I know what you're thinking, I'm just writing clickbait pieces because my Phaeton post got more hits than a bong on Wiz Kahlifa's tour bus. You're wrong though, Wiz doesn't mess around with the glass, he's strictly a white papers guy or so he says. Now that you've come back from Googling what a "Wiz Kahlifa" is, allow me to extoll the virtues of another incredibly ambitious Volkswagen vehicle from the mid aughts.
Like the Phaeton, the 1st gen Touareg was an example of what happens when a company ignores the naysaying bean counters and shoots for the moon. Even the lowly V6 model oozed fresh millennium confidence that VW was so full of back in 2002. Oh the optimism of those early years of the 21st century, VW thought they were headed for world domination. Who could have predicted that 8 years later they'd be building the worst version of their best selling car so that it could better compete with the Honda Civic. While I'm no Jetta fan boy I will at least admit that the cars once had character(remember the K2 and Trek editions?) and they were driven by characters(your dad's friend who toured with Grand Funk Railroad). Now they're just part of the crowd, blending in, playing it safe, they've gone beige.
Currently VW's are more reliable than ever, you can drive one for like, weeks on end without it exploding and whatnot, but at what cost? Across the model range I'd say "das auto" is completely uninspired. The interiors are an exercise in penny pinching, the exteriors uniform and boring. If you have no personal experience with any of these vehicles do me a favor, go find a 1st gen Touareg, sit in it for 5 minutes, then go find a current gen one and do the same. If you're of the same mind as I then you'll likely be really bummed out, perhaps upset but at the very least you'll understand why these V10 models are so special.
Originally available in 2004, banned in 2005 for being too awesome then reintroduced to the market in 2006, the 5.0L V10 TDI Touareg is one of the coolest vehicles you can drive. There's a mountain of visual evidence on YouTube to prove it so I'm not going to waste your time trying to further explain why it's so great. Just understand that like project fueled by reckless ambition, there are drawbacks. It's stating the obvious when it comes to a mid 2000's VW but since you all do it regularly in the comments I'll go ahead and save you the trouble, they're expensive as hell to maintain. Now let that little bit of information fade from your mind as you read over this list. Picture yourself pulling that old growth stump from the backyard, thus making room for a pool, skate ramp or garden the wife always wanted.
I am not an advocate for any of the sellers, nor do I have any affiliation with the websites on which these vehicles are found.
Vehicles have been ranked using a very advanced algorithm consisting of age, location, mileage, price and number of owners. Sorry about the text links, not all sites play nice like AutoTrader and Ebay but trust me, they're worth clicking through.
1.) Black/Mocha, 68k mi, $19,500