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Volkswagen Touran – Tour de force

Text and photos by by Jackson Toh, 9tro.

While Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPV) in general might be the last thing you think of when it comes to spirited driving, that has not stopped the Volkswagen Touran from becoming one the world's most popular mid-sized people carriers. The first Touran that came ashore in sunny Singapore might have had marginal success but that did not stop it from becoming a massive hit worldwide.

Thus, Volkswagen (VW) is hoping its all-new second generation Touran will change all that. Built upon the skeleton of the German car maker's scalable MQB platform (think: Golf, Passat, Tiguan), the new Touran's exterior styling is more of an evolution than a revolution of the outgoing model though under its skin, just about everything else is new.

Thanks to the MQB's flexibility, the Touran has now grown bigger in all dimensions and yet shed over 60kg off its curb weight while its wheelbase has been stretched a further 113mm, drastically increasing overall cabin space. Parked beside the previous car, the new Touran is definitely a lot bigger, though it still retains a similar silhouette, albeit with a sharper look due to the addition of strong shoulder lines that run the entire length of the MPV.

Upon closer examination, you would also notice the slightly more aggressive facade with piercing LED headlamps that merge into the front grille together with a sleeker roof line that lends a sportier air to the Volkswagen's boxy outlook. Needless to say, the new Touran's vast interior is one of the best in the business, built to the typical high standards of VW with a focus on practicality and ride quality, it seats seven with impeccable space plus leather-clad individual seats for everyone.

As for the driver, you will notice that everything you need to be within reach with most of the essential controls all mounted onto the steering wheel. Scan the centre console and you would also see the all new Volkswagen Pure Air Climatronic climate-control system that features an active biogenic filter to keep the cabin air fresh and pollutant-free.

Second row seats get lockable-angled flip trays mounted to the back of the front seats perfect for passengers hooked onto catching Pokemon on their tablets. But the real star here is the new flat-folding seating system that allows you to fold the second and third row seats with just one move each for maximum cargo carrying prowess - up to 1,857 litres to be precise.

Volkswagen Singapore is offering two trims for the Touran here with our Comfortline test-unit packing extra goodies like an expansive panoramic sunroof, rear-view camera, LED lights, driving modes and VW's Front Assist system. Another new feature is the Touran's single turbo 1.4-litre TSI engine that pumps out a respectable 148 horses and 250Nm of torque now, 0-100 is achieved in 8.9 seconds while hitting a top speed of 209km/h, making it the fastest 1.4-litre car in Volkswagen's Singapore line-up currently.

As expected, acceleration is brisk and you barely feel the car's heft even when driving with six other passengers. Before I digress though, the Touran is no performance machine, sensibility is the order of the day and its here where the MPV truly shines.

Ride quality is sublime with a suspension that soaks up just about anything while remaining stiff enough to eliminate massive bodyroll and floaty-ness commonly associated with people luggers. Out and about, the seven-speed DSG gearbox is massively effective and shifts without even you noticing. The Touran's steering remains communicative and well-weighted with a commanding view of the road ahead.

To sum it up, the new Touran continues what its predecessor did so well and bettered that with increased space, improved driverability and sharper looks. When it comes to mid-sized MPVs, the Volkswagen Touran is hard to beat and is definitely a Tour de Force in its respective segment. 

Read the original article here.

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