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The Volkswagen Touareg Is the Hidden Used Luxury SUV Bargain

If you’re looking for a used luxury SUV bargain, I have a surprising suggestion: the Volkswagen Touareg. Most people probably don’t think of Volkswagen when they think “Luxury SUV,” but the Touareg was a bona fide luxury SUV — and it’s now a surprisingly good deal.

First, a little Touareg background: The Touareg was sold in the United States in its original form from 2003 to 2010, with a major face-lift in 2008 (enough for Volkswagen to refer to it as the “Touareg 2”). But the one I’m specifically recommending is the second-generation Touareg, which went on sale for the 2011 model year and was recently discontinued. That particular Touareg is especially nice, and more importantly, it has a better reputation for reliability than the earlier model.

When the Touareg came out for the 2011 model year, the original starting price was around $45,500 for a V6 version or around $49,000 if you chose to opt for the fuel-saving V6 TDI. Despite being manufactured by Volkswagen, known for mainstream models, the Touareg was a luxury SUV with a lot of standard equipment, including bi-xenon headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery with power and heated front seats, a power tailgate, a backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control and a navigation system. That’s an impressive list of equipment, all standard on every Touareg, and you could also add further luxuries like a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, keyless access and bigger wheels.

But the best part of the Touareg is its current value. It’s easy to find used 2014 Touareg models in the mid- to high-$20,000 range, and if you go all the way back to 2011, there are many Touareg models listed for under $15,000. That’s a bargain for a modern luxury SUV with modern amenities — if you can get past the fact that the badge on the front says “Volkswagen” rather than Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW.

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  1. 2008 was the best model year. You basically had a German Range Rover Sport. The V8 Touareg with air suspension was about as powerful and more agile than the RRS, but had the standard center diff lock (with optional rear locker) to run with the RRS offroad.

    Mine has the 4-zone climate controls with seperate controls for each outboard passenger, heated rear seats,  teak interior, and of course the air suspension that could vhange dampening for different driving modes (which not many manufacturers were doing at the time). The interior even looked classier than it’s Porsche counterpart, which in my opinion looked like the inside of a GTI (not a bad thing, just not as nice as the Touareg).
  2. You can still find them new. There’s a 2017 at a dealer next to me I’ve looked at. Problem is and was their sticker price was astronomical. This one is $62k! Now they discount it a lot, but I don’t know if it’s enough since the tech is still dated. Maybe for $37k, which I may offer them. 

  3. I owned a 2012 Touareg Sport/w Nav. It was the best car I’ve ever owned. Extremely comfortable, great transmission, and to be honest one of the best head units I’ve seen to this day. Way ahead of it’s time in 2012. I sold mine when the miles started to get high. Too bad VW discontinued them, but such a great car!

    • Probably not. Touraeg is more roomy, better looking, better quality, more prestigious brand and name, more comfortable, smoother engine. Only reliability is where the mkc wins because you could get a warranty.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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