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My working beast

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/4/2015 Chris

Bottom line, I have over 145,000 miles on my Touareg and it is still going strong.Before purchasing my T-Reg, I laid out my needs for a car. I wanted diesel, as are all my cars (Jetta SW and Q7). I needed something that fit my family comfortably if we didn’t take my wife’s Q7. It needed to tow the camper (5,000 lbs) and all other smaller implements. It needed to have 4 wheel drive. It needed a good sound system (for all my hours in the left seat). It needed to look like a man’s vehicle (men, you know what I mean). This left me mostly with ¾ ton or larger trucks. However, after living in Germany for a long time, I already had an affinity for the VW, except the last time I saw one for sale, the price started at about my yearly income. Over time, my income has increased, and if I looked at all the other vehicles that fit my requirements, the prices were the same. I test drove every vehicle that fit my requirements, to include my wife’s Q7…which she said I could have when she is dead and gone. The end result is that I could purchase an 8,800 pound ¾ ton truck with highway mileage in the teens, or the 5,500 pound T-Reg with 25 MPG on the highway with the same interior options. So the T-Reg is the way I went. And I am very happy with my lease return purchase 140,000 miles later.A few things to consider though. I was already VW savvy through the ownership of the Audi and Jetta. Therefore many of the new owner pains had already been felt as I read through the owner’s manual, as one should. They are very particular about fluids and servicing, but if followed to the letter, major maintenance is absolutely unheard of. Between the three vehicles, I spend less than $250 a month on maintenance (this includes oil, brakes, wipers, AdBlue, washing and all other things except tires) on vehicles that spend a ton of time on the road. Yes, I have three vehicles (2009, 2010, 2011) with over 100,00 miles on them and have no doubt that any of them can drive across the country without issue. As of writing this, I have just returned from a 5,000 mile cross country trip towing our camper. As a towing rig, I have been completely impressed. There is zero trailer sag (that condition where it seems the butt of the truck is dragging on the ground) and tows like there is nothing behind it. Yes, a family of four, all their stuff packed in, on (via the Thule on the top) and behind it in the camper we still managed to have a trip fuel mileage average of 16.6 MPG (hand calculated) on a trip that did hit speeds up to 90 MPH (in states where that is perfectly legalish). Although, I did have to purchase mirror extensions so I could see around the camper, the T-Reg is otherwise perfectly prepared to tow.When driving sans trailer, I set the cruise and drive effortless for hours. Driving across country is a joy, as is driving through the city. Step on the go pedal and hang on!I also use this vehicle to hunt. While I received some raised eyebrows the first time I took this off road to get to our site, I made it easily after pulling the most vocal “anti SUV” guy out of a mud pit I had just traversed. It allowed me a moment of smug suburban former Jeep guy glee to do it. The interior appointments I have found to be timeless and un-cumbersome. Nothing is fading, cracking, wearing, or getting “old” looking. People still ask me if it is new, and are shocked when I tell them it is nearly 5 years old with 145,000 miles on it. Things just hold up well. No rattle, shake or squeak. The interface with the stereo and GPS is so much easier than my wife’s Q7 (don’t tell her I said that), and is just intuitive. There are cons to this truck. Driving for eight hours straight before needing fuel tests the limits of a bladder. Crying the first time the paint was scratched. That annoying alarm that goes off once and a while when I lock the doors. Paying over $300 for a GPS update on my $60,000+ vehicle (VAG really needs to fix this, I was very angry when it came up and the disc was different across all three of my cars). The onboard hard drive only plays MP3, so I had to reformat all my WMA music. The SD reader only reads a 2 GIG card, taking me nearly three days to load my music to the hard drive…only to discover half my music couldn’t be played because it was in the wrong format. There are times that the computer is a bit slow, meaning that the touch screen won’t activate stuff as quickly as I wished. However, the same can be true of me, so I deal with it.

Average Rating : 5

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