Volkswagen Touran review
The stylish VW Touran gets a spacious and flexible cabin, a comfortable ride and a great range of engines
The Volkswagen Touran is essentially a smaller seven-seat version of the Sharan. The two look similar, but the Touran's lighter weight and smaller
proportions mean it has the edge on style and efficiency. Volkswagen even offer a 1.2 turbocharged engine in this MPV, but it never feels underpowered and offers almost 50mpg.
Our choice: Touran 1.6 TDI 140 SE
As with all Volkswagens, the Touran gets a three-bar chrome grille and angular headlights. Unlike the larger Sharan, which has sliding doors, the Touran has conventional hinged doors. Visually there's not much difference between basic models and top-spec Sport versions, but the latter get large alloys, chrome trim and tinted rear windows. The Touran has a high-quality interior characterised by a logically laid out dash and a high driving position. Wind, road and engine noise are all well contained, so long-distance driving is a relaxing experience. S trim models are equipped with all the basics, including air-con but SE models get a few fun extras.
Petrol engines consist of a 104bhp 1.2 TSI and a 138bhp 1.4 TSI. The latter is arguably the best option because of the extra grunt, but the 1.2 never feels underpowered. Diesels suit the Touran better and are available as a 1.6 TDI with 89bhp or 104bhp and a 2.0 TDI with 138bhp. We'd recommend you steer clear of the 89bhp unit, as it can feel slow. Handling is impressive, with body roll well controlled and light but responsive steering.
The old Touran has already achieved a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, so this new model is expected to achieve the same. It's got a host of airbags as standard, including curtain and side airbags along with electronic safety systems like ESP and ABS. Any problems affecting the previous generation Touran were relatively minor and this new model should be no different.
You can either order the Touran as a five or seven-seat model. Boot space in the latter becomes quite limited with all of the seats in use, with just 121 litres on offer. Fold the rearmost two seats down and this increases to almost 700 litres. With all seats down there's a vast 1,913 litres of space. The flexible seating arrangement means the rear bench can be transformed into two outer seats and a table in the middle.
The 1.2 TSI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI are all available with BlueMotion Technology tweaks to cut fuel economy. By using start-stop and brake energy recovery, these engines achieve 47.9mpg, 61.4mpg and 58.9mpg respectively. The 1.6 TDI is cleanest, emitting 121g/km making it free from road tax for the first year. As well as a three-year/60,000 mile warranty, Volkswagen offers a three-year/30,000 mile fixed price service plan.