The Volkswagen Touran feels like a car created from the very core of the MPV textbook.

It has been executed with VW’s characteristically fine attention to detail and uses excellent packaging and cabin versatility to deliver great occupant space from a fairly compact footprint. In that respect, it earns a podium rank in our people-mover class.

If you need a bigger seven-seater than this for reasons of practicality, you need a full-sized MPV. It’s a result of VW’s strong pricing for the Touran that a like-for-like Sharan or Seat Alhambra won’t cost you a great deal more.

A spacious, refined and classy all-rounder — albeit a slightly bland one

Neither will a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer, which has greater premium-brand allure than the Touran and, like an S-Max, is a bit more memorable to drive.

Apart from its lack of charm, though, the Touran now feels like a fully fledged VW in being worth at least a solid eight out of 10 on absolutely everything.

This is enough for the Touran to cement third place in our top five ahead of the Ford S-Max and the Seat Alhambra, but trailing the BMW 2 Series Grand Tourer and the Volkswagen Sharan.

There are a few things in the facelift that may help the Touran mount an assault on the top two spots in this sector, including reducing showroom price and emissions, as well as being brave and jazzing up the exterior.

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