- We like...Classy cabin, smooth, stable ride
- We don't...Mid-row seats are heavy
Handy-sized MPV seats seven, and a classy if sober-looking cabin wins it buyersLet’s start with how useful this seven-seat bus is. Because unless you’re buying it to ferry around hordes of kids, grand-parents and packs of slavering dogs, why would you want one?
For plenty of reasons, actually. There’s the commanding view out from its big ‘screen, sat high and peering clear over the tops of regular saloons and hatches. There’s the rear screen that’s almost as big, making pinpoint reversing simpler than in many a smaller, lower car. And there’s that grumbly but powerful 2.0 diesel, well up to hauling a jammed-full Touran to wherever. And, unless you go silly while driving it, it’ll better 40mpg day in, day out.
But you can’t say too much without telling all about the seats, so we’ll turn to them now. First, the front passenger’s flips down to become a desk for the driver. Next, each of the three mid-row chairs individually tips, tumbles forward or lifts out. They’re heavy, though. If you choose instead to push ‘em forward, there are three chunky-looking bars to attach and hold them still. Then, the back row folds individually and tips neatly into the floor, if first you shove the mid-row forward to create room. When every seat’s full, space remains for barely three bags of groceries. The rear seats are set low and aren’t great for big adults, although for kids they are fine. The Touran will also house five with as much head- and leg-room as they’d ever want and easily take their luggage for a fortnight’s hols. Otherwise drive it solo, fold six seats and you’ve a parcel-van.
Its supple suspension is set for comfort and is great on a long motorway haul where the Touran sits planted and steady, even in high winds. It’s quiet inside, though that diesel ds growl as you push through the six forward gears. The steering is precise enough without feeling nervy, while the brakes progress easily between ‘soft’ and ‘oops’ as required.
Of necessity, the Touran’s shape is brick-like, although VW’s done what it can by sticking on a chromed grille and teardrop front lamps. And inside, all looks austere – unless you pay extra for brown leather, the interior will be black or grey throughout – but what’s in there is solid and classy. It’s well kitted out, too – this SE has semi-auto air conditioning, alloy wheels, a superb radio/CD autochanger and super-smart seat cloth.
The Touran ds look posh, so it’s a surprise that it’s priced keenly against the competition: a similar Renault Grand Scenic or Vauxhall Zafira costs as much, or more. And the Touran trumps both by losing value more slowly second-hand. We know which we’d rather have on our drive.
- Engines2.0 TDI
- 0-60 mph10.2sec
- Insurance groupsgroup 9
Motors.co.uk value verdict: