Published on September 15th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


What happened to the 2005 VW TOUAREG 3.2L in the used car market?

Volkswagen ventured into the lucrative SUV market some 12 years ago with a car named after a nomadic African tribe. The VW Touareg took the luxury SUV segment by storm with its good looks and best in segment 4×4 features and safety equipment. In reality, the Touareg had all the great elements of the Porsche Cayenne (simple because VW owned part of Porsche at the time) with the lower price point.

Today, this 12-year old Touareg seems to have disappeared from our roads. It sold in good numbers at launch (despite being imported new by an AP holder with a limited warranty) and owners loved their Touareg in the first 3-4 years of ownership. Then the issues cropped up one by one.

Inside a used 12-year old Touareg should still feel solid and luxurious if well looked after. Materials used were all top class and the cabin is surrounded with well-sculptured metal, wood and plastic, all brought together to create a classy ambiance. Front seats provide armchair comfort and rear comfort is great for 3 adults.

On the dashboard today you will probably see scratched panels, worn lettering on controls, torn seat edges and scuff marks on all entry doors.  Damaged interiors normally mean abuse and best to walk away, but with the Touareg, it just means you can get a lower selling price.

Ignite the V6 petrol engine and a muted rumble should be heard with smooth engine revving. The chunky gear lever should slide smoothly into the desired gate and a slightly prod of the accelerator should give this 2-tonne machine immediate movement. Handling on the test drive should show for a SUV that is typically four-wheel-drive, with understeer coming on early compared to a car but with good feedback and feel unless the suspension is worn or bushes need to be replaced. Body control should be good, with not too much tendency to roll. Big bumps should be quite well sorted out but small, sharp irregularities make their presence slightly heard in the cabin as the suspension works hard against speed bumps and large potholes. Its engine and wind noise are well muted when cruising down a smooth open road up to even insane speeds. The brakes should work well on the road stopping this SUV on a dime as it is helped by the Touareg’s two tonne weight, which is almost light by four-wheel-drive standards.

On the center console just behind the gear lever are two large dials: the left dial is for the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, and with a simple turn of the dial, you can choose 4WD High, Auto AWD, Low Range, or Low Range with rear and centre differentials locked. You should be allowed to test these functions by the used car dealer as it will be very expensive to rectify if there are any mechanical, suspension or electrical issues, which some units might have after some off road abuse by previous owners.

These days the first generation year 2005 3.2-liter Toureg’s asking price has fallen to just some 12%-15% of its new asking price. Its new selling price was RM365,000 and now 12-years later the Touareg will fetch between RM38,000 and RM45,000 only. Running costs for a high mileage unit is much higher with its all wheel drive gear, servicing costs and consumables needing replacements. Many owners have realized that they never go off road and thus the 4×4 system is dormant and costing money to maintain and run. There are plenty for sale and still many single owner well maintained city drive only units out there so take your time when sourcing.

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