Although the Volkswagen Touran is perfectly pleasant to drive and has a good range of cheap-to-run engines, it’s never fun… but will your family care?
The Volkswagen Touran’s choice of engines ranges from a 110hp 1.2-litre petrol up to a 190hp 2.0-litre diesel. The 190hp diesel comes as standard with a six-speed automatic gearbox, while all other models get a six-speed manual, with the option to upgrade to a seven-speed auto on all but the 1.2-litre petrol.
The best all-round engine is the 115hp 1.6-litre diesel. It offers more effortless performance than the 1.2-litre petrol and although you’d never call it quick, it’s fast enough. Fuel economy is excellent – Volkswagen claims 61.4mpg and you can expect to get 53mpg in real-world use.
The Touran may look like a van but it doesn’t drive like one – it doesn’t roll around in bends so your kids won’t feel sick
Consider the 150hp diesel if you’ll do a lot of motorway miles. Its extra power makes it easier to overtake at higher speeds and it copes better with a fully loaded car than the 1.6-litre diesel. It costs about £1,500 more than the smaller engine but returns comparable fuel economy.
The 1.2-litre petrol is the engine to go for if your Volkswagen Touran will spend most of its life in the city. It’s quick enough to keep up with slow-moving street traffic and VW claims fuel economy of 51.4mpg should be possible.
The Volkswagen Touran may look like a van with extra doors and windows, but it feels like a Volkswagen Golf hatchback to drive. There’s very little lean in corners, plenty of grip, the manual gearbox is easy to operate and there’s no slack in the steering – it does everything that you want predictably, and doesn’t feel as cumbersome as a Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer.
The standard suspension is comfortable enough, so there’s no need to specify VW’s adaptive dampers which allow you to flick between firm and soft suspension, and on the motorway the Volkswagen Touran is noticeably quieter than comparable models – ideal if you want the kids to sleep. The 1.2-litre petrol drones if you accelerate hard, but settles down at a cruise. SE Family models and above come with active cruise control, so you can set a speed limit and let the car accelerate and brake for you – it’s a really handy feature on busy motorways.
The Volkswagen Touran earned a five-star rating from Euro NCAP in 2015, so it’s a safe car. SE models and above come with automatic emergency braking that can sense an imminent collision and apply the brakes hard to avoid it. The system makes the Touran safer and will also cut the cost of your insurance.
In town, the Touran’s light controls make it easy to drive smoothly. The big windows give you a brilliant view out and should stop passengers from feeling sick. Most models can be specified with a seven-speed automatic gearbox that shifts smoothly and gives your clutch foot a rest in stop-start traffic.