The Touran is a good, if predictable, effort from Volkswagen. It scores highly for its practicality, overall quality, decent chassis and excellent standard-fit safety kit.

It is one of the better mid-sized MPVs and for many will be the natural choice because it has a badge with infinitely greater snob value than the Mazda, Vauxhall or Renault alternatives. It will also be likely to hang on to its value for longer.

Competent but costly to buy

It’s pretty capable, too, in other departments, with that flexible, spacious interior and the impressive Golf-based chassis, not to mention strong and frugal engines.

Line it up next to rivals, however, and our major gripe with the Touran is exposed. All that really stands against it is the stultifying dullness of its design.

Compared with the light and airy feel of, say, a Renault Scénic’s cabin and exterior styling, the Touran is conspicuously dull. Inside and out it, does little to make the owner feel like he or she is driving anything other than a service unit for their children. Of course, this is exactly what the car is, but it’s not something parents usually like to be reminded about.

If you’re not worried by that previous sentence and the classy image the VW brand exudes makes sense to you, then the Touran makes a fine, if pricey, choice.