Buyer's guide: second-hand Volkswagen Touran
Hunting for a classy mid-sized seven-seater? Everything you need to know is right hereThe Volkswagen Touran is one of those do-it-all cars. It’s not so big that you feel all self-conscious and wasteful if you’re driving in it alone. Equally, it’ll take seven adults at one sitting – and even leave space in its boot for them to take a coat and a snack for the journey.
By now, there are upwards of a half a dozen cars from different makes that do pretty much what a Touran will do. Volkswagen was, however among the first to market and remains one of the handiest and easiest to live with. They’ve pushed on during its six years on sale, improving the car’s looks, upping its standard equipment and increasing its cleverness.
So even though a new-generation Touran is on its way, it’ll not show up here until late in 2010 – meaning there’s plenty of life remaining in the original. And, given that Volkswagen tends to allow cars to ‘evolve’ rather than bang in with radically different designs, buying the current car makes a deal of sense.
Here’s the motors.co.uk guide to the hows, whys and wherefores of buying this hugely popular small bus.
How much should I pay?
You’ll need at least £5000. That buys one of the first Tourans, a 2004-registered, 04-plate with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and ‘S’-level trim, which is the entry model. It’ll have done about 60,000 miles since new. Spend about £8000 and you’ll see a diesel-engined Touran on your drive. It will probably be one with the 1.9 105bhp PD engine.
Add a couple of thousands to your budget and you’ll have enough for a 2.0 140bhp diesel with SE or even sport trim. It will be a couple of years old and, for your £10,000, should have covered no more than 30,000 miles.
About £12,000 is enough to get a 1.9 diesel SE that's less than a year old, with fewer than 10,000 miles showing.
Which model is best?
All have central locking, electric front windows and mirrors, six airbags and anti-lock braking. The entry-level S model also has a CD/radio and height and reach adjustable steering and driver’s seat. The SE model adds better cabin trim and seat cloth, a front passenger’s seat that folds flat, body-coloured door handles and silver-coloured roof rails. Sport models have special front seats, climate controlled air conditioning as standard, lowered suspension and weather-wrapped steering wheel rim and gearshift.
The Touran underwent a mild facelift in 2006, giving it new headlamps and a chromed grilled, new rear lamps, and alloy wheels as standard on all.
Pick between 1.4 turbocharged, and 1.6-litre and 2.0 regular petrol engines, or 1.9 diesel (in versions offering 90bhp and 105bhp) or a 2.0 diesel producing 138bhp. Most Tourans you’ll find for sale have the 1.9 diesel delivering 105bhp. It’s the most economical, returning up to 47mpg overall, and has ample low revs power, which suits the car well. The 1.6 petrol feels breathless when the car’s loaded and slurps fuel: don’t ever expect more than 35mpg and much less whenever in town.
How much do they cost to run?
Depreciation – the difference in value between when you buy a car and when you sell – is motoring’s biggest single cost. Happily, Volkswagen’s classy image and the Touran’s tough build means that they lose value more slowly than most of their competitors. Low insurance groups –between 6 and 9, depending on money and the option of extended service intervals (where the car decides when it’s time for an oil change and tells you) keep bills low. National parts cost surveys show that Tourans are middling: not the cheapest, but not as expensive as some folk seem to think Volkswagens should be.
As cars able to ferry around seven adults go, Tourans are economical with fuel. The 105bhp, 1.9 diesel mentioned above is the best all-rounder, although if you want a real sipper, go for the Bluemotion mode. Launched only last year, this improves overall consumption to 52.7mpg for that model by adding easy-roll tyres, taller gear ratios and lowered suspension to the standard 1.9 diesel S or SE. These are scarce second-hand and so attract a price premium, though.
What’s the best place to buy one?
We’d go to a main dealer. Prices we’ve seen look reasonable and their stock of cars is usually spot-on. They also provide an Approved Used Scheme, which promises a pre-sale safety check, at least a year’s warranty plus roadside assistance. What’s more, if the car you buy develops a fault within the first 30 days that you own it, they’ll swap it for another if the fault can’t be put right.
If you want the newest car for the least cash, car supermarkets are worth a look. Note though that with most the aftersales care won’t be up to what you’d expect from a main dealer and any specific warranty will be basic – and may only last for a month or two after purchase.
What should I watch for?
Older Tourans may only have five seats. Until 2005, the third row of seats that drop into the boot were an extra on cheaper models. It follows that seven-seat Tourans are the ones to have, and cost more, so know which you are buying, and decide. Be aware, too, that the 1.9 diesel comes in 90bhp or 105bhp versions – we’d go for the more powerful one.
Some owners report running Tourans to big mileages without them needing more than routine servicing and new tyres and brakes. Others report clutches wearing out unexpectedly early and also the pump for the anti-lock braking system can fail early on. To be safe, an aftermarket warranty may be a wise buy.
To view and buy new and second-hand Volkswagen Tourans, click on motors.co.uk