Here Are The Main VW Touareg Years to Avoid and Serious Issues

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you in the market for a luxury SUV that offers impressive performance and sleek design?

The Volkswagen Touareg might be on your radar. But before you take the plunge, it’s important to know which years to avoid to save yourself from potential disappointment and costly repairs.

While the Touareg has a reputation for being a reliable and well-performing SUV, some models have experienced issues that could impact your ownership experience.

In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on which years of the Touareg you should approach with caution, helping you make an informed decision before committing to a specific model.

So, buckle up and let’s take a closer look at the years to avoid and why they might not be the best fit for you.

VW Touareg years to avoid

The Worst Years to Avoid

Here’s a breakdown of the worst years and what makes them problematic.


These early years of the Touareg experienced transmission issues, expensive repairs, and poor fuel economy. These models are best avoided for their lack of reliability.


The 2007 Volkswagen Touareg is another year to stay away from. Often cited as the worst model year, the 2007 Touareg experienced engine and EPC light issues around the 79,000-mile mark. This model was rated as “really awful” due to the high cost of repairs.


The 2008 Touareg had its share of problems as well, with reported loud noise underneath the car. Apart from the noise issue, there were some other minor problems that made it a less-than-ideal choice.


Lastly, you would want to avoid the 2016 VW Touareg. This year suffered from a combination of previously mentioned issues, along with receiving lackluster auto industry reviews and consumer feedback.

By steering clear of these problematic years, you’ll vastly improve your chances of enjoying a positive Volkswagen Touareg experience.

Reliability and Performance

In this section, we’ll discuss the reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, as well as the best and worst years for the Touareg based on available data.

Consumer Reports Ratings

The Volkswagen Touareg scored well in aspects such as agility, solid build, and overall ride quality, especially after its 2011 redesign.

  • Best years: The Touareg’s best model years, are 2010-2011 and 2017. These years feature improved technology, more standard features, and excellent ride quality.
  • Worst years: On the other hand, the years to avoid are 2004-2005, 2007, and 2016. These model years have been reported to suffer from transmission issues, expensive repairs, and poor fuel economy.

Reliability and Maintenance

It’s worth noting that the Volkswagen Touareg has a strong performance in terms of premium quality and luxurious features.

Proper maintenance plays a crucial role in prolonging your SUV’s life and sustaining its performance. Regular service intervals and timely repairs can significantly affect the reliability of your vehicle.

When selecting a Touareg, it’s essential for you to evaluate your priorities if you value reliability and performance above all else.

Known Issues and Recalls

Drive Shaft Problems

One common problem with VW Touareg models in the years to avoid, specifically the 2008 Touareg, is the loud noise coming from underneath the vehicle. This is usually caused by issues with the drive shaft.

When you encounter this problem, it’s essential to have it checked and repaired by a professional mechanic.

A faulty drive shaft can lead to more severe issues, impacting your vehicle’s performance and potentially putting your safety at risk.

Engine and Transmission Issues

Apart from drive shaft problems, the VW Touareg, particularly the 2016 model, has been known to have engine and transmission issues. Some common complaints include:

  • Intake manifold explosion
  • Check engine light turning on

When you experience any of these problems, it’s crucial to address them as soon as possible. Engine-related issues can severely impact your car’s performance, and in some cases, even lead to costly repairs if not taken care of promptly.

Transmission issues are also noteworthy concerns of VW Touareg. A malfunctioning transmission can cause erratic shifting, reduced fuel efficiency, and decreased overall vehicle performance.

As with any other car problem, prompt attention and repair from a qualified mechanic are essential to ensure your VW Touareg remains in good condition.

In addition to the known issues, it’s essential to keep an eye out for any recalls associated with your VW Touareg model year.

Fuel Economy and Emissions

Diesel Vs. Gasoline Models

Diesel models, like the 2002 Touareg V6 TDI, have a reputation for better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions compared to their gasoline counterparts.

The Touareg V10 TDI from 2004 is known to have some issues with its transmission and is not considered very fuel-efficient. On the other hand, the 2018 Touareg with a diesel engine has comparatively lower CO2 emissions of 203 g/km.

To give you an idea of the fuel economy difference between diesel and gasoline models, here’s a simple comparison:

  • Diesel: 2018 Touareg SUV with a Diesel engine, Automatic transmission: 203 g/km CO2 emissions,
  • Gasoline: 2019 Touareg SUV with a Gasoline engine, Automatic transmission: 340 hp, 448.80 miles range (city), 607.20 miles range (highway)

As you can see, diesel models tend to have lower emissions than gasoline models, while still offering you good power output and driving range.

Hybrid Model

The VW Touareg also has a hybrid option, the 2011 Touareg Hybrid, which aims to provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional fuel models.

Although this hybrid model doesn’t come with a diesel engine like the V6 TDI variant, it still offers a blend of performance and fuel-efficiency, making it an attractive choice for eco-conscious drivers.

Here are some quick facts about the 2011 Touareg Hybrid model:

  • Powered by a 3.0 L V6 engine with an electric motor, producing a combined output of 380 hp
  • Has a fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway
  • Accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds

To maintain optimal fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance on your VW Touareg, such as timely oil changes, checking the fuel system, and ensuring the proper functioning of the emissions control systems.

How Reliable is VW Touareg?

When it comes to the reliability of the VW Touareg, you might be happy to know that it has a good track record. In fact, the Touareg has an excellent record in various reliability surveys.

In one of the most recent surveys, it finished first place in the luxury SUV class. This shows that the vehicle has a reputation for being dependable and well-built.

Some of the best VW Touareg model years include 2017, 2015, 2011, 2010, and 2007, while the worst model years are 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2016. These rankings are based on factors such as NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

If you’re considering purchasing a VW Touareg, here are some key aspects of its reliability:


The Touareg offers a range of engines, including the powerful V6 and V8 diesel options. These engines are known to be durable, providing a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

The V6 TDI engine featured in the 2007 to 2010 models is particularly noteworthy for its reliability.

Interior and Comfort

The vehicle boasts a plush interior, with comfortable seats and various amenities such as power windows and adjustable seats. This makes it a great choice for drivers seeking a luxurious yet reliable ride.

Handling and Performance

The 2011 redesign of the Touareg resulted in an agile, solid, and well-finished SUV. Its performance is further enhanced by the availability of an eight-speed transmission, especially when combined with the turbodiesel engine.

The Best VW Touareg

The best years for VW Touareg are 2010-2011 and 2017. In this section, you’ll learn the reasons these years stand out among others.

2010-2011 VW Touareg

The 2010-2011 models are noted for their reliability. These years brought improved technology, more standard features, and excellent ride quality to the Touareg lineup.

When you’re driving a Touareg from these years, you can enjoy a smooth, comfortable driving experience while also benefiting from the increased technological offerings.

Here are some of the key features that make the 2010-2011 VW Touareg an excellent choice:

  • Updated technology: In these_years, Volkswagen introduced an improved infotainment system, navigation, and other advanced features to enhance your driving experience.
  • Comfortable ride: The Touareg’s impressive ride quality in these_years makes for an enjoyable driving experience.
  • Dependable performance: These_years bring reliability to the table, which gives you peace of mind when investing in a pre-owned vehicle.

2017 VW Touareg

The 2017 VW Touareg is another standout_year. A more recent model, this_year offers an upgrade in features and performance, making it a top choice among Touareg enthusiasts.

Some highlights of the 2017 VW Touareg include:

  • Modern technology: This_year’s Touareg features a state-of-the-art infotainment system, advanced driver-assistance technologies, and a host of connectivity options, making it a compelling option for those who value cutting-edge tech in their vehicles.
  • Refined driving experience: The 2017 Touareg is known for its smooth and agile handling, solid performance, and comfortable cabin – perfect for both long road trips and daily commutes.

Comparison to Similar Vehicles

Porsche Cayenne

When comparing the Volkswagen Touareg to the Porsche Cayenne, you’ll notice some similarities in design, as both vehicles share the same platform.

However, the Cayenne is more performance-oriented and has a higher price tag. If you’re looking for a sportier, more luxurious SUV, the best Cayenne models might be a better fit for you.

One key problem with the Cayenne is that it can be quite expensive to maintain and repair, especially as it ages.

Audi Q7

Another vehicle to compare with the Touareg is the Audi Q7. These two SUVs share the same platform as well, and their engines and interiors are quite similar.

The Q7 offers more seating capacity with its standard third-row seating, which is a benefit if you need to accommodate more passengers.

The Q7 has been reported to experience issues with its transmission, which may cause you to rethink your choice.


The BMW X5 also competes with the Volkswagen Touareg in the luxury SUV market. While the X5 has a strong reputation for performance and handling, it may not outshine the Touareg when it comes to off-road capabilities.

Additionally, the X5 can be costlier to maintain and repair.

One notable issue that some X5 owners have faced is related to the cooling system, which can be an expensive fix if it fails.

Jeep Wrangler

If you’re more interested in off-road adventures, you might be considering the Jeep Wrangler reliability along with the Touareg.

While the Wrangler’s off-road capabilities are impressive, it lacks the luxury and refined driving experience offered by the Touareg.

Keep in mind that the Wrangler can be a bit noisy and uncomfortable on long road trips. A common problem with the Wrangler is its tendency to develop rust, so keep an eye out for corrosion on older models.

In summary, when comparing the Volkswagen Touareg to its competitors like the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, BMW X5, and Jeep Wrangler, you should consider factors like performance, luxury, off-road capabilities, and potential maintenance costs.


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