Volkswagen Touran MPV full 9 point review
There are three diesel engines offered, all with six-speed manual gearboxes as standard. The entry-level 1.6 is adequate, while the 148bhp 2.0-litre gives strong, smooth acceleration. We haven’t driven the 187bhp 2.0 TDI, but it’s very expensive. Petrol options include a 1.2 or a 1.4 turbocharged engine. The 1.4 is only offered on expensive trims, but the 1.2 is good value and has impressed us in other cars, even bigger cars such as the Skoda Octavia, so it’s well worth considering.
Ride & Handling
The Touran rides with easy fluidity over most surfaces, softening all but the worst bumps and only fidgeting a little over scruffy town roads; you don’t even need to add the optional adaptive dampers. Handling is good, with tight body control, plentiful grip and well-weighted, intuitive steering.
The 1.6 diesel engine is a bit gruff sounding and not that smooth revving, but the 2.0 is better, and the petrol engines are sure to be very good judging be experience of them in other cars. Road noise is well contained, the pedal and control movements are slick and easy to use, and although the car’s boxy shape creates some wind noise, the Touran is a refined cruiser.
Buying & Owning
Even mid-spec models look expensive next to the key rivals going by list price, although healthy re-sale values and low insurance and fuel costs can go some way to making up for this if you’re buying outright. Most private buyers opt for finance, when the Touran becomes much more competitive, with monthly costs that are in line with rivals that have much lower list prices. Company car tax is generally competitive in the class, albeit not as low as the very affordable Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
Quality & Reliability
The Touran’s interior is made from tough stuff and is well assembled to stand up to the rigours of family life. Smart controls make the driver’s immediate environment feel satisfyingly classy, too. The Touran is based on the same mechanicals as the VW Golf, which have proved to have a better than average reliability rate in recent JD Power surveys. The previous generation was also ranked as best in its class by JD Power. A three-year, 60,000 mile warranty is standard.
Safety & Security
The Touran’s high five-star rating in crash tests bettered its rivals. It also gets seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, and you can add rear side airbags at reasonable cost. Adaptive cruise control and emergency city braking pack is another good value option, which keeps a specified distance from the car in front when on cruise, and automatically brakes if a collision is imminent. An immobiliser is standard, and an alarm is standard on all but S trim.
Avoid the very basic S trim. SE is our pick, as it comes with parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, multifunction steering wheel, and alloy wheels. Climate control and sat-nav are expensive extras, though. SE Family gets sat-nav, panoramic sunroof, rear blinds, and remote child locks; it’s a good option if you want lots of kit, although we’d say adding nav to SE and living without the glass roof makes for better value. Higher spec cars are really pricey and hard to justify.
Behind The Wheel
The Touran’s cabin is a bit bland-looking, but it’s very user-friendly. The dashboard controls are simple, the layout is sensible and there’s plentiful adjustment for the steering wheel and driver’s seat, provided you’re happy to sit high up, and you’ve got adjustable lumbar support (optional on S trim). Visibility is very good all-round, and you get standard parking sensors on SE and up. A rear-view camera and a system that steers the car into a suitable space are also available.
Space & Practicality
The Touran has a versatile seating layout with a spacious middle row of seats that slides and folds. The rearmost row is adequate for adults on short journeys – better than a Ford S-Max or Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, plus you get decent access. The boot is large in five-seat mode, and it’s easy to drop the second and third rows to create a big, long, uninterrupted loadbay.