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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For It's a practical, well-built seven-seat MPV with a good range of engines

Against It's bland, short of space in the rear, and there are too few cubby holes

Verdict It’s more flexible than the Zafira and good to drive

Go for… 1.9-litre TDI 104bhp with seven seats

Avoid… 2.0-litre TDI 140bhp

Volkswagen Touran MPV
  • 1. Check that warranty work has been done on bolts securing part of the diesel pump, which can lead to a fuel leak
  • 2. Flywheel failure is a possible problem with Tourans
  • 3. Seating layout is versatile, and seven-seat versions are available
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Volkswagen Touran MPV full review with expert trade views

The Touran is VW’s compact people-carrier with a choice of five or seven seats (the latter was a no-cost option when the car was new).

One of its biggest strengths is that it’s great to drive, with balanced handling. The steering is light round town, but it firms up nicely as you increase speed, giving just the right amount of feedback. Body control through the corners is excellent but the downside is a firm ride. It’s quiet in the cabin, too, even with the diesel engines under the bonnet.

Among the Touran's other strengths is its versatile seating layout, with a spacious middle row that folds, slides or comes out very easily. The third row is fine for children, and adults won’t moan if the journey is short, but it’s not somewhere they’d want to spend too much time.

The only real complaint is that the whole cabin lacks any design flair. But, if you just want a tool to do a job (and that job is moving people), the Touran could well fit the bill.

Trade view

John Owen

Seven-seat diesels in good demand. Five-seat petrol a soft and pointless option

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

First launched on an 03-plate, the Touran has three petrol engines and a pair of diesels to choose from. The former are 1.4-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre units while the latter are 1.9- and 2.0-litre engines, each available with different power outputs.

S is the basic trim level and comes with electric front windows, twin front, side and curtain airbags, traction control, air-con, remote central locking and a CD player. SE trim adds climate control and all-round electric windows, while Sport gets alloys and sports suspension.

The flagship Touran is the 170bhp version of the larger diesel and it’s available with VW’s impressive DSG automatic gearbox on SE and Sport. It’s worth having if you can afford it, but our pick is the 1.9-litre turbodiesel, which returns the best fuel economy.

Used models are available through VW’s approved scheme, but there are also plenty of cars available through the classifieds.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Low key image means values uncertain, 1.9 TDI PD SE a safe sale

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There’s one thing about the VW badge that always affects the used market – and that’s its desirability. The Touran's residual values are strong partly because of that, but mainly because it's a versatile family car which should give many years of active service.

So, it's cheap to start with, but once you’ve bought a Touran, it shouldn’t cost the earth to run. Insurance ratings range from group 6 to 9, and VW’s impressive engine technology means fuel economy is good. The diesels are the best - the 1.9 returns 47mpg - and, although the 2.0 is almost as good, it’s the most expensive to insure.

Surveys have shown the German firm’s dealer network isn’t as expensive as others, but you can always save money by visiting a specialist.

Trade view

John Owen

Seven-seat diesels in good demand. Five-seat petrol a soft and pointless option

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The Touran should be a reliable performer. However, there have been issues; some 2004 cars had a problem with bolts securing part of the diesel pump, possibly leading to a fuel leak. Repair work should have been done under warranty by VW.

Possible flywheel failure was also identified as a problem, and we’ve heard reports of the seat belt warning system going haywire.

Check the exterior bodywork well; customer satisfaction surveys have raised suggestions that it’s not as hard-wearing as it should be. The interior quality has never been an issue, but beware of cars with tired-looking cabins caused by family (ab)use.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Low key image means values uncertain, 1.9 TDI PD SE a safe sale

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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