From £18,837
Sensible and good-to-drive MPV now better-looking and self-parking.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Touran 2010-2015
The Touran has been very successful, but has failed to grab the headlines

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

What is it?

The facelifted Touran MPV, which comes with a big range of engines and a choice of five or seven seats. And from early next year, the option of self-parking.

What's it like?

Good to drive, and now with a prettier face, restyled rump and slightly posher interior. But the real question is how's your parallel parking? Are you the sort of person who swings their car into a space in one fluid movement, or do you take repeated kerb- and bumper-bashing attempts?

Naturally everyone here at Autocar can park like a pro… But for those who can't, help is now at hand. The self-parking system – called Park Assist – is optional, but VW reckons it will cost around £450, or about half that if you pick the top-spec car with standard parking sensors.

To these sensors, it adds a couple of side-facing ones, which detect empty spaces automatically when you’re travelling under 18mph. Should you decide to park in a space you've just passed, simply press the Park Assist button.

The car then tells you if the space is large enough. If it is, the Touran's electric steering will automatically turn the wheel for you to guide you to the space. All you have to do is control the throttle, brake and clutch, stopping when the rear sensor emits an uninterrupted tone.

If the car's not correctly aligned, it will also help you straighten up. It's a strange feeling, letting something else do the steering. The system's also far from perfect – the kerb must be reasonably prominent, and Park Assist won't work on bends.

But it does work, and you could soon get used to it, especially if all of the Touran's five rear seats are filled with rowdy kids. And £450 is a lot less than two new bumpers. What's more, the system could be fitted to any VW with electric steering. Watch this space, you could say.

Should I buy one?

The Touran's not cheap, but it feels like a classy product, and we suspect it will cope well with the tough life of a family car. And if you want a self-parking car, this system works better than that on Toyota's Prius.

Rory Lumsdon

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales