Welcome to ClubTouareg!I'm looking at a 4WD for ski access. (Live in Wanaka)
2004, V8 with 100,000k plus change. Just had cam-belt done plus full service from dealer.
Have done a lot of research, and found that its either heavy negative or positive. Nothing in the middle. Negative mostly around drive train (possibly not effecting the v8 as much?) and also regarding sensor and errors with electrical components.
Consider that people are motivated to describe their experiences at each end of the distribution curve. I have a great experience, I'm going to celebrate. I have an awful experience, I want to belly-ache. On the other hand, if things are going along fine, then I've got other things to do.
Also, forums tend to collect people at the two ends of the spectrum...the rabid fans and those that need help or support.
That having been said...German cars can be somewhat needy, and older German cars can be needy and expensive. They are also great to drive, and with proper care/support, they will last a long time. I'm approaching 1.5M miles total on a variety of Audi and VWs, and I would find it difficult to consider anything else. I've had two A6s with over 200K, and there's nothing in the stable with less than 110K.
You do need a good private mechanic and/or some good wrenching skills. Good fortune also helps. One year, we spent a total of $50 in maintenance on our '96 A6, at a point when it had about 175K miles. Another year, well...
If you love the Treg, you'll deal with its foibles. If you're looking for good solid reliable transportation that *never* gives you an issue, you should probably be looking a bit further east (so to speak).
Good luck with your search...we're all happy to help!
And of course, whatever you do choose, remember...the care provided by the previous owner is the best predictor of future performance. And get a good thorough PPI before you purchase anything!