Volkswagen Touran review 2020

The Touran has built a justified reputation as one of the top choices in the MPV market.

£13,477
Average Price
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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Drives well
  • An extremely capable MPV
  • Good rear passenger room

Cons

  • Slightly pricey
  • Volkswagen’s reliability reputation has dwindled
  • It might be worth waiting to buy new, as an impending refresh is likely.
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    118 - 138 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model review

First introduced in 2003, the Touran served to answer demand for an MPV smaller than Volkswagen’s popular Sharan.  

 

Available with either five or seven seats, the Touran also features a good level of practicality. In many ways, it serves as the best of both worlds; it has the room and usability associated with an MPV, but since it is more compact, parking and city street negotiation doesn’t have to be so perilous. 

 

The car had a solid base to work from in the form of VW Golf underpinnings, and it has proved popular for many years. The first-generation Touran endured for quite sometime, undergoing two fairly major facelifts before being superseded in 2015.  

Current model

When Volkswagen eventually reworked the Touran completely, and debuted it at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, there were several changes to take note of 

 

Firstly, while the car was still not too distant from the Golf mechanically, it benefitted from being built on VW’s widely-used MQB platform, which meant it felt much newer than its rather dated predecessor.  

 

The styling borrows heavily from the Golf, with the general shape of the hatchback’s front fascia making the move to the MPV, making the second generation much better to look at. 

 

Infotainment, safety system and fuel efficiency were all enhanced, and four years on from reveal, the second-generation Touran is still a strong force in the MPV market. It is now exclusively available as a seven-seater. 

 

It would be fair to assume that an updated version will arrive soon, due to the impending arrival of a new Volkswagen Golf on the horizon. 

Value for money

It must be said that the Touran’s £24,045 starting price tag isn’t market leading value. With that said, given the strength of the car’s standard spec sheet and Volkswagen’s impressive reliability, you might be able to justify spending £1,500 more than you would on the rival Ford C-Max, for example 

 

On the used market, early Tourans are available for less than £1,000, though it should be little surprise that these high-milage models.  

 

First generation models with less than 80,000 miles on the clock can be had from a shade under £3,000, while later first generation options in prime condition can be had for a little over £7,000.  

 

Second generation models start at around £13,000. These models are in pretty good condition; we found a base-spec 2016 car for £12,800, with just 36,968 miles on the odometer.  

 

Nearly-new models with just a few thousand miles on the clock can be found from roughly £20,000. While this isn’t necessarily the biggest saving out there, it is certainly a worthwhile one given these cars are so close to being showroom fresh. 

Looks and image

The car is a little less bold in the styling stakes than a lot of rivals, particularly more eye-catching rivals such as the Citroen C4 Grand Spacetourer. That’s not to say the Touran is a bad-looking car – not by any means – it’s simply a very straight-laced, functional design that values substance over style 

 

Of course, the MPV seems to have hit a bit of an unfashionable phase, with many who used to have one on their drive moving over to the alluring SUV/crossover market. However, the Volkswagen badge remains to be very sought-after, and it is a big image aid for the car, even compared to broadly similar MPVs from sister firm Seat.  

 

The Touran rides rather well relative to other models in class, smoothing out almost any bump a road can throw at you, and the car is absolutely fine when presented with a motorway. 

 

Plus, the steering is predictable, and grip is seriously impressive. Ford’s MPV offerings tend to be the benchmark when it comes to handling, but the Touran is even more composed than the S-Max when the road gets twisty.  

Video Review

Space and practicality

If you opt for a seven-seat version of the Touran and need to use all three rows at once, then you will be restricted to a mere 137 litres of boot space.  

 

However, if you fold the back row down, this increases to an impressive 937 litres of space, which is more than enough for almost any purpose. With all of the rear seats down, this area balloons to an impressive 1,857 litres 

 

The quality of the interior is exemplary, while the dashboard layout is plain but practical and everything is exactly where you would expect it to be.  

 

In the front seats, the level of space and comfort on offer is class-leading, and while some rivals can out do the Touran for space in the back two rows, it still offers more than enough capacity for adults in all seats.  

  

Engines

The engine line-up for the Touran used to be an even split between diesel and petrol, with three options of either side of the fence. Power ranged from between 108 and 187bhp in both fuel types.  

 

However, a recent revamp to the powertrain line-up has seen significant changes to the engine spec sheet. 

 

The base petrol is a 1.0-litre unit with 113bhp on-tap, while the only other petrol option is a 148bhp, 1.5-litre engine 

 

The base diesel is a 1.6-litre motor that produces 113bhp, while a pair of 2.0-litre units make up the remainder of the range. The 2.0-litre unit is available with either 148 or 187bhp.  

Running costs

Perhaps inevitably, the base diesel is the most economical option available, with 67.3mpg achievable. As of writing, the bigger engines have not yet been given an official mpg test and figure, but you can expect them to be comfortably able to hit figures of over 40mpg. 

 

Insurance groupings for the Touran vary between 11 and 21, dependent on spec and power.  

 

On the servicing side, new Tourans can be had with a servicing plan that allows you to pay in monthly instalments, alleviating some lump sum cost stress from new car ownership. 

Things to look out for

Surprisingly, the Volkswagen brand’s reliability reputation has fallen rather sharply in recent years, and there have been numerous reported issues with Tourans, particularly those from the first iteration 

 

One extreme example is a potential fuel leak caused by a loose bolt on diesel models, around the fuel pump. This issue should have been resolved under warranty and recall, but a Volkswagen dealer should be able to check this on a used model to give you peace of mind. 

 

Plus, a lot of Tourans are specced with the DSG automatic gearbox, which has been known to be a little temperamental and unreliable in some instances. 

 

Rivals

The MPV sector is certainly still a competitive battleground. The Ford S-Max can be considered a rival, as can the Kia Carens, Citroen’s C4 Spacetourer and its ‘Grand’ seven-seat variant. Premium badged offerings such as the Mercedes B-Class and BMW 2 Series Grand Tourer are also competitors, although they are a bit pricier. 

 

Of course, any number of seven-seat SUVs can also be considered rivals, such as Nissan’s Qashqai and the Kia Sportage 

  

Depreciation

While the MPV segment has never been renowned for its residuals, the Touran seems to hold its value fairly well. Almost four years on, the first of the second-generation models are still worth over half their new value, regardless of mileage, and that is fairly good going. 

Which Touran to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

1.5 TSI EVO SE 5dr

Most MPG

1.5 TSI EVO SE 5dr

Fastest Model (0-60)

2.0 TDI 115 S 5dr DSG

Trims Explained

Currently, there are five trim levels to choose from – S, SE, SE Family, SEL, and R-Line.

'S'

The base trim for the Touran is S. As standard, the Touran features cloth upholstery, a height adjustable driver’s seat, halogen headlights and steel wheels with plastic wheel trims. In addition, it gains an infotainment system complete with an eight-inch touchscreen. This system is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible, and also features DAB radio, music playback and a CD player. From a drivers’ perspective, it features an automatic post-collision braking system, stop/start technology and a hill-hold function to help with tricky hill starts.

Available from £24,045

'SE'

This trim gains adaptive cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear glass, chrome exhaust and roof rails, while inside, it gains a leather steering wheel and uprated seats all around, with more armrest options and lumbar adjustment in the front.

Starts at £25,720

'SE Family'

The SE Family spec gains sat-nav and a panoramic sunroof and a pre-crash occupant protection system.

Starts at £26,885.

'SEL'

This spec features 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior details, ambient lighting, 3Zone climate control and electrically-folding mirrors, the latter of which also gains a system that adjusts the mirror automatically to give you a view of the curb.

Starts at £28,615.

'R-Line'

The top spec is R-Line, which features 18-inch alloy wheels, a sporty R-Line body kit, a sports steering wheel and seats and plenty of R-Line badging. Other goodies such as LED headlights, leather seats and more advanced steering wheel options are all available too, albeit as paid optional extras.

Available from £29,610.

Summary

  1. A little more expensive than some rivals
  2. Superb ride
  3. Very capable in the corners for an MPV
  4. DSG auto ‘boxes from VW have a bad reputation
  5. Some equipment you’d expect as standard is a paid option
  6. A solid, economical engine line-up
  7. Some very good used deals out there
  8. May be due a refresh soon
  9. It looks particularly smart in R-Line trim
  10. Nearly 2,000 litres of space with all seats down

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