There comes a time when only an MPV will do. Seven seats, doors that open wide, a high seating position, ease of access and cubby holes where you didn’t know cubby holes could exist – if these things make you excited then you’ll really want to stick around and read more about the new Volkswagen Touran.
This car has practicality at its core. You don’t buy an MPV because you like the way it looks, though it helps if it’s somewhat attractive. No, you buy it because you need a bus to ferry your kids. The Touran is not the prettiest MPV but the updated styling does look more upmarket on the outside compared to the car it replaces, and it’s spacious and family-friendly on the inside.
All Tourans for the Irish market come with seven seats as standard, though leg room is tight in those extra two seats, so they are more suited to children. The extra seats fold neatly into the floor when not needed to reveal a large, square boot (743 litres) that can be easily stacked to the roof. With the third row of seats in space, boot space is minimal at 137 litres, but there is still room for a few bags.
Interior space has been improved thanks to a longer wheelbase and there is also a bit more headroom all round. There are three individual, full-size seats in the second row and five Isofix fittings (second and third row). The second row of seats can be slid forward and back individually to give those in the very back a bit more leg room. There are kid-friendly features like pull down trays behind the front seats, large windows so everyone gets a good view out, and big door pockets among the total of 47 storage compartments that are in the new Touran.
The Touran is also super plush and in terms of fit and finish, it’s a match for any premium rival. The driving is easy behind the wheel of the Touran – all the controls come easy to hand, the seats are comfy and supportive, and visibility is great all round from all that glazing. The square shape of the car make it easy to manoeuvre and park.
On the road the Touran belies its size – it’s agile, grips willingly and the steering is really good so you can confidently get in and out of those corners with relative stability for something so big. It would be a bit much to say it’s fun to drive but driving this daily won’t be a drag.
Above all it’s smooth and comfortable, and the 2.0-litre diesel with 150bhp in the test car is perfect for tugging a full family on board. It’s a bit noisy under hard acceleration but settles down well for cruising, and road and wind noise is well suppressed to make it mostly a serene cruiser. Other engine options include an entry level 1.2-litre TSI or 1.6-litre TDI, both with 110bhp. The diesels have similar economy figures – up to 64mpg and €200 for annual motor tax for both the 1.6- and 2.0-litre.
There are three trim levels (Trendline, Comfortline and Highline) and petrol models start at €29,725. Diesel models start at €31,970. A six speed manual comes as standard with the option of a seven speed DSG automatic transmission on diesels.
The new Touran has a five star EuroNCAP safety rating and safety equipment includes a forward collision warning and city emergency brake as standard. A fatigue detection driver alert system is standard from Comfortline trim.
Trendline models come with 16” steel wheels, 5” Composition Colour radio system, air con, Bluetooth and media-in jack with USB charging. Comfortline adds 16” alloys, front fog lights, parking sensors, 6.5” Composition Media radio system with CD player and 8 speakers, cruise control, and a folding front passenger seat for extra practicality. Highline models have Adaptive Cruise Control, 17” alloy wheels, sports suspension, 3 zone climate control, and a multifunction display in colour.
The ‘161’ pack was added to the test car and for €161 includes a panoramic sunroof, Park Assist and Light Assist on the Highline model. There are a host of optional extras available too, including a rear view camera for €249, lane assist for €579, navigation system including Car-Net for €811 and two integrated child seats in the 2nd row of seats for €513.
The new Touran has taken a leap forward in quality and sophistication. A versatile, spacious interior with two extra seats in the very back might be all you think you need – the Touran gives you that but also manages to be good to drive. Some rivals have more flair in terms of style and some are that bit more exciting to drive, but the Touran has an edge on rivals because it feels like a truly premium offering in the mid-size MPV segment.
Model tested: Volkswagen Touran 2.0-litre TDI 150bhp Highline
Price: €38,485 (Range starts at €29,725)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
0-100km/h: 9.3 seconds
Economy: 64mpg (4.4l/100km)
CO2 emissions: 117g/km
Tax band: A4 (€200 per year)