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Volkswagen Touran Review: The Grand Tour(an)

05 July 2015

Text by Carbuyer, direct from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

VW ups the small MPV ante with an all-new Touran that excels in nearly all areas. Will it be a segment leader back in Singapore?

What's a Touran again?

It's Volkswagen's small, seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that has, by all accounts, been a huge success for the brand thus far. It sold almost two million units since its origin in 2003, and has been one of VW's top-sellers back home in Singapore too.

 

So why do people like it?

It's proven to be a very versatile vehicle, crucial for a one-car household. The daily commute/grind on weekdays, then family hauling on weekends. The Touran, especially in 170bhp Sport guise, was even able to deliver dad (or mom) some smiles from behind the wheel too.


Sounds like the new one has big shoes to fill then…

It sure does, but it's fortunate that the new third-gen Touran ain't Ronald McDonald. Like the seventh-gen VW Golf (which comes in 1.2 and 1.4-litre guise now), it uses VW Group's newest platform, MQB. The short version is, that allows the Touran to be larger, more refined and efficient while also being lighter to boot.


Okay, it's an MPV. Does it have space?

Given the car's 130mm longer with 113mm more between the wheels, the space is huge, even larger than before, especially in the second row of seats. In fact it's worth noting that the second row passengers have lots of 'rights' now: their own climate control, variable folding tray tables that are also tablet holders, manual blinds, reclining seat backs with three positions. They can even control radio and navigation via a USB port and tablet.

That sounds very fancy…

It's not a stretch to say the Touran's second row passengers might be the most pampered in the segment. The third row still can fit adults in a pinch, but they'll be exactly that (pinched) and it's better suited to smaller humans for any long distances. On the upside, all the chairs now fold flat easily, the cargo space is larger and the car is now very refined.


You mean it's got good manners?

In a manner of speaking, yes. There's very little vibration that penetrates the cabin, even from the engine, while wind noise is minimal at legal speeds. It's also a very biddable machine and while you can tweak the driving modes to suit your preference (variable steering, suspension (an option), drivetrain aggressiveness and so on) but it's the car's basic soundness and accuracy that shines through.

 

It's not outright sporty, nor is it the pointiest car around, but few drivers will have anything to fault here, especially since the cockpit now feels very cutting edge and premium, with lots of stowage space but also a logical, cleanly-presented layout. As typical for a new car, the Touran's also more efficient too - this 1.4 petrol turbo with 150bhp does 5.5L/100km, versus 6.6L/100km for the old 1.4 140bhp model.


Is it still boring then?

We'll leave it to you to decide, but it surely looks less boxy and van-like now, with VW's new 'signature' face, a more raked windscreen and handsome wheels. There will also be an R-Design version with a body kit and other sharp-looking bits as well. If you want something sportier and can do with five seats, VW is also launching the new Sportsvan in Singapore this year.

This is an excerpt. To read the full article, please click here.

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