What? An unsexy MPV occupying prime space on these hallowed pages. But bear with us, because this is the second-generation Volkswagen Touran, and if you’re looking for a seven-seat car that’s immensely practical and surprisingly good to drive, and also a terrific used buy, look no further.
Its popularity has made it one of the best-selling MPVs and one of our favourites both new and used, and its longevity points to its obvious success. Sexy? Maybe not, but desirable? Oh yes, indeed.
There are engines to suit all needs, for starters, and whichever one it has, the Touran is always a refined performer. Among the earlier engines, the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines are quieter and more suited to low-mileage drivers, while the 108bhp 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels are more economical.
The 1.6-litre diesel gained a small power boost to 113bhp in 2016 and the two petrols were replaced in 2019 with newer 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre turbo engines.
The only engine available since 2021 is the ace 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 petrol. It offers punchy acceleration even with seven people on board (0-62mph takes 8.9sec) and enough pull from low revs to save you from having to thrash it.
Five trim levels are available and all offer enough equipment to keep everyone entertained and safe. Entry-level S trim is the only version to lack alloy wheels but it does feature a large touchscreen with DAB radio and Bluetooth, all-round electric windows and heated door mirrors.
SE adds 16in alloys, automatic lights and wipers and adaptive cruise control, while SE Family offers a panoramic sunroof and better infotainment.
SEL and R-Line trims sit above that and offer a comprehensive list of kit, including larger wheels, three-zone climate control and subtle styling changes. As for road manners, the steering is predictable and well weighted, there’s plenty of grip and body lean is kept tidily in check.