With the release of the latest Touran, Volkswagen has applied major updates to its popular seven-seat people mover. Refreshed styling and a range of more efficient engines make the latest version more desirable to families than ever.
We take a look at ten of the most interesting features that make the Touran stand out in a class filled with capable rivals like the Ford Grand C-Max and the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso – our favourite seven-seat car of 2014.
A new platform
Although on the face of it, the new model doesn’t look radically different from the outgoing model but, underneath the skin, it’s all-new. The Touran is based on the VW Group’s MQB platform – a highly adaptable system which forms the base for cars as wide-ranging as the Volkswagen Golf and Audi TT Roadster. Constructed from a higher proportion of high-strength steels, the new body is 25 per cent stiffer than before. This offers potential benefits for cabin space, efficiency and safety.
The new model is larger than the previous Touran, too. Overall length has increased by 130mm, with 113mm of that stretch occurring between the front and rear wheels. Despite the increase in size, overall weight has been reduced by 62kg. A lower weight should help the new model to accelerate faster and brake better, all while using a little less fuel.
The most obvious change at the front comes in the form of new, slimmer headlights. They are now optionally available as full LED units, greatly improving visibility at night, while helping the Toruan appear more distinctive head-on. The front bumper is similar to the one found on the old model, with a large air intake flanked by a pair of front fog lights to emphasise width.
A sharper crease runs from the headlight to the door mirrors, while similarly crisp lines on the bonnet and along the flanks give the new car a more contemporary look then the softer, outgoing Touran. In order to maintain visibility out for both drivers and passengers, the glass house remains wide and deep.
Around the back, many of the same styling principles have been applied. The lights have been slimmed down, while the overall appearance is perked up with more modern bumper and boot lid shapes.
Volkswagen engineers have managed to incorporate these cosmetic tweaks into a shape which is more aerodynamic than ever. Not only does this reduce wind noise at motorway speeds, but it allows the latest Toruan to be even more economical.
Combined with the aforementioned weight reduction and aero improvements, the refreshed range of engines help the 2015 Touran become up to 19 per cent more efficient than before.
Three petrol and three diesel engines will be offered from launch. Entry-level models are powered by a 110hp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol, while 150hp 1.4 and 180hp 1.8-litre motors are also offered. These engines are revised versions of the units found in the old car, and they offer a five to 10 horsepower increase.
As with the petrols, the three diesel units gain subtle increases in power. A choice of a 110hp 1.6 TDI and two flavours of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel are offered, the most potent producing 190hp. The most powerful petrol and diesel models are equipped with Volkswagen’s dual clutch automatic gearbox as standard, while the rest can also be specced with a regular manual gearbox.
The old Touran wasn’t wanting for cabin quality, but it could be argued that it looked just a little dull – most surfaces were constructed from grey plastic, after all. The latest version appears to have taken a large leap forward in terms of style – inspired by the recent Passat, the latest car’s interior is all new. From the wide central swoop across the dash which holds the updated infotainment system, to the revised air conditioning controls and new steering wheel design, the more interesting shapes knock the perceived quality up another notch.
More passenger space
Perhaps the most important aspect of any MPV is the size and practicality of its interior. Thanks to the overall increase in size, the latest Touran is roomier than ever, with passengers benefiting from an extra 63mm of room. In seven-seat versions, third row passengers gain 54mm of legroom and 13mm of headroom.
Improved width in the second row enables the Toruan to hold three child seats abreast in the second row. All but the front passenger seat is equipped with Isofix mounting points, making the Toruan ideal for families.
The latest Touran is available as a five- or seven-seater. In five-seat versions, boot space has improved by 48 litres. That means, if you wish to load items to the roof with the optional boot net, a loading volume of 1,040 litres is possible. All the passenger seats can fold flat, including the backrest of the front passenger seat. In this format, a whopping 1,980 litres is offered, which should be more than enough to slip a wardrobe in if needs be.
It seems the Touran will be keep buyers on the hunt for new cubbies long after they’ve taken delivery. A total of the 47 storage compartments are dotted about the cabin, which might make the search for a misplaced mobile phone more like finding a needle among multiple haystacks. A light located in the cubby between the front seats can even detach and be used as a torch.
The Touran gains a number of new features over the old model. An electronic parking brake replaces the traditional lever in the old Touran, freeing up more space at the base of the cabin. A new ‘Easy Open’ system allows keyless entry, and – much like the system already found in the Ford Kuga – a simple swing of the foot beneath the rear bumper triggers a sensor which opens the bootlid – ideal if your hands are full with heavy shopping.
Cars equipped with the DSG automatic gearbox feature a new coasting function, which can disengage the gearbox when, say, driving down a long hill, to save fuel.
New safety features
Volkswagen hopes that the Touran will score a maximum five star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests. Even basic models are equipped with up to nine airbags, while Emergency City Braking detects potential hazards ahead and can bring the car to a complete stop if the driver isn’t able to react in time. In the event of a big accident, Post Collision Braking brings the car to a halt in order to reduce the risk of subsequent impacts from occurring.
Prices and release date
Full prices are yet to be confirmed for the UK, thought we’d expect entry level models to start from around £20,000. The new range will be available from September.