Bottom line, I have over 145,000 miles on my Touareg and it is still going strong.
Before purchasing my T-Reg, I laid out my needs for a car. I wanted diesel, as are all my cars (Jetta SW and Q7). I needed something that fit my family comfortably if we didn?t take my wife?s Q7. It needed to tow the camper (5,000 lbs) and all other smaller implements. It needed to have 4 wheel drive. It needed a good sound system (for all my hours in the left seat). It needed to look like a man?s vehicle (men, you know what I mean). This left me mostly with ¾ ton or larger trucks. However, after living in Germany for a long time, I already had an affinity for the VW, except the last time I saw one for sale, the price started at about my yearly income. Over time, my income has increased, and if I looked at all the other vehicles that fit my requirements, the prices were the same. I test drove every vehicle that fit my requirements, to include my wife?s Q7?which she said I could have when she is dead and gone.
The end result is that I could purchase an 8,800 pound ¾ ton truck with highway mileage in the teens, or the 5,500 pound T-Reg with 25 MPG on the highway with the same interior options. So the T-Reg is the way I went. And I am very happy with my lease return purchase 140,000 miles later.
A few things to consider though. I was already VW savvy through the ownership of the Audi and Jetta. Therefore many of the new owner pains had already been felt as I read through the owner?s manual, as one should. They are very particular about fluids and servicing, but if followed to the letter, major maintenance is absolutely unheard of. Between the three vehicles, I spend less than $250 a month on maintenance (this includes oil, brakes, wipers, AdBlue, washing and all other things except tires) on vehicles that spend a ton of time on the road. Yes, I have three vehicles (2009, 2010, 2011) with over 100,00 miles on them and have no doubt that any of them can drive across the country without issue.
As of writing this, I have just returned from a 5,000 mile cross country trip towing our camper. As a towing rig, I have been completely impressed. There is zero trailer sag (that condition where it seems the butt of the truck is dragging on the ground) and tows like there is nothing behind it. Yes, a family of four, all their stuff packed in, on (via the Thule on the top) and behind it in the camper we still managed to have a trip fuel mileage average of 16.6 MPG (hand calculated) on a trip that did hit speeds up to 90 MPH (in states where that is perfectly legalish). Although, I did have to purchase mirror extensions so I could see around the camper, the T-Reg is otherwise perfectly prepared to tow.
When driving sans trailer, I set the cruise and drive effortless for hours. Driving across country is a joy, as is driving through the city. Step on the go pedal and hang on!
I also use this vehicle to hunt. While I received some raised eyebrows the first time I took this off road to get to our site, I made it easily after pulling the most vocal ?anti SUV? guy out of a mud pit I had just traversed. It allowed me a moment of smug suburban former Jeep guy glee to do it.
The interior appointments I have found to be timeless and un-cumbersome. Nothing is fading, cracking, wearing, or getting ?old? looking. People still ask me if it is new, and are shocked when I tell them it is nearly 5 years old with 145,000 miles on it. Things just hold up well. No rattle, shake or squeak. The interface with the stereo and GPS is so much easier than my wife?s Q7 (don?t tell her I said that), and is just intuitive.
There are cons to this truck.
Driving for eight hours straight before needing fuel tests the limits of a bladder. Crying the first time the paint was scratched. That annoying alarm that goes off once and a while when I lock the doors. Paying over $300 for a GPS update on my $60,000+ vehicle (VAG really needs to fix this, I was very angry when it came up and the disc was different across all three of my cars). The onboard hard drive only plays MP3, so I had to reformat all my WMA music. The SD reader only reads a 2 GIG card, taking me nearly three days to load my music to the hard drive?only to discover half my music couldn?t be played because it was in the wrong format. There are times that the computer is a bit slow, meaning that the touch screen won?t activate stuff as quickly as I wished. However, the same can be true of me, so I deal with it.
I've scouted these diesel SUV's for several years and really like the older body style over the new style started in '11. But, I found the TDI's to be expensive so I've been patient. I found a Black T-Reg diesel advertised as a Certified Preowned with 63k miles at a local VW Dealer. The vehicle was in excellent physical condition and all of its meticulous service records were available at the dealer where the only previous owner always had it serviced. I didn't even dicker on price. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after purchase the check engine light and warning graphics came on. It ended up being an oil sensor that was replaced under warranty. A week or so later, I noticed the Nav system would blink off inexplicably but would always reboot and come back on. I needed to take the vehicle back to the dealer to have the right rear window fixed (dropped down and wouldn't go back up). The service manager told me VW had a service bulletin on the Nav and it required reprogramming to work out the bug. They did this and fixed the window under the CPO warranty. That was about a month ago and after a rather auspicious start with this T-Reg, it seems to be operating well. The only other issue I've had, and it was a one-time thing, is the rear hatch wouldn't open one day either with the power assist or manually. But after driving it a few miles and trying it again it worked fine. Weird, but I hope its not a precursor to another failure and trip to the dealer.
The things I like most: I'm 6'4" and the seating position is excellent and I like the front bucket seat comfort much better than in my wife's newer Lexus RX. The ride around town is harsh but on the highway its a dream. This vehicle has great acceleration and doesn't suffer major turbo lag like other turbo diesels I've owned. The gas mileage is reasonable (21-22 around town and about 26 on the highway so far). The sound system is very good and I've found the Nav system easy to use and decently intuitive for a 6 year old technology.
The things I like least: Slight rattle in dash somewhere at lower speed, but with the radio at normal volume its hardly noticable. Rear cargo room is very limited and the rear seats don't completely fold flat. Harshness of ride on bumpy roads around town. Lacks rear LED tail lights and for a vehicle in its price range when new this should've have been a standard as should have been front seat presets.
Overall: I really like the vehicle and although it is 6 years old by model year and I understand it will have service issues from time to time, I'm hoping the initial quirky gremlins are behind me. I well understand the love for and cult following T-Reg's have gained over the years.
Bought the Touareg for work related driving. Smooth, powerfull, and fun to drive. Handles very well for an SUV. Routinely getting 29-31 mpg with the diesel. Tows our sailboat effortlessly. No problems the first 20k miles
Overabundant torque completely satisfies all overtaking needs. Having owned a 2004 V8 Touareg previously (18 mpg tops), I hardly miss its full throttle induction roar, instead embracing the low-revving oomph of the turbo-diesel, while averaging 27+ mpg.
Flew from NW Montana to California to buy this hard to find TDI Touareg.Quiet and comfortable interior for all day driving.Factory Bluetooth is so helpful!Passing effortless with the diesel with a ride like a cloud.Set the auto climate control and had total comfort in 105 degree heat.Got 25.5 MPG on a 1100 mile trip. Have been getting 21.5 MPG in town driving.This is a beautiful machine!