The VW Touareg is the best VW SUV because it is large, powerful, luxurious, comfortable, packed with features, and is able to stand its ground on the off-road course. After 3 different generations of the Touareg, this huge slab of metal has become a significant threat to some of its more expensive family members, the Cayenne, the Q7, and even the Bentley Benteyga.
Reliability-wise, the Touareg is all over the place. The 1st gen model is the most problematic one of the bunch, both because it was the first and because it is now a 20-year-old. The second generation is better, especially the post-facelift model, but the problems the Touareg sometimes suffers from are expensive to fix.
The current Touareg is the best one of the bunch, both reliability-wise, and substance wise. Either way, the most common Touareg issues are timing chain issues, issues with the gearbox, issues with the fuel system, oil leak issues, and issues with the A/C.
The Touareg is a large family SUV which means that it costs quite a bit to maintain, but the reality is that all cars from this segment tend to suffer from this. You get what you pay for, if you want a large luxury SUV, be prepared to pay large luxury repair and maintenance costs.
VW Touareg – Timing chain issues
The VW Touareg and many other VW models are known to suffer from engine timing chain issues, more specifically the timing tensioner that tends to loosen up after a while. This can cause the chain to create a massive amount of damage to the engine which means that it needs to be dealt with immediately.
This is sadly an issue that is typically for the 2.0L VW engine that is offered in many VW products. As such, if you go for a higher-end, 6-cylinder engine, these should be as common. Either way, you always need to keep an eye out on the engine timing system, no matter the engine, no matter the brand.
VW Touareg – Gearbox issues
As mentioned in the beginning, the Touareg is a fairly capable car off-road, but the reality is that VW never intended the Touareg to do any significant off-roading. The issue here is that the front differential starts to cause all sorts of issues which end up in the gearbox making all sorts of whining noises.
Owners have reported that this issue can affect the gearbox more severely, especially if the differential is not dealt with in time. As such, you should take your Touareg to the dealership as they are going to instruct you to what you is your best course of action.
VW Touareg – Fuel system issues
Probably the worst 2nd generation Touareg issue is the one with the fuel pump. The issue here is that the fuel pump tends to stop functioning without an apparent reason which means that the car stalls. This is obviously a huge issue if it happens at highway speeds as it can end catastrophically.
A few owners have reported this issue as early as 40,000 miles while others said that they experienced these issues multiple times. No matter the mileage, you should pay close attention to the fuel pump in order to try and mitigate some of these costs.
VW Touareg – Oil leaks
The VW Touareg tends to experience oil leak issues, especially on higher mileage models. The issue here is predominantly the plastic gasket cover that becomes brittle over time and causes the engine to leak oil. These can be replaced relatively easily which means that you should take care of them whenever you notice leaks occurring.
Many people have said that the Touareg also leaks oil from the seal ring around the engine speed sensor. This sensor is located between the fuel pump and the water pump. The good news is that these seals are cheap to buy, but the bad news is that it is not the easiest fix.
VW Touareg – A/C issues
Many VW Touareg owners have complained about the car emitting a musty smell in the interior. This issue is being caused by condensation building up inside the heater case which later finds its way into the interior. You need to clean the system from time to time in order to deal with this issue, but you can’t solve it for good.
If you don’t deal with this issue early enough, the condensation build-up could potentially cause damage to nearby components which will need to be replaced.
How long can a VW Touareg last?
The VW Touareg is known to last a really long time if taken care of properly. As previously stated, it costs quite a bit of money to maintain a luxury SUV which means that you will have to pay a great deal of money in order to keep a Touareg working flawlessly.
However, it makes sense to do so with a car like the Touareg as many people keep these for decades. Even though when they get older they lack certain features, the main driving experience is always going to be luxurious and comfortable.
Should I buy a VW Touareg?
If you are after a mid-to-large family luxury SUV, the Touareg should definitely be on your radar. You should focus your attention on either the 2nd generation or the newer model. The second-generation post-facelift model offers the best value of the lot because it is old enough to depreciate, yet new enough to feel contemporary.
You should avoid the 1st generation model because it is a rather old car. The 1st gen Touareg is not all that particularly expensive to buy, but it does cost a lot to maintain.
Is the VW Touareg based on the Porsche Cayenne?
Many people believe that the Touareg is a less expensive version of the Porsche Cayenne, but the reality is that this is not the case. These two are indeed based on the same chassis, but the Cayenne is 2 levels above the Touareg.
It’s a common occurrence these days that many cars share the same platform, but that does not make them equal. Indeed, there are some similarities, but the Cayenne is a more premium model in every possible environment.