9 Best & Worst Volkswagen Touareg Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Volkswagen Touareg is a luxury midsize SUV that debuted as a 2003 model year. 

It’s a powerful, practical, and relatively affordable alternative to the pricier and more premium options in the market. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best and worst model years of the Touareg.

2017 Volkswagen Touareg

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Volkswagen Touareg Are:

The best Volkswagen Touareg model years are 2017, 2015, 2011, 2010, and 2007. The worst model years of the Touareg are 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2016. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Volkswagen Touareg?

2017 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2017 Touareg is the most refined, reliable and modern choice on the best list and it comes equipped with a wide range of standard advanced safety features.

It was the final model year ever produced for the North American market (due to diminishing sales and the rise of the more spacious and affordable Volkswagen Atlas).

It has a classy interior, impressive handling, and fantastic towing capacity.

When properly equipped, this model can tow up to approximately 7,700 pounds, significantly greater than several of its direct competitors.

It comes in 3 trim levels, all of which are powered by an efficient V6 engine with 280 horsepower.

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2017 Touareg, Edmunds review:

“Driving the amazing VW Touareg TDI is like no other driving experience I’ve ever had. Prior to the Touareg, I drove Audi A6 bi-turbo and A4 for nearly 11 years. Eventually, I decided that I wanted something that would allow me to enjoy the sporty ride of the Audi’s, but give me capable off-roadability. Well, I found this in spades with the VW Touareg…” 

2015 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2015 Touareg is another solid choice. This model offers confident handling, an upscale interior, and respectable off-road capability.

For this model year, the Touareg received minor revisions to the front and rear styling, updated wheel designs and new headlights.

New driver-assist tech was added such as: adaptive cruise control, collision warning with automatic braking, lane assist, and blind-spot detection

It has a lot of variety in terms of trim levels, engine options, and drivetrains. 

There are a total of 8 trims. The entry-level variants are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine while the TDI models boast a turbocharged 3-liter diesel V6 engine with significantly better torque. 

A hybrid model is also offered but is not reviewed as favorably as its gas-powered counterparts. 

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2015 Touareg, Edmunds review:

“This is the greatest Vehicle I’ve ever driven, I absolutely love it!!! If you notice this car, see the price tag and move on because its a VW; you’re doing yourself an injustice. It handles and performs like a sports car, it rides and feels like a luxury suv, it tows like a full size truck, it performs admirably off road, and It has stunning looks without being pretentious.” 

2011 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2011 Touareg is a great choice, and this is reflected in the excellent customer feedback scores.

It provides confident driving dynamics, a swanky interior, a variety of standard features and equipment, and a relatively high towing capacity.

A lot of changes were made for this model year to improve performance, fuel economy, and rear passenger space. 

It was also redesigned, boasting a more modern appearance.

Three dependable engine options are offered: V6 Gasoline, V6 Turbodiesel, and a newly-introduced Hybrid engine.

An all-new eight-speed automatic transmission (standard across all variants) provide smoother shifting and notably better fuel efficiancy. 

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2011 Touareg, Edmunds review:

“Our Touareg was our first VW, but not our first SUV. Previously we had a Ford Explorer and a Toyota Highlander. When looking for our new car, we looked and drove several, including the 4runner, Q5 and X5. The Touareg, hands-down trounced our previous suv’s when it came to handling, performance and comfort. Our ’06 Highlander drove like a minivan compared to the tight feel and zippy performance from the [Touareg]…” 

2010 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2010 Touareg is a good choice for those on a tighter budget.

It has been praised for its off-road capabilities, fuel-efficient turbodiesel V6 engine, and powerful performance. 

A lot of options were removed for 2010, including the V8 engine, adaptive cruise control, lane-change assist, and rear-locking differential.

Despite the reduction of optional features, this vehicle provides extraordinary performance and adds a standard wood interior trim and Bluetooth.

Fuel economy estimates for combined driving hover around 16 to 20 miles per gallon, depending on driving habits.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2010 Touareg, Edmunds review:

“ … After 200,000+ miles towing three different campers, hunting trips, business trips and daily driving, I finally retired the TReg. It hurt doing it. After owning over two dozen cars in my lifetime, the TReg was my favorite…” 

2007 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2007 Touareg is the oldest model on our best list but its classic exterior design won’t look out of place on the roads today.

It has polished road manners, authentic off-road capability, and a ton of standard safety and entertainment features. 

The significant changes introduced revolved around a revamped engine lineup. 

The larger V6 engine adds 36 more horsepower (over last year’s engine) and the new and improved V8 engine adds 40 more horsepower. 

Xenon headlights, an Apple iPod adapter, a power liftgate, and remote keyless start functionality were notable options introduced for this vehicle. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2007 Touareg, Edmunds review:

“Unlike others here, my experience has been very positive over 60,000 miles. This is a late 2007 with the FSI engine. Mileage is 16 to 18 on highway at higher than posted speeds. Issues – generally minor — have been quickly resolved at various service locations. Reliability has been excellent — no issues noted. Handles superbly on the road (equipped with 19″ wheels and premium tires/air suspension). Heavy solid vehicle which does lead to limited tire life on secondary roads — generally 16,000 to 18,000 miles. Brakes are excellent but require more frequent replacement than typical. Quiet and luxury feel.” 

Related: 11 Most Common Volkswagen Touareg Problems (Explained)

Consumer Scores For Best Volkswagen Touareg Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2017 Volkswagen Touareg4.5 / 5.04.7 / 5.080 / 100
2015 Volkswagen Touareg4.6 / 5.04.7 / 5.0NA
2011 Volkswagen Touareg4.7 / 5.04.7 / 5.078 / 100
2010 Volkswagen Touareg4.3 / 5.04.1 / 5.075 / 100
2007 Volkswagen Touareg4.0 / 5.04.1 / 5.080 / 100
2015 Volkswagen Touareg

What Are The Worst Years For The Volkswagen Touareg?

2004 Volkswagen Touareg

According to data from CarComplaints.com and CarProblemZoo.com, the 2004 Touareg is the most problematic model produced, by quite some margin.

This is to be somewhat expected as it was the first model year to go on sale in the US.

The model’s automatic transmission was the biggest issue, leading to hard shifts, bucking and sluggish acceleration.

In many instances owners were advised they needed a new transmission.

Various electrical issues were widely reported as well as widespread complaints about a tire pressure monitoring system that would display warning messages and beep repeatedly despite the tires being fine.

The 2004 Touareg had a total of 7 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 359 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) does not work
  • Exterior door handles get stuck, will not open door
  • Airbag deployed spontaneously 

2005 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2005 Touareg was another problematic year that you should steer clear of.

Many of the reported complaints revolved around the fuel system.

Owners reported their Touareg leaked gas and they noticed a strong smell of gasoline coming from the vehicle.

Some even stated that gas would run out almost immediately after filling the tank fully.

Engine hoses, fuel lines, and gas flanges prematurely broke down or cracked easily. 

The stench of the gas leakage also bled into the vehicle interior, leading to obnoxious odors inside the vehicle that were difficult to eliminate. 

The 2005 Touareg had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 99 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Drive shaft bearing support failed
  • Headlight wire burned
  • Leaking gas
  • Engine shut down while driving

2008 Volkswagen Touareg

Much like the 2005 Touareg, the 2008 Touareg had significant issues concerning the fuel system.

Owners reported that the car smelt of gas which was due to gas leaking from the vehicle.

In more extreme cases owners reported explosions and complete loss of power.

Recall campaigns were instituted but not all repairs and replacements were executed in a timely manner, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of numerous owners. 

The 2008 Touareg had a total of 7 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 68 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Loud noise underneath
  • Intake manifold explosion
  • Check engine light on

2016 Volkswagen Touareg

The 2016 Touareg received a number of complaints due to engine-related issues.

Owners reported sudden loss of acceleration, loss of power and the vehicle shuddering.

This was linked to water accumulation in the engine air box, drenching components such as the air filter.

Here’s one owners account:

“Water from rain enters the air filter housing while parked outside, and soaks the air filter and doesn’t drain so the engine ingests water and hydro-locks when pulling out into traffic. Volkswagen refuses to warranty this known problem.”

The 2016 Touareg had a total of 5 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 46 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Water in air filter compartment pulling in engine
  • Voice activated navigation system not working
  • Injector failure

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints(CarComplaints.com)Problems(CarProblemZoo.com)
2017 Volkswagen Touareg328
2016 Volkswagen Touareg546
2015 Volkswagen Touareg425
2014 Volkswagen Touareg332
2013 Volkswagen Touareg240
2012 Volkswagen Touareg1230
2011 Volkswagen Touareg320
2010 Volkswagen Touareg436
2009 Volkswagen Touareg223
2008 Volkswagen Touareg768
2007 Volkswagen Touareg128
2006 Volkswagen Touareg449
2005 Volkswagen Touareg1699
2004 Volkswagen Touareg7359

Related: 6 Best & Worst Volkswagen Atlas Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Problems Do Volkswagen Touareg Have?

  • TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) failure
  • Check engine light turns on
  • EPC (Electronic Power Control) light on
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Drive shaft bearing support failed
  • Headlight wire burned
  • Engine shut down while driving
  • Transmission thumps when shifting gears
  • Water leaking into dash and interior
  • Loud noise underneath car
  • Intake manifold exploded
  • Failure of brake pedal switch for cruise control
  • Water leaks
  • TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) light turns on 
  • Exterior door handles get stuck, will not open door
  • Airbag deployed spontaneously

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Volkswagen Touareg?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Maserati Levante8.6$37,824 – $39,925City: 14 /Highway: 19 – 20
Lexus RX 3508.5$29,231 – $32,081City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 26 – 27
Lexus RX Hybrid8.4$34,103 – $36,592City: 31 /Highway: 28
BMW X58.1$27,388 – $46,128City: 14 – 23 /Highway: 19 – 29
Porsche Cayenne8.0$34,165 – $70,481City: 14 – 18 /Highway: 21 – 24
Acura MDX7.9$24,909 – $28,875City: 18 – 20 /Highway: 26 – 27
Audi Q77.9$25,840 – $28,759City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 25
Lincoln MKX7.9 $20,019 – $26,549City: 16 – 18 /Highway: 23 – 25
BMW X67.7$34,470 – $47,070 City: 14 – 18 /Highway: 19 – 25
Volkswagen Touareg7.7$21,898 – $25,598City: 17 /Highway: 23
Cadillac XT67.6$21,068 – $27,451 City: 18 – 19 /Highway: 26 – 27
Lincoln MKT7.6$20,506 – $22,173City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 21 – 24

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com









  • Ian Sawyer

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