Volkswagen Touran review

Category: 7-seater

The VW Touran seven-seat MPV is roomy, practical, well built and good to drive

VW Touran front cornering
  • VW Touran front cornering
  • VW Touran rear cornering
  • VW Touran dashboard
  • VW Touran boot open seat down
  • VW Touran infotainment touchscreen
  • VW Touran right driving
  • VW Touran front left driving
  • VW Touran rear badge
  • VW Touran front seats
  • VW Touran back seats
  • VW Touran rearmost seats
  • VW Touran boot open
  • VW Touran interior storage
  • VW Touran front cornering
  • VW Touran rear cornering
  • VW Touran dashboard
  • VW Touran boot open seat down
  • VW Touran infotainment touchscreen
  • VW Touran right driving
  • VW Touran front left driving
  • VW Touran rear badge
  • VW Touran front seats
  • VW Touran back seats
  • VW Touran rearmost seats
  • VW Touran boot open
  • VW Touran interior storage
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Introduction

What Car? says...

While the popularity of SUVs continues to grow, the Volkswagen Touran sits quietly in the background offering maximum family practicality in a relatively small footprint.

Where the Touran really shines is in how it doesn’t feel that different to drive to the previous-generation VW Golf it’s based on. It also has more compact dimensions than bulkier seven-seat SUVs (such as a Skoda Kodiaq) – which is something you’ll appreciate when you're trying to squeeze it into a tight parking space.

And crucially for such a relatively small MPV, it's a genuine seven-seater. This is not a van with windows – it’s more like a spacious and incredibly flexible hatchback, with handy sixth and seventh seats that pop out of the boot floor when you need them.

So where does the VW Touran rank against best seven-seaters you might be considering as your next family car? Read on to find out...

Overview

The Volkswagen Touran might not seem as desirable as a seven-seat SUV, but it remains roomy, practical and very well built. It’s more refined than its van-based rivals and better to drive than a bulkier SUV. The 1.5 TSI 150 petrol provides good performance balanced with reasonable running costs.

  • Superb space and practicality
  • Strong level of standard equipment
  • Great to drive by MPV standards
  • Rivals offer more economical diesel or hybrid engines
  • Costly to buy on PCP finance
  • Automatic gearbox can be hesitant
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Volkswagen Touran 1.5 TSI EVO SE Family 5dr review
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The only engine available for the VW Touran is the 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 petrol. It offers fairly punchy acceleration even with seven people on board (0-62mph takes 8.9 seconds) and enough pull from low revs to save you having to thrash it hard to reach motorway speeds.

You get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but you can have a seven-speed automatic as an option. There’s a noticeable lag before the auto changes gears, which can be frustrating when you're trying to get into a gap at a roundabout.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Touran rides with fluidity over most surfaces, softening all but the worst bumps and only fidgeting a little along scruffy town roads.

It rides well enough, even on the larger 18in wheels fitted to range-topping R-line trim. For the smoothest progress, we recommend sticking with the smaller 16in alloys fitted to SE Family.

VW Touran rear cornering

Handling

Anyone who’s driven a previous-generation VW Golf will have some idea of what the Touran feels like to drive.

Its steering is predictable and well-weighted, there’s plenty of grip and body lean is kept neatly in check – more so than van-based rivals, such as a Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Rifter.

The Touran feels stable on motorways and because it feels relatively compact it’s easy to steer around town and down tighter roads than a bulkier seven-seat SUV.

Noise and vibration

The Touran's petrol engine is relatively hushed by MPV standards unless you rev it vigorously. It doesn’t particularly suffer from wind or road noise and is more hushed on the motorway than a Berlingo or Rifter.

Volkswagen Touran image
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The clutch is light and precise, as is the manual gearshift, while the optional DSG automatic gearbox is only jerky at very low speeds, such as when you're parking.

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

All versions of the VW Touran have a front centre armrest, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a steering wheel that has a good amount of in-and-out and up-and-down adjustment.

The seat is reasonably firm, but it’s supportive and comfortable enough for long journeys, while electric lumbar adjustment is available as an option on SEL models. The pedals are well-positioned and the dashboard is neatly laid out for ease of use, with instrument dials that are no problem to read at a glance.

SEL trim and above get a larger 10.3in digital driver's display in place of an 8.0in one on lower trim levels. Meanwhile, the ventilation controls are located on a separate panel rather than through the infotainment touchscreen making it easier to adjust the temperature while you're driving than in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (and the current VW Golf for that matter).

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The high-set seat gives you a good view of the road ahead, helped by the fairly narrow and upright front pillars. Add in the big rear screen and generously sized side windows and you're assured of a good view out in all directions.

The Touran's boxy shape makes it easy to judge the car's extremities, and all trims come with front and rear parking sensors to make life easier still. A rear-view camera is standard on Match trim and available as an option on all the others. An automatic parking system is available on all versions for a relatively small outlay.

Heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors are standard across the range and a heated front windscreen is a well-priced option.

VW Touran dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

All Tourans have an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen as standard, with DAB radio, Bluetooth and a USB socket. You also get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, as well as sat-nav and a three-year subscription to the brand’s Car-Net service. Car-Net provides information such as traffic and fuel prices. An eight-speaker sound system is standard.

SEL and R-line add Wireless App Connect. That allows you to integrate your smartphone with the Touran infotainment system using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto without the need for the USB cable. 

Whichever trim you choose, you'll find the operating system easy to use and fairly quick to respond. There are some small icons that can be hard to hit while you're driving though.

Quality

The Touran doesn't disappoint for interior quality. Most of its materials feel dense and there’s a decent mixture of textures and soft-touch plastics. SEL trim and above come with additional trim finishers and ambient lighting to feel even more upmarket. The switches and stalks feel well-assembled and there’s an overall sense of solidity.

The interior materials begin to take on a slightly more utilitarian feel lower down, as well as in the rear seat area, but that doesn't detract from the generally classy ambience. In fact, it still stacks up well against the newer BMW 2 Series Active Tourer – that car's interior quality really is top-notch, but it's also more expensive to buy.

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

Those in the front of the VW Touran are treated to plenty of head room and just about the most leg room in the MPV class. You don’t feel short of elbow room, either.

Access is very good, with doors that open wide and create broad apertures, and high-set seats that are easy to get in and out of.

The door pockets will each hold a 1.5-litre bottle and the cubby that's recessed into the base of the dashboard is ideal for stowing a phone or wallet. There are two fixed cupholders behind the gearstick, a shallow storage area on top of the dash under a flip-up lid and a sizeable glovebox.

Rear space

The Touran has three identically sized second-row seats that are easily accessed through the wide-opening doors, and you won’t need to bend down far to belt your kids into their child seats.

There’s more space in the middle row of the Touran than in many rival seven-seaters too. A couple of tall adults will be comfortable and the flat floor means even three sitting side-by-side won't feel too densely packed in. A welcome touch is that all versions get folding picnic tables on the backs of the front seats.

Average-sized adults will be comfortable even in the third row, where two can sit with plenty of head room, even on versions with a panoramic glass roof. Getting to the rear-most seats is easy because the middle-row seats tilt up and slide forwards easily to leave a decent gap to clamber through. Impressively, the Touran has Isofix child-seat fittings on all five rear seats.

VW Touran boot open seat down

Seat folding and flexibility

The second-row seats in the Touran are easy to slide forwards and backwards independently of one another, and it’s a straightforward job to fold them flat. It only takes one hand to tilt an outer seat forwards for access to the third row and the seat returns to its original position when you're done.

Many will opt to keep the third-row seats folded away into the boot floor when they're not in use, but it's easy enough to pull them up again using just one hand.

All trims come with a front passenger seatback that can be folded down flat, which gives a clear area from the tailgate to the dashboard for seriously long loads (even some ladders will fit).

Boot space

The Touran’s big boot is deep and wide, with a low entry point for easier loading of bulky items. If you fold away the third-row seats you'll have a flat boot floor with no big gaps for anything to fall down.

There’s also an underfloor storage area for the load bay cover, which is handy when you want to fold down the second and third-row seats for a van-like luggage area.

You'll find four lashing points and a 12V socket in the boot as standard across the range. A powered bootlid is only standard on Match trim but is an option on all other Tourans.

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The VW Touran doesn't really have any direct rivals when it comes to price. It’s slightly more expensive to buy than the five-seat only BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and while a Dacia Jogger is significantly cheaper, it struggles to accommodate seven occupants and their luggage anywhere near as comfortably.

The Touran is available with some huge discounts and, perhaps even more importantly, finance deals that are keen enough for monthly costs to be very competitive. Low insurance premiums and relatively slow depreciation will help keep expenditure down. You can find the latest offers on our New Car Deals pages.

The Touran’s petrol engine has decent fuel economy, with an official MPG figure in the low 40s. The BMW 220i Active Tourer and the Jogger achieve slightly better figures (closer to 50mpg).

Equipment, options and extras

The Touran's entry-level SE Family trim is the one to go for. It has a lot of what you need plus a few luxuries, including 16in alloys, privacy glass, three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and a panoramic sunroof. There are also a number of very reasonably priced options.

Match trim doesn’t cost much more and adds heated front seats, keyless entry, LED headlights and a powered tailgate.

SEL trim costs a similar price to SEL but brings larger 17in alloy wheels, ambient lighting, drive modes and sports front seats. Weirdly, the panoramic roof isn’t included (but is still an option) and it misses out on the SEL’s heated front seats and LED headlights.

R-line is less recommendable – it's more expensive and adds mostly sporty styling fripperies.

VW Touran infotainment touchscreen

Reliability

Volkswagen has an average reputation for reliability, and came 22nd out of 32 brands in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey. That was below BMW and Dacia.

The Touran comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile VW warranty that can be extended to four or five years. A fixed-price service plan is available and a year's UK and European roadside assistance is standard.

Safety and security

Euro NCAP awarded the Touran a four-star safety rating when it was retested in 2022. A closer look at the results show it didn’t provide as much protection for adults than a 2 Series Active Tourer (which achieved a five-star rating).

You get seven airbags as standard, including a driver’s knee airbag. Side airbags for the second-row seats are a reasonably priced option.

All trim levels have automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind spot monitoring, speed-limit recognition, lane-keeping assist and a driver tiredness monitoring system. All versions come with an alarm.


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FAQs

  • Yes, very much so. It's a previous winner of our MPV of the Year title at the What Car? Awards thanks to its practicality and comfort. The versatile seats are easy to use when you need to juggle between occupants and luggage, and it’s more car-like to drive than SUVs and van-based rivals.

  • The VW Tiguan is slightly longer than a Touran – but only by 12mm.

  • There’s only one engine available for the Touran in the UK. It’s a 1.5-litre petrol producing 148bhp and will be sufficiently powerful and economical for most buyers.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £2,259
Target Price from £35,334
Save up to £2,259
or from £455pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £28,995
RRP price range £37,420 - £40,840
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)1
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 41.5 - 44.8
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £2,415 / £2,807
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £4,830 / £5,615
Available colours