Tuning a car to be so dynamically competent and consistent that absolutely nothing it does rubs your senses up the wrong way is quite an achievement for VW – and precisely the one for which it must have been aiming.
True, the car ends up feeling a bit plain and unengaging to drive as a result, but it’s much more important that it’s comfortable, predictable and easy to guide. And, of course, it is.
The suspension feels medium-soft – not as laid back as that of a Grand C4 Picasso but gentle enough to smother the sleeping policemen and broken urban road surfaces that you’ll cross every day on the school run. It’s supple at all times, too, while also maintaining good body control on B-roads at higher speeds.
The steering is medium weighted and paced, feels fluent and gathers weight as you add lock. Body roll isn’t pronounced enough to be discouraging and lateral grip is more than adequate for road driving. It’s balanced finely enough up to a point but ebbs at the front axle before the car’s stability is undermined.
This is an example of MPV dynamics done by the book, and done very well. As a result, the Touran is supremely dependable and easy to drive – a bit middle of the road, perhaps, but more rounded than any of its closest competitors.
You can lean quite hard on the Touran’s outer contact patches when the need arises and ask quite a lot of its dampers and anti-roll bars before it’ll begin to handle in the way that you’d expect a big MPV might under duress.
The consistency and precision of the steering remains intact even during fairly hard cornering and the chassis, although stable, is balanced enough to begin understeering gradually.
The ESP is always on (although the anti-slip control for the driving wheels can be switched off) but it’s fairly subtle and unobtrusive most of the time.