Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Nick asks: I read you article about VW and am wondering whether it’s worth paying more more for a diesel Touareg vs. the gas-engined version – or should I skip both and buy a Nissan xTerra, another vehicle they don’t make anymore? Im not very mechanical and would appreciate any help or advice you can give me.
My reply: The diesel’s higher up front costs can be amortized over time in the form of superior mileage (and lower fuel costs) as well as greater longevity. Also, the diesel-powered version has more torque and is superior for towing. So, I would weigh those factors against how you plan to use the vehicle – and how long you intend to keep it. A diesel-powered Touareg might make better sense – or it might not. It’s a great vehicle, though – and the torque produced by the diesel is tremendous.
The Xterra is basically a Nissan Frontier with a body over the bed. I have owned two Frontiers and they are generally good little trucks, but be aware that the Xterra with the V6 is underpowered and very thirsty; the V6 is also hard to work on because of the tight engine compartment.
I’d steer you more in the direction of of a Toyota LandCruiser or 4Runner or a Honda Pilot – all of them excellent vehicles with top-shelf reputations.
If you’re open to going a little bigger, the Chevy Tahoe is a great SUV, too – especially if you go back a few years.
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