Used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 2003 - 2010 review

Category: Large SUV

The Volkswagen Tourareg was the firm's first ever 4x4 - and it's a fine effort

Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 (03 - 10)
  • Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 (03 - 10)
  • Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 (03 - 10)
Used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 2003 - 2010 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 like?

On the road, the Volkswagen Touareg drives very well, albeit with the emphasis on comfort and smoothness, whereas the Porsche Cayenne (the Touareg's sister car) - or BMW X5, for that matter - is more sporty.

It can't quite match the superb blend of ride and handling in a Land Rover Discovery, but it's not far off, which is praise indeed. It's also good off-road, and much better than cars such as the X5 and Volvo XC90.


The Volkswagen Tourareg was the firm's first ever 4x4 - and it's a fine effort

  • Comfortable
  • Equally at home off the road as it is on it
  • Thirsty
  • Some versions are stupidly expensive

The Touareg's sheer size also makes it a decent family car, although it's strictly a five-seater, without the third row of seats you get in a Discovery or XC90. The boot is huge and, even though the rear isn't as big as in some rivals, it's large enough to take three six-foot adults in comfort.**

Ownership cost

What used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Touareg 4x4?

In this market, the VW badge doesn't have the same prestige as, say, BMW or Volvo, and that's good news, because it makes the Touareg a little cheaper to buy than a Volvo XC90 or BMW X5. However, with limited supply, prices are far from cheap, and the Discovery is cheaper still.

This is a big car, though, and will cost a lot to run. Even the most fuel-efficient engine, the 2.5 TDi, returns just 28.8mpg officially, and you'll be lucky to get more than 20mpg out of either petrol engine in everyday driving. It's true that these figures are not bad by the standards of the class, but both petrol and diesel Touraegs are worse than the equivalent XC90.

On the other hand, insurance costs are par for the course, and routine maintenance on the VW will be less than on its rivals from BMW, Volvo and Land Rover.

Our recommendations

Which used Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 should I buy?

The 3.2 V6 petrol model is not only cheaper to buy than the 2.5 TDI diesel models as used cars, it's also more refined.

Other than the 3.2 V6, the only other petrol engine on the used market is a 4.2-litre V8. It's not much more costly to fuel or insure than the V6, but it's pricier to buy, so is also best avoided.

As for the diesels, there's also the option of a V10 TDI, but examples are still comparatively expensive to buy, and aren't worth it. A 3.0-litre TDI engine joined the range in October 2004, and is the one we'd opt for.

In terms of trim, there's little choice, and the basic rule is the bigger the engine the more kit you get. That said, there's hardly a shortage of toys on any model.**

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