Volkswagen Touran review
Subtle improvements across the board make the new Volkswagen Touran more impressive than ever
The Volkswagen Touran might not be the most exciting car to look at but it certainly has functionality down to a T. It’s the younger brother to the Volkswagen Sharan, so you miss out on sliding doors for better accessibility but overall it matches up pretty well for size and space.
The newest version of the Touran is the latest Volkswagen Group car to be built on the MQB platform. Although at first glance you might think its improved looks are its only additional asset, pretty much everything has been redesigned to work better. This means better safety and more gadgets.
Our pick: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI SE
The Touran was never going to win any beauty contests. It’s always been about substance over style but at least it has smartened up in its latest incarnation. On the outside the Touran has adopted more angular lines and an overall more sleek and sharp look than previous models. New LED lights have also added to this more modern overall image.
Inside, the Touran has received the same treatment. The most noticeable styling update is the new dashboard. Everything is extremely accessible and laid out logically. The entry-level S gets the Composition Media system with DAB and Bluetooth while SE Family cars are specced with the more advanced Discover Media system.
There are five engines to choose from, two petrol and three diesel. Petrol options are a 1.2-litre 108bhp TSI with a manual gearbox and a 1.4-litre 148bhp which is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearboxes.
However, we’d recommend going for some of the more economical diesel engines. Volkswagen is offering a 1.6-litre with 108bhp, a 2.0-litre TDI with 148bhp and the range-topping 2.0-litre TDI engine gets 188bhp. All are available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG.
We’d recommend the 1.6-litre TDI with the manual gearbox, because it offers a great balance of performance versus economy. It has just enough power to keep you comfortably shifting the Touran’s rather hefty body about and it’ll do 64.2mpg with emissions of 116g/km of CO2.
Volkswagen is known for its ability to build sturdy cars and the Touran is no different. Whether you’re driving or a passenger in this car it certainly feels like a safe pair of hands. However, Volkswagen’s score in our latest Driver Power survey resulted in it dropping from 19th to 22nd position.
Safety kit on the Touran has also been comprehensively updated, an important factor for families in the market for a people carrier. It gets nine airbags as well as a raft of safety systems for the first time. These include Automatic Post-Collision Braking and Pre-Crash proactive occupant protection system as standard, plus Adaptive Cruise Control, emergency braking and traffic alerts, as well as Trailer Assist for the first time on an MPV.
Practicality was clearly high on the agenda when creating the Touran and no opportunity to add storage space has been neglected. In fact, Volkswagen has managed to cram an impressive 47 cubbies and pockets inside this car.
The Touran will only come to the UK as a seven-seater, but the third row of seats fold flat into the floor giving the option of five seats with a large boot. With all of the seven seats in position VW claims an impressive 927-litres will fit behind the third row.
The second row of seats will also fold completely flat to give 1,857 litres of load space. Each seat folds individually and new to the Touran is the folding front passenger seat, which gives further flexibility. Owners will now be able to carry items up to 2.7m long.
The most efficient option in the range is the 1.6-litre TDI with seven-speed DSG. It produces just 111g/km of CO2 and can achieve an impressive 67.2mpg. The 1.6-litre TDI is also available with BlueMotion as an option for slightly more power and fuel efficiency.
Volkswagen also offers a three-year/60,000 mile warranty and a three-year/30,000 mile fixed price service plan.