61k-Mile VW Touareg V8 with Air Suspension and Rear Diff Locker
For November 22, 2021, our used car find is this unusually nice 2005 Volkswagen Touareg V8 with just 61k miles and equipped with both the adaptive air suspension as well as a rear differential locker. It’s offered on Craigslist by a private seller in the Orange County area for $10,000 or best offer.
Here’s what makes this one special.
Volkswagen went all-out when it introduced its first SUV, the Touareg, for the 2004 model year. Not only did they aim to create a vehicle with VW’s signature German solidity on the pavement, they also wanted to build a highly-capable off-roader — goals that are almost diametrically opposed. Amazingly, they succeeded.
As we note on our recent cheap off-road SUV comparison, VW gave all first-generation Touaregs a surprising level of off-road hardware, including a dual-range transfer case and center differential locker. That’s already more than most SUVs of the day. But they also offered both an adaptive air suspension that raises ground clearance on the Touareg to an impressive 11.8 inches and also a locking rear differential. That’s almost G-wagen levels of kit.
When you’re shopping for a used Touareg to take off road, look carefully at the dials (or lack thereof) on the center console just behind the shifter. You should see two — one on the left to engage 4WD low range as well as the differential lockers, and one on the right to adjust the air suspension. For reference, see the image below, which is for illustrative purposes and not the actual vehicle for sale:
All first-gen Touaregs should have the left-hand knob. But most will have just the center differential locker (the first position to the right of “LOW”). Only those with the optional rear diff lock have the additional setting to the right of that (circled in red above). Meanwhile, only air-suspension-equipped examples will have a right-hand knob. Others just have a sad blank in that spot.
Looking closely at the photos for this particular Touareg for sale, it appears that it actually has both options, which makes it quite rare. The fact that it’s also a super low-mileage specimen with an excellent service history as well as the optional 310-hp V8 is just icing on the cake.
In the words of the seller…
2005 VW Touareg, Loaded – V-8, 4WD, AirBag Suspension – Reflex Silver, Never Hit, Gorgeous, Garaged its whole life, 61,088 Miles, Moonroof, Navigation, Leather, Newer Michelins, Newer Battery, Premium Stereo with Multi-CD Changer.
Have all owners manuals (like a mini-library!) Full service records since new. All Recalls completed including AirBag Compressor Replacement Recall – (Now perfect, have all records); 80,000 Mile- Required Engine Drive Belt and Permanent (Metal) water pump, new pulleys, mounts, OEM kit professionally installed at 51,309 miles (30K early). Rear (full) tailgate lift rods could use replacing – tailgate window fine. As pampered, and babied and pristine a car as you will find. $60K new – this car is loaded to the gills and is my Baby. Have 15 cars, need to thin the herd. CARFAX in hand.
About the only complaint we could level at this one is that it’s priced slightly on the high side for a used first-gen Touareg. But considering its rare set of options, not to mention its excellent overall condition, we think it’s worth it.
2005 Volkswagen Touareg Details
- 61,088 miles
- 4.2-liter V8 engine (AXQ)
- 310 hp @ 6,200 rpm
- 302 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
- six-speed automatic transmission
- all-wheel drive (AWD)
- Reflex Silver exterior
- gray leather interior
- for sale by owner
- $10,000 (or best offer)
- Rancho Santa Margarita, California