Volkswagen Touran long-term test
We already know that the Touran is a practical choice, but does this MPV still impress when you live with it every day?...
The car Volkswagen Touran R-Line 1.5 TSI EVO 150 DSG Run by Will Williams, senior photographer
Why it’s here The Touran is a practical MPV, but can it also show other talents for a young family on the move?
Needs to be comfortable and efficient, function as a mobile office and have plenty of space for camera kit and passengers
Mileage 2300 List price £34,360 Target Price £28,525 Price as tested £37,075 Test economy 36.1mpg Official economy 41.7mpg Dealer price now £25,833 Private price now £23,793 Trade in price now £24,008 Costs £359 (fuel)
22 July 2021 – Final report
A man came to take away my Volkswagen Touran the other day, and if it wasn’t for our coronavirus guidelines meaning I needed to sanitise the keys for him and leave them at the base of the windscreen, he would have probably had to wrestle them from my begrudging, vice-like grip.
Yes, it’s time for me to change my company car again and try something new. But as exciting as a change can be, I’m going to really miss the Touran and its ability to make life better.
From the comfort the driver’s seat offered at the end of a long day photographing cars, to the ease with which I was able to load my young son Callum into the back, thanks to the wide-opening doors, the Touran earns plenty of gold stars from me.
Okay, it’s not the sort of car that forces you to do a double-take every time you’ve parked it up, even though the stylistic additions that you get with my chosen R-Line trim do lend it a more purposeful stance.
However, the Touran exudes a classy confidence and has a can-do attitude that ensured it coped with everything my family and I threw at it.
We all loved the natural light that the optional and truly panoramic glass sunroof brought to the interior. Meanwhile, the high-set second-row seats and low window line meant Callum was happier travelling in the back of the Touran than any other car he’s experienced to date.
Picnic tables that fold down from the back of the front seats incorporate a cupholder, while the seats themselves have a clever two-storey pocket, where we stashed a vast array of snacks, toys and behaviour-bribing items for him on longer journeys (poor parenting award winner, right here!).
The boot was perfect for my needs, too; it’s very square and deep, so could swallow the day job's bulky camera kit without any fuss, while loading my full suspension mountain bike at the weekends was similarly easy, because I could fold down a second row seat with one hand and strap in the bike with the other.
The electric tailgate and one-tap retracting load cover further boosted usability. And while the dreaded virus meant that I never filled all seven seats, the fact that the rear five all have Isofix child seat mountings has the potential to be very useful.
R-Line models like mine do have a firmer ride than other Tourans, due to their larger alloy wheels, but it’s never harsh. Plus, body control is accomplished, so unlikely to induce travel sickness to your younger passengers.
Add in accurate, perfectly weighted steering, and the Touran not only feels smaller than my previous car – a Citroën Berlingo – despite the opposite being true, but very similar to piloting a Volkswagen Golf. That’s seriously impressive for a tall seven-seater.
It’s true, I was never a massive fan of the slightly harsh-sounding turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, and often wondered if the 2.0-litre diesel alternative might have suited the Touran better. However, I was glad I went for the optional automatic gearbox, because its coasting function – which allows the engine to idle when you lift off the accelerator – helped me see more than 40mpg on longer runs.
Even my overall average of 36.1mpg is quite impressive for a large, petrol car that was generally heavily loaded.
As I mentioned in my first report on the Touran, my school reports were often littered with ‘constructive’ comments such as ‘easily distracted’ and ‘must try harder’. But in this end of term report, I’m happy to give the Touran an A* grade.
Best MPVs and people carriers 2022
Which people carrier is the best buy? There's a wide variety of seven-seaters, as well as smaller MPVs, to choose from. Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the one to avoid
Citroën Berlingo long-term test
The Citroën Berlingo is one of our favourite people carriers, with space and practicality almost beyond measure. But what's it like in daily life? Time to find out