From £18,837
Useful detail changes to a decent package. Otherwise as you were

What's new?

Not a lot. I think you'd call this finessing. There aren't huge changes to the facelifted Touran – which went on sale in the UK last week – but there have been plenty of detail tweaks to Volkswagen's five- or seven-seat compact MPV.

Visual newness stretches to new, Eos-esque headlights and chrome grille surround, different tail-lights and new bumpers front and rear. Inside, surfaces have been upgraded and switches tidied. There's steel finishing on the dials and a metallic finish to the centre console.

What's it like?

It all looks and feels pretty good, really, but the rearmost chairs (a no-cost option) are a bind to get into and short on space for all but small kids.

From spring, you'll be able to add extra protection for the Touran's new bumpers with the Park Assist system. Letting the car guide you into parallel parking spaces is an odd feeling but from our experience of it abroad, it works.

Elsewhere, the ESP/ABS has been modified to supply counter-steering – a short twitch through the wheel if it thinks some corrective lock is needed. If the system kicks in under hard mid-corner braking, Volkswagen reckons stopping distances can be reduced by up to 10 per cent.

Otherwise there are no chassis changes, so the Touran remains a respectable enough drive. The 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel in our test car was a responsive, quiet thing, mated to a slick-shifting manual gearbox. The electric power steering was light and accurate, the ride fine and refinement generally good.

Should I buy one?

Yes, if you’re after a sensible family car. But if you're looking for dynamism or tactile interaction, look elsewhere. This is pure car-as-transport worthiness.

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