The Volkswagen Touran is a practical family car that has lots of space, seven seats and a huge array of storage areas, but it’s not exactly eye catching
The Volkswagen Touran doesn’t look exciting at all, but the payoff for its high roofline and slab-sides are lots of interior space and huge doors for great access – making it one of the most practical family cars you can buy.
It also has seven seats, and those big rear doors mean anyone with a degree of flexibility can access the back row, which – unusually for a seven-seater – can accommodate an adult so long as they’re under six-feet tall. That means there’s plenty of room back there for kids. The middle row, meanwhile, has three individual seats that slide backwards and forwards, so adults will have no trouble getting comfortable. Both front seats are height adjustable too.
The Volkswagen Touran only has a 137-litre boot with all seven seats in place, which is barely enough space for a weekly shop – so if you need to carry seven people and their things then the larger Volkswagen Sharan will be a better bet. However, the Volkswagen Touran’s boot grows to a whopping 937 litres when the car’s in five-seater mode. Factor in the 47 separate smaller storage areas that are dotted around the interior and few cars this can size can compete with the Touran’s practicality.
You’re not going to buy a Volkswagen Touran on account of its interior style. It has none of the flamboyance of the Citroen Grand C4 Spracetourer, but it does have a straightforward layout and build quality that feels like it’ll stand up to years of use.
A lot of thought has gone into the design – simple mechanisms make the seats really ease to fold, the cup holders have a sprung grip that wraps around energy drinks as easily as they hold a can of coke, and the picnic tables on the backs of the front seats have a ratchet function that holds them in place even if you lean on them. These are the things you’ll appreciate for years to come.
The Volkswagen Touran is a safe car. It scored five stars when Euro NCAP crashed-tested it in 2015’s tough Euro NCAP conditions, but it’s worth upgrading from S to SE models and above just to get automatic emergency braking fitted as standard – it’ll reduce the chance of low-speed crashes.
The Volkswagen Touran tells people that your family takes priority over style when you’re choosing a car
The Volkswagen Touran’s 1.6-litre diesel is the best all-round engine – it’s just about quick enough and cheap to run. Go for the punchy 2.0-litre diesel if you’ll do a lot of fast motorway driving, or the cheap-to-buy 1.2-litre petrol if you’ll use your Touran mostly for short town journeys.
You’ll be surprised at how well the Volkswagen Touran drives. Although it looks like a van it doesn’t feel like one – in corners it feels like a taller VW Golf. It doesn’t lean much going around corners and the light steering makes it a doddle to park and easy to use around town.
In fact, ‘easy to use’ pretty much sums up the Volkswagen Touran. It does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s built to carry people comfortably and easily, and it doesn’t let frivolities such as sexy styling and sporty driving dynamics steer it off course from its main objective of being family friendly.