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The sales price is a significant factor when buying a new or used car. After all, that’s your total expense to drive off the lot. However, there’s another long-term consideration: maintenance costs.

While an economy car may require basic upkeep, expensive models could need pricey repairs. Although some models have trustworthy reliability, others have a reputation for frequent issues. That’s why purchasing a solid vehicle is essential.

Volkswagens have personality, performance, and style. Whether getting behind the wheel of a Golf GTI hot-hatch or an ID.4 EV, you know you’re in for a fun ride. With plenty of new and used models on the market, odds are there’s one to meet your needs. So, how does Volkswagen fair on annual maintenance expenses? According to RepairPal, one VW model has the highest maintenance costs, and it’s not an Atlas or Golf R.

Annual repair costs for VW vehicles

RepairPal found the average Volkswagen costs $676 per year to maintain. That’s neither cheap nor exorbitant. However, what issues are most common to VWs?

Typical problems on VWs include shifting issues on high mileage transmissions, failing power windows, and ABS control module failure. Those affect everyday driving, so fixing them is a priority. Therefore, they could be a deal-breaker if you want trouble-free ownership.

Beyond that, Volkwagens scored above average on reliability, with RepairPal giving them 3.5 out of 5 stars.

If you’re excited about VW’s German engineering and fun-to-drive factors, those stats might not be of concern. Still, if you’re after the lowest long-term expenses, a Volkswagen might not be for you.

Volkswagen Touareg annual maintenance expenses

The Volkswagen Touareg is a high-end SUV hidden in regular clothing. Over the years, it’s shared platforms with the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, giving it world-class dynamics and uncommon luxury. It is no longer available as a new model in the U.S., but it still enjoys success overseas. True to its upscale roots, it brings elevated maintenance costs.

RepairPal lists the Touareg as the most expensive VW to maintain, for $937 per year. So, what are some of the Touareg’s most common problems and repairs?

Typical issues on the Touareg include no start or stalling due to failed fuel pump, problematic tire wear, and odor from the HVAC vents. Common repair prices consist of suspension shock or strut replacement ($2,052-$2,138), ABS control module replacement ($1,857-$1,931), and sunroof motor replacement ($614-$644).

Is the VW Touareg worth the increased maintenance costs? For enthusiasts who want an SUV with handling, comfort, and capability that competes with the best, yes. However, if minimal expenses are the goal, there are better options.

Repair and upkeep for other popular and upscale VW models

If you’re not shopping for a Touareg, VW has many other appealing options.

The Volkswagen Golf R has incredible versatility for acceleration, traction, and cargo space. The Phaeton comes with a luxurious ride on par with expensive European sedans. The Atlas SUV features rugged styling and third-row seating, and the Atlas Cross Sport has a low-slung roof for a coupe-like style.

Here are their common issues and repair costs.

We turned to RepairPal for repair costs and common problems for the VW Atlas. While the site doesn’t note typical problems for the Atlas, owners can report issues via web form. Repair costs for the Atlas consist of catalytic converter replacement ($2,123-$2,216), axle shaft replacement ($874-$888), and brake booster replacement ($349-$396). As for the sportier Atlas Cross Sport variation, repair prices include intake manifold gasket replacement ($694-$868), air conditioning refrigerant line replacement ($1,363-$1,416), and engine oil pan replacement ($960-$1,026).

RepairPal notes the most common problems for the VW Golf R as subframe clunk on acceleration, no start after refueling, and a popping noise from the trunk. Some repair costs for the Golf R are suspension shock or strut replacement ($1,226-$1,342), sunroof motor replacement ($637-$662), and variable valve timing control solenoid replacement ($776-819).

Lastly, VW Phaeton repair expenses consist of oil pump replacement ($1,455-$1,608), powertrain control module replacement ($1,397-$1,434), and airbag control module replacement ($974-$1,027).

Volkswagen makes vehicles full of character and driving verve. Still, before buying one new or used, it helps to know its annual maintenance and repair costs. That can give you a better idea of the long-term ownership expenses and whether a specific model fits your budget. If it does, get ready for miles of driving enjoyment.

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