From £18,837
Hardly a visual treat, but the Twincharger engine is more than a technical gimmick - it makes this 1.4-litre petrol a better bet than an equivalent diesel.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Touran 2010-2015

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

21 February 2006

What’s new?The engine. This is one of two versions of VW’s clever new Twincharger unit, which uses both a supercharger and turbocharger to get the performance of a 2.0-litre from a 1.4, but with the fuel economy of the latter.What’s it like?Really rather impressive. We’ve already sampled the 168bhp version of this engine in the Golf GT, but this is the 139bhp version. With 162lb ft next to the GT’s 177lb ft, this Twincharger still has plenty of grunt, even in the 1478kg Touran, which it drags to 62mph in 9.8sec.Power delivery is nicely linear, and it’s almost impossible to detect the point at which turbo takes over from supercharger. The supercharger also means you get all of that torque from just 1750rpm, so although swapping cogs on the six-speed ’box is fun, you don’t need to change down to overtake on the motorway.The crucial thing, of course, is fuel economy. VW claims a combined 38.1mpg, and 29.1 around town. We weren’t able to verify that, but expect it to get close, and CO2 emissions of 178g/km better the Touran 2.0 FSi’s 194g/km, making it cheaper for company car drivers. List price should be similar, at around £18,000 when it goes on sale in June.Should I get one?Yes. The Touran is dull to look at, but spacious, practical and decent to drive, and the Twincharger is far more refined than a diesel, yet more frugal than a naturally aspirated petrol engine.Rory Lumsdon

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