Wednesday, October 7, 2015

King Kong: 2006 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

I've been accused of being a bit of a used car jackal.  It is probably because I'm always ready to cut a deal on a neighbor's car that has been rotting in his garage, or buy a car from an elderly seller -- but who among us isn't an opportunistic omnivore?  So join me in salivating at the entrails of a freshly killed wildebeest that have fallen out of the lioness's grasp as she pulled the carcass back to her cubs -- this 2006 Volkswagen V10 Touareg TDI offered here on eBay bidding for $10,600 reserve-not-met with 3 days to go, located in Springfield, MO.

What do you get when you combine a luxury SUV that is saddled with a non-luxury brand badge, a complicated and expensive engine that requires a finicky fuel that is hard to find, and the recent dieselgate scandal...?  Simply -- cheap daily turismo nirvana my friends...because the Volkswagen Touareg TDI is the cheaper sister car to the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, but is the only of the family to be available with a turbocharged and direct injected diesel V10 capable of pulling a Boeing 747 down a runway

The secret to pulling around 200 ton airliners is the 5.0 liter TDI V10 under the hood, which was available for the 2004 and 2006-07 model years only and produced a significant 309 horsepower and stump plane pulling 553 ft-lbs of torque at 2,000 rpm.  The only transmission available was a 6-speed automatic, but it does the job of pushing the massive 5800 lb SUV to 60mph in about 7.5 seconds. 

See a better way to get a huge SUV that gets gas fuel mileage like a small SUV?


  1. My friend's TDI V10 just blew it's turbos at 80,000 miles. In order to replace them the shop has to pull the body off the chassis at a cost of $12,000.
    He loved the suv and the power but ended up dumping it.

    1. Aren't these unit body SUVs - wouldn't they drop the engine/subframe out from below?

      Religious maintenance is key to keeping modern diesel turbos alive...usually it's oil contamination or fouling that ends up killing the turbos through no fault of their own. VW requires special specs of oil to be used in their TDIs which should be followed strictly.

      VNT turbos also need to be exercised regularly to stay alive. Driving like a granny will end up killing the intricate vane mechanism due to corrosion and lack of use at full range.

      Not saying that your buddy did anything wrong! Just wanted to throw in a DT Turbodiesel PSA into today's comments.

    2. Yes you are correct. I miss used the terminology. They had to drop the frame from below.
      He said one of the great joys of owning the truck was clearing out the turbos. Sometimes VWs are hit and miss. I wish my TDI wagon would have turned out better but it was plagued with so many nasty gremlins.

  2. I test drove a buddy's and he had similar horror stories for repair costs. It was a beast and he sold it cheap (high miles, but well maintained), but I couldn't deal with the costs. The alternator (or was it a generator in these things? Either way, the thing that charges the battery) went out and that was an engine/transmission out service to the tune of $4k. His turbos also went out, but he got out for "only" $5k. Snapped a driveshaft too. I believe that was only around $1500 to fix. These things are total sleepers but unless you are a VW tech or a wealthy person who hates car payments but loves keeping the local economy going, not a great car to own off warranty.

  3. Interesting comments guys, and confirms what I've always thought....I'd love to drive one of these, but I sure don't want to own one.

  4. A friend of mine sold his 2008 V10 TDi Touareg a few years back and bought a used (2010 or newer) Range Rover HSE. Every time I ask him about the car he keeps gushing about how reliable his Range Rover has been compared to the Touareg. He does lament the lack of grunt of the Rover compared to the VW, however, when towing his obscenely large camper trailer. I guess there is some truth to the saying "a star that shines twice as bright burns half as long."

  5. I have one of these, up at 132K miles, I bought it with 80. Haven't had any major issues, the drive shaft issue popped up but I was able to self fix it with a better solution for 400 bucks. I tow with it a lot and it's a great cab to drive around in. It's my daily. The turbos going does scare me because of the whole engine out replacement but not going to fret until it comes up.


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