Currently reading: Nearly new buying guide: Volkswagen Touran
Classy if demure MPV goes big on versatility and agreeable road manners; a terrific used buy

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.

Volkswagen touran side 

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. 


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The car rides with fluidity over most surfaces, but for the smoothest progress, we’d stick with the smaller, 16in alloys fitted to SE and SE Family versions. 

The Touran shares much of its underpinnings and hardware with the Mk7 Volkswagen Golf, so its dashboard is both classy to behold and easy to use. 

Volkswagen touran interior

All Tourans came with an 8.0in colour touchscreen as standard. Most important of all, though, is how brilliantly clever the interior is. For instance, the second row is made up of three individual seats so it is possible to carry three child seats side by side. (The Touran has Isofix mounting points on six seats.) 

These chairs also all slide and fold independently of one another, and the outer two seats also tilt out of the way to make scrambling into the rearmost row fairly easy. Those final two chairs fold easily out of the boot floor, leaving just enough room for a couple of bags of shopping. 

Tuck them away, and you get van-like luggage space, which can be extended again by folding the second-row seats flat into the floor, and even dropping the passenger seat flat too.

Which specification should I choose?

SE: This trim includes 16in alloys, all-round electric windows, privacy glass, air conditioning, rear picnic tables, front and rear centre armrests, drawers under each front seat and front and rear parking sensors.

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Need to know 

Volkswagen touran rear three quarter

Used prices start at £11k. Spend £13k-£20k on a 2018 or 2019 car and £20k-£22k on a 2020 or 2021 model. Upwards of £22k buys a 2022 Touran. 

The 1.5 TSI 150 with its active cylinder shutdown tech averages 42.8mpg with the automatic DSG ’box and 43.5mpg as a manual under the WLTP tests. The 1.0 TSI has claimed WLTP fuel economy of up to 41.5mpg. Of the diesels, the 1.6 TDI returns up to 51.4mpg and 50.4mpg with the DSG gearbox.

Buyer beware

Recalls: There have been a number over the years. These include potential issues with: the warning light for the external lights; airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners; the on-board supply control unit; dipped beams; the head restraints; a shortfall in engine torque; wheels bought at some dealers; and the wall thickness of the fuel tank. Check with a VW dealer that any required remedial work to your car has been done. 

Dual-clutch autos: In the past, Volkswagen has suffered some fairly expensive problems with its DSG gearboxes, and although it now appears to be on top of them, it’s still worth looking out for juddering, particularly as the car slows down. 

Reliability: The latest What Car? Reliability Survey placed the Touran seventh out of seven cars in the MPV class. VW came 22nd out of 32 brands.

Volkswagen touran badge

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Our pick

1.5 TSI 150: The later 148bhp 1.5-litre turbo petrol is the pick of the range, offering plenty of performance for a lower price than the diesels. It revs freely, hits 0-62mph in 8.9sec and is the most refined unit.

Wild card 

Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer: The keen-value seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso, (later Grand C4 Spacetourer) is, if anything, even more comfortable than the VW. It’s not quite as well packaged as the Touran, though.

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