collisions. Even at highway speeds, Model X will automatically apply brakes in an emergency.

And it has a sunroof and leather seats. Unlike the competition, the Model X has gull-wing doors and a system that keeps out pollen.

The Model X price begins at $75,000. The fastest and most luxurious model has a price of $140,000, putting it in a league with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo W, which has a price of $157,000. Both SUVs have 0 to 60 mph acceleration in under four seconds.

The Model X is an example of how luck plays a huge part in success. The electric motor has become the vanguard engine for cars and SUVs. The diesel engine’s appeal has been all but destroyed.

ALSO READ: The 10 Cars Most Likely to Be Dumped

By Douglas A. McIntyre