What's the used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 like?
This is the second-generation version, launched in 2010 and not replaced until 2018, and while it retained all the attractive features that made the first one such a big hit, it was also lighter, roomier and more economical.
This generation of Touareg shares its underpinnings with the Porsche Cayenne, the doyen of the sporty and rather well-off family man. The Touareg may offer similar internal space and practicality, but it’s cheaper than its distant cousin and not quite so divisive in the looks department.
Under the bonnet, there’s the choice of a 3.0-litre TDI V6 diesel (the best-selling model in the range), a 4.2-litre V8 diesel or a 3.0-litre V6 hybrid, with a petrol unit mated to an electric motor.
Equipment levels are reasonably generous, with three trims to choose from: SE, R-line and R-line Plus. Entry-level models get 19in alloy wheels, permanent four-wheel drive, xenon headlights, lots of chrome exterior details, a rear diffuser, electric windows, electrically folding and heated door mirrors, cruise control, parking sensors and automatic wipers as standard. Inside, there is dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, manually adjustable front seats and Volkswagen's 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with sat-nav, a DAB radio and Bluetooth.
Upgrade to R-line and you'll find 20in wheels, a sporty bodykit, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and start, sports suspension and a heated steering wheel, while range-topping R-line Plus includes 21in wheels, a 360deg camera and electrically adjustable front seats.
On the road, all Touaregs get along very well indeed, despite the car’s weight. The popular 3.0 TDI has plenty of low-down torque and its acceleration times are surprisingly good for such a large SUV; it’s able to polish off the 0-62mph sprint in just 7.3sec – a time that would shame some sports cars.
The same continues in the corners; the Touareg feels much lighter than it actually is and, for a car of this type, takes bends with considerable aplomb, feeling both nimble and agile. Its steering is good, too, being light enough not to cause undue effort but accurate enough for you to be able to place the car precisely.
The interior is a fairly simple design, but a solidly luxurious one. The dashboard and its surroundings are clean and functional, and the driving position is multi-adjustable and an easy one in which to find the right set-up. Up front, there’s more than enough space, while the rear bench slides backwards and forward to prioritise leg room or boot space, and there's room for three abreast. The boot is capacious, with an impressive 1642 litres of space with the rear seats down.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4?
This is a large SUV that will have been used in tight urban supermarket car parks, so it’s worth checking the extremities for any scuffs and dents, as well as the alloy wheels for any kerb damage. Ensure the seats fold and slide as they should, and that any electric tailgate, seats or sunroof works.
What are the most common problems with a used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4?
Most parts, engines and transmissions are shared with a number of other cars in the Volkswagen Group, so replacements are easy to source. A number of cars have suffered from clogged diesel particulate filters and some from oil leaks. Sensors have been known to cause problems, while starting issues have been reported in older cars.
Is a used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 reliable?
The Touareg has an excellent record in our reliability surveys and, in our 2023 used car reliability survey, it was rated the most reliable used large SUV with a score of 89.3%. Despite this, it seems big SUVs can still attract big bills: 18% of owners were hit with a bill of more than £1500.
Volkswagen as a brand finished in a disappointing 20th place out of 31 manufacturers in our used car reliability makers table, though.
If you would like to see the full reliability list of our most recent survey, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
What used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 will I get for my budget?
You can pick up a Touareg of this generation now for under £10,000, but it'll be likely to have a high mileage. You’ll need around £10,500 to £11,000 in order to get one of these Touaregs in good condition. It'll probably be a 2011 or 2012 car, although this amount of money will still buy you one with around or more than 100,000 miles on the clock.
If you up the ante and go closer to £12,000, you’ll find a selection of 2013/14 cars with an average mileage for the year and a full service history, while £13,000 to £15,000 will secure good 2013/14 cars with the same criteria bought from an independent dealer. Between £16,000 and £23,000 will net you a good 2016 car with an average mileage for the year, and maybe even a 2017 one bought from an independent dealer. Figure on nearer £30,000 for one of the end-of-the-line 2018 models.
How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Touareg 4x4?
On paper, the 3.0 TDI should be the most economical, with a claimed average 42.8mpg, under the older NEDC tests, and corresponding CO2 emissions of 174g/km. The hybrid model, which is hard to find, manages only 34.4mpg, while the V8 diesel musters only 31mpg.
Tax for cars registered before April 2017 varies depending on CO2 output, but all Touaregs are pricey. Cars registered after that date will be taxed at a flat rate, currently £155 per year for all petrol and diesel cars, but will carry an additional surcharge if they cost more than £40,000 new, currently £335 per year for years two to five of the car's life. Find out more about current road tax costs here.
Insurance and servicing
Expect insurance and servicing to be pricey. You can take out a Volkswagen Servicing plan for most used cars and, by doing so, budget for the next two services and spread the cost via direct debit payments.
Which used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 should I buy?
The 3.0 TDI 272 is the diesel we’d go for. It’s punchy enough for a car of this bulk and yet relatively economical. We’d stick with entry-level SE trim, because it’ll help keep the costs down on the forecourt. It has most of the kit you’ll need.
Our favourite Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI 272 SE
What alternatives should I consider to a used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4?
The BMW X5 is a large SUV that manages to be good to drive and comes with a range of powerful yet efficient engines. The interior is classy, helped by the excellent iDrive infotainment system, and it’s spacious and practical. It's a good-value used buy.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a large and plush SUV of commanding stature. It’s not the greatest to drive, and you’ll need to specify air suspension for the best ride, but it’s comfortable and fairly refined, as well as being spacious.
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