What is it?

Seven years and 1.1 million sales after the Touran first hit the scene, VW is launching what it calls a new Touran. It’s more of a major facelift, really. There’s crisper styling, and the big news is the arrival of two new four-cylinder engines, but this Touran has the same underpinnings as before and the same basic interior in either five or seven-seat guise.

What's it like?

The two new engines are a 1.2-litre direct-injection petrol and a 1.6-litre common-rail diesel that replaces the existing 1.9. Both provide the Touran with better fuel economy and lower emissions, in conjunction with developments such as stop-start, low-resistance tyres and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Already available in other VWs, the impressive 1.6-litre diesel suits the Touran well. It is surprisingly nippy in stop-start town traffic and its refined cruising ability makes motorway travel genuinely relaxing. Best of all, Volkswagen claims 61mpg on the combined cycle, which equates to a range of over 800 miles.

Two further engines will be available from the outset: a 170bhp 1.4-litre direct-injection petrol and 2.0-litre common-rail diesel in 140bhp and 170bhp guises.

Should I buy one?

Dynamically, the Touran is safe and predictable. But what it lacks in fun, it more than makes up for in ride quality, versatility, space and quality, all of which are first rate.

It now also comes with some impressive options, such as VW’s second-generation Park Assist system and Light Assist, as well as an improved panoramic glass sunroof. It’s just a pity that, in spite of the sharp new front and rear ends, the Touran still looks so boring.

Greg Kable

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Comments
14

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

I think the cosmetic changes are a huge improvement, and the new diesel looks to be very economical. However, I do think they should've done more with the interior; made it more Golf/Polo-like, perhaps? All they appear to have done is add some extra chrome and installed new heating controls. They put a whole new dashboard in the Golf Estate... why couldn't they have tweaked this one a bit more?...

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

Mini1 wrote:
I think the cosmetic changes are a huge improvement, and the new diesel looks to be very economical. However, I do think they should've done more with the interior; made it more Golf/Polo-like, perhaps? All they appear to have done is add some extra chrome and installed new heating controls. They put a whole new dashboard in the Golf Estate... why couldn't they have tweaked this one a bit more?...

Suppose it's on how the Touran is viewed against the rest of the Golf range. VW calls the current Golf hatch an all-new Mk 6 version, but in my eyes is nothing more that a heavily facelifted Mk 5, while the estate has the new front end but keeps, more or less, the same sheetmetal as the previous model, very much like this revised Touran. Yet the estate and Touran don't appear to be called all-new next gen models by VW. Anyway, just me having a trivial gripe.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

Strange how the road tester says the 1.6 TDI is very impressive in start stop traffic our MK6 Golf 1.6 TDI (105) with the same engine was good on motorways but felt a bit rough when in start stop traffic, was very slow to pick up speed unless you dropped to 2nd and wanted to get pushed back into your seat which makes journeys annoying.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

Mini1 wrote:
I do think they should've done more with the interior; made it more Golf/Polo-like, perhaps? All they appear to have done is add some extra chrome and installed new heating controls.

- new multi-function steering wheel plus new backlit instrument dials taken from the Golf, plus new centre console with your new/improved heating controls - AutoExpress' write-up.

Looks none too shabby or inferior to Golf/Polo to me.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

Lanehogger wrote:
However, I do think they should've done more with the interior; made it more Golf/Polo-like, perhaps? All they appear to have done is add some extra chrome and installed new heating controls. They put a whole new dashboard in the Golf Estate... why couldn't they have tweaked this one a bit more?...

I think most of the current crop if VW interiors are much of a muchness, so youre not losing out on much with this one being relatively unchanged. It seems ok for this type of vehicle.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

Depending on pricing and discount available we will probably be buying one of these. 61mg for this type of car is superb. Lets face it they are all dull but at least this one will be cheap to run.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

If you're thinking of buying, and use the boot a lot, be careful.

I had a series 1 of these - the boot looked dreadful when we sold it 5 years later. Plastics were very soft / easily marked - not quite what you want on a family car.

They may have improved since then.

It was also by far the most unreliable car I've ever had.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

Mini1 wrote:
I think the cosmetic changes are a huge improvement

I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I liked the series 2 with the EOS-style chrome grille and headlights way much better.

Still love it though, except for the fact that the 7-seater has to do without a spare wheel. Thhen again, that is also true of the S-max, the Grand Scenic and the latest Sharan/Alhambra. What a pain in the neck.

Ban tirefit!!

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

PhilM4000 wrote:
Depending on pricing and discount available we will probably be buying one of these. 61mg for this type of car is superb. Lets face it they are all dull but at least this one will be cheap to run.

As you say, not exciting, but a supremely rational purchase, and very good family transport. Can't imagine 61mpg is achievable in the real world, but anything close to that is very welcome.

Re: Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI

4 years 12 weeks ago

I wanted to highlight the positive aspects of the Touran:

There's not much VW can do with the boxy shape of the Touran as the vertical sides create the extra room inside. It's amazing how roomy it is inside despite its compact size. Most 7 seat cars are much bigger and heavier.

It has 3 'proper' independently folding, middle row seats. Each of which can take a full size carseat or two carseats and an adult comfortably. (no middle/middle 'non-seat' bench here)

The 61mpg of this model is amazing and makes it one the most economical 7 seater's available. Plus VW / Audi's excellent super smooth shifting DSG auto gearbox is now 7 not 6 gears.

The third row seats can now be folded without removing the headrests first as per the current model. But at least the middle row seats have never had to be moved forward to fold them down (as in most other 7 seaters).

With my family, my 3 kids their friends and their associated stuff, this car has been excellent. There's plenty of space to store stuff in the cabin and cupholders for everyone (important with 5 thirsty kids on a trip!).

Unusually for a mid-size 7 seater the suspension is not overly stiff or harsh and is pliant and comfortable on a long journey. But it as not as boring to drive as some journalists would have you believe. The 170bhp turbo diesel is shockingly fast and the Touran has direct and responsive steering. The chassis is also stiff and predictable.

The Touran is very practical & very easy to get along with. It's not too big to park anywhere in any carpark and it does it's job as family transport dutifully and outstandingly well.

I will be getting another Touran next year.. with a panoramic roof :)

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Our Verdict

The Volkswagen Touran has a good chassis but little inspiration and a bland appearance

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