Why I Bought the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ V10 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

In June 2020, I found a 2008 V10 Volkswagen Touareg TDI at a used car dealership in Raleigh, North Carolina for $8,000. My partner Jay and I drove all the way from Alabama to get a closer look and test drive the car around town. Once we got to see the car up close, we realized the car was in poor condition

We opened the hood to see whether the vehicle’s engine was original and it was not. This was disappointing because we didn’t really want a modified engine due to the lower market value and a possible fine for emissions in our home state. There were also a few things that were removed from the car; the exhaust gas recirculation emissions components, two oxygen sensors, and two diesel particulate filters were gone.

As a result, we were also concerned whether the replacement powertrain itself was in good condition. Still, we offered to buy the car for $7,000. We reasoned a $1,000 reduction was realistic since the car wasn’t very well-maintained and it was in need of some much needed maintenance. The dealership accepted our offer and we headed home with our new-to-us V10 Touareg TDI.

2008 V10 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

The Road Home

On the drive back we discovered that both the engine oil and coolant were leaking, so we took the car to a European specialist in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to get it sorted out. We also had them put on new air suspension, which was as a factory option on these Touaregs. The other needed replacement items we noticed at the dealership were done ourselves. It wasn’t too difficult to do the maintenance work to the vehicle, but it took a big chunk of time. We all know “time is money,” but the reverse is also true.

The V10 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Ownership Experience

After going through the required maintenance on the V10 Touareg TDI, it was a very fun and rewarding experience to drive it again on and off-road. We drove the car all over the country to various campgrounds and off road parks. It has carried us through Windrock Park Campground in Oliver Spring, Tennessee; Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan; and Talladega National Forest trails in Alabama. With the right tires, driving the V10 Touareg TDI anywhere is a piece of cake.

Now, the V10 Touareg TDI is running like a fine Swiss watch. Thinking back, I wasn’t intimidated or put off by the price of maintenance because we have the right tools and a lot of expertise when it comes to routine maintenance of our cars. In addition to the V10 Touareg TDI we also own two other Touareg TDIs as well as a V8 FSI.

But as time passes, I realize the necessary parts for the V10 TDI are increasingly harder to find on the market. At some point in the future, we will have to stop working on the V10 TDI and start our new project on a V8 FSI Touareg. Its parts are more readily available and borrowed from various Audis.

The V10 Touareg TDI is more than capable off-road, but realistically speaking not everybody can afford or even find the parts that are needed to maintain it. That was one of several reasons Volkswagen of North America decided to discontinue the Touareg in North America while still continuing production elsewhere in the world. The Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, and Lamborghini Urus all use the same Touareg’s chassis platform but cost much more.

2008 V10 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

Overall, I love my V10 Touareg TDI. It is truly great on many different kinds of off-road trails. Not only that, the Touareg boasts impeccable engineering from Germany that not many, if any cars these days offer. Volkswagen of Germany tried time and time again to make an outstanding SUV for off-roading that drivers can fully enjoy on the road as well.

Unfortunately, I don’t see many Touaregs on the road very often these days. I remain a loyal Touareg owner and drive it daily to show how well the Touareg performs no matter what you throw at it. Many people would perhaps not understand why I bought a car that requires so much time and money to be constantly put into it. After all, lots of maintenance and upkeep is not a selling point for most people.

When someone asks me why I bought this car, I tell them about how much pleasure I get from driving it and being able to appreciate what a powerful machine it is. I am hopeful that one day people will realize what a truly great car this is and it will be commonplace to see it everywhere – on and off the road – where it belongs. And that is why I bought my V10 TDI Touareg.

5 thoughts on “Why I Bought the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ V10 Volkswagen Touareg TDI”

  1. Great article Manning. Those were some good points. I’m looking to get an SUV soon I just might consider trading my Jetta for this one. Thanks!

  2. If you are ever looking to get rid of it let me know I’d love to take it off your hands its been my dream car for years.


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