Volkswagen’s ad men boast of 39 different seating configurations for the Touran. Nice copy line, and there’s no denying the flexibility on offer.
The middle row of seats comprises two full-sized outer seats, both with Isofix fittings and a smaller centre seat. All three have three-point seatbelts, and slide fore and aft on runners.
Collapsing and removing the seats are easy, but their shape makes them awkward to manoeuvre, although at 15.9kg (15.7kg for the centre seat) they’re not overly heavy.
With the centre seat removed, the outer pair can be mounted slightly inboard, giving passengers more elbow room. You sit high, in comfy (if hard) seats with decent legroom, but it’s an uninspiring place to be, with grey plastic everywhere.
In the rear, the optional third row collapses into the boot floor, requiring you to remove the headrests, which fit into a special compartment.
These are kids’ seats; anyone over 6ft will have their knees around their ears and access requires a convoluted approach – useful for families, then, but no match for the Zafira in execution. There’s very little boot space with the rearmost seats raised, too.
From the driver’s seat, things are typically VW. That means the usual clear instruments, excellent ergonomics and a great range of steering wheel and seat adjustment.
Unfortunately the dash, and cabin in general, is as deathly dull to look at as the outside of the car. We don’t quibble with the quality, which is well up to VW standards – just the unremitting predictability of it all.