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VW Touareg: Is it a Reliable Car?

POR: Alex Perrone
Woman standing against a white VW Touareg

While the Volkswagen Touareg isn’t a household name for automobiles, it has always been recognized as an SUV with a blend of luxury, performance, and versatility. Like all Volkswagen vehicles, the engineering behind the Touareg is quite impressive, making it a great option for those looking for a powerful yet luxurious midsize SUV but not wanting to pay Porsche Cayenne prices. However, one of the biggest concerns with the VW Touareg is its reliability.

Over the years, the Touareg has built a reputation for having common issues, leaving consumers with questions about the longevity of the vehicle and the overall cost of ownership. Let’s take a closer look at the Touareg and what issues it has faced over the years to understand better what to expect from one of VW’s best cars and most popular SUVs.

Performance History of the VW Touareg

One of the most standout features of the VW Touareg is its performance. Volkswagen offers the Touareg in a variety of different engine options, from a mere 2.0L engine to a powerful 4.0L V8 twin-turbo engine. It also features an 8-speed automatic transmission that is built to take on the powerful V8 engine and heavy weight of the midsize SUV.

The Touareg has also been used in various motorsports over the years, competing in Baja races and Rallys. Of course, these were built specifically for these races with plenty of good aftermarket accessories, but the fact that the race teams chose the Touareg platform goes to show that they are built to perform.

Engine Performance

Whether you want a gas-sipping, daily driver, or a high-performance SUV, Volkswagen offers the Touareg with an engine to fit all driving styles. While there were many options to choose from throughout the three generations of Touareg, let’s review the engine options for the third generation, which debuted in the 2018 model year:

  • 2.0L I4 TFSI (Gasoline)
  • 3.0L V6 TSI (Gasoline)
  • 3.0L V6 Touareg TDI (Diesel)
  • 4.0L V8 Touareg TDI Twin Turbo (Diesel)
  • 3.0L DCBE V6 TSI + Electric Motor (Plug-In Hybrid)

This variety allowed for horsepower ranges from 249 horsepower to 421 horsepower, more than enough for passing power on the highway.

Handling and Drive Comfort

The Touareg features two different suspension options, a standard shock and strut setup and an optional air suspension setup. The base suspension is tuned for performance and comfort in mind, allowing you to get luxury-style comfort while enjoying performance features. The optional 4-wheel active air suspension is the best suspension setup for the Touareg as it offers the most comfortable and highest-performing features available.

Common Issues Reported By Touareg Owners

The question remains: Is the VW Touareg a reliable car? Here are some common issues Touareg owners have discovered:

Electrical Issues

One of the most common issues that has plagued the Touareg is electrical issues. Over the years, many owners have complained about power windows, door locks, interior lighting, and infotainment system issues.

A common problem that has been reported is the vehicle’s wiring harnesses. Over time, the wiring harnesses in the Touareg have been known to become worn or damaged, causing electrical issues throughout the SUV. These issues can be very hard to track down, which translates to hours of diagnosing issues, racking up hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repair bills. The Touareg’s electrical sensors are also a weak point in the vehicle, leading to inaccurate readings or dash lights.

While not all Touareg models will experience these same issues, knowing what you might face as a Touareg owner and where you might have to spend some money on repairs is important.

Transmission Issues

Issues have also been reported on some Touareg vehicles that originate in the vehicle’s transmisión. The Touareg is equipped with an 8-speed, technologically advanced automatic transmission to offer a smooth driving experience. While this is great for comfort, it can lead to more potential issues later down the road.

Some Touareg owners have reported transmission slippage and complete transmission failure. Transmission slippage is when the transmission fails to engage properly, leading to a loss of power or erratic behavior while driving. This serious safety concern should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid total transmission failure. This can be more prevalent when towing with your Touareg.

In cases where the entire transmission has failed, a replacement job will have to be done to replace the faulty transmission. If you no longer have a factory warranty or have not purchased an extended warranty, you can be stuck paying the full cost of this repair. According to RepairPal, the cost of a transmission replacement can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $6,00 on average.

Air Suspension Problems

On vehicles equipped with air suspensions, this opens up another avenue for potential issues. Unfortunately for the Touareg, those who chose the air suspension upgrade have had some issues with air leaks and electrical issues.

Air suspension has been notorious for air leaks in a wide variety of vehicles, so this is nothing new in the automotive industry, but many Touareg owners have experienced this specific issue in air suspension-equipped, higher trim level Touaregs. This can lead to the vehicle sagging on one side, poor suspension performance, and an overall lack of comfort in this luxury SUV.

For those who experience electrical issues, it mostly stems from the electronic control module of the air suspension. This module regulates air pressure that is distributed throughout the air system, so when this starts to malfunction, you can experience irregularity in your suspension performance.

Engine Oil Leaks

While the Touareg has a variety of engines, many owners have expressed their concerns about engine oil leaks. Oil leaks from the engine can come from a few different areas, including the valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, timing covers, and any other areas where oil is contained.

The valve cover gasket is one of the most common areas where oil leaks on the Touareg. The valve cover gasket is located between the cylinder head and the valve covers and is a common area for oil leaks in all vehicles. For the VW Touareg, there seems to be a weak point here, allowing oil to leak past the gasket.

While it may not seem like a lot of oil is leaking in most cases, over time, oil leaks can cause larger problems within the engine. They can lead to your engine running low on oil, the dripping oil can cause damage to other components, and it can leak into nearby fluid, such as your cooling system. If you are experiencing oil leak issues on your Touareg, you must have it looked at immediately.

Brake System Problems

The last common problem found on the Touareg is brake system issues. One of the most common brake problems is premature wear on the brake pads and rotors. Brake rotors and pads have a specific service life determined by the manufacturer. Some Touareg owners have reported that their brakes and rotors have worn down prematurely before the recommended service interval. In extreme cases, this can lead to poor braking performance and complete brake failure.

Some owners have also reported instances of brake system malfunctions, such as brake pedal pulsing, brake noises, or a spongy brake pedal feel. The symptoms can be a sign of many different issues without the brake system, so it is important to have your brake system inspected by a trusted professional if you experience any of these issues.

Maintenance Costs and Longevity

The cost of owning a VW Touareg goes beyond the initial cost of buying the vehicle, and you have to consider the cost of maintaining it as well. According to RepairPal, the average repair cost for a Volkswagen Touareg is $937.

Maintenance Costs

  • Routine Maintenance – Consider things such as oil changes, air filter replacements, tire rotations, and other items listed in your maintenance schedule.
  • Wear & Tear Items – This will include common wear items such as tires, brake pads, belts, wiper blades, and other items that are designed to wear down and be replaced.
  • Major Services – If your Touareg experiences an unexpected major malfunction, you can expect to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair it.
  • Small Repairs – As cars age, certain components will fail due to old age, so you can expect to make small repairs every now and then.


  • Proper Maintenance – One of the best ways to keep your vehicle lasting for years to come is by keeping up with proper maintenance. Abiding by your maintenance schedule will ensure you keep your vehicle properly maintained.
  • Driving Conditions – Depending on how and where you drive your vehicle, you may need to consider different maintenance jobs.
  • Quality of Parts & Service– The quality of parts that you put on your car and the quality of service that is performed on your vehicle can seriously affect the

Protecting Your VW With Endurance

Protecting your Touareg with an plan de protección automática is a great way to get valuable peace of mind and financial security while owning your car. With Endurance, you can choose from a wide variety of extended warranty plans to fit your coverage and budget needs. You can also choose options for new cars or used cars over 20 years old, certain luxury models, hybrids, and select commercial vehicles. As an Endurance customer, you will enjoy great benefits such as 24/7 roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption.

Also, Endurance offers a 30-day free-look period. If you are not satisfied with your mechanical breakdown coverage or our customer service, you can cancel for a refund of your payment. After that period, we also allow for cancellation at any time with a prorated refund (see your contract terms for full details).

Find out more about Endurance by requesting a Cotización en línea GRATIS and visiting our tienda en línea for instant warranty costs. Or call (800) 253-8203 for personalized help from a plan advisor.

Check out our Blog Endurance for expert-written articles covering maintenance, dealership repairs, bumper-to-bumper coverage, car reviews on BMW, Audi, and Honda, and comparisons of extended car warranty companies.

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