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Plenty of space in store with practical Volkswagen Touran

17:41 31 October 2015

New Volkswagen Touran offers decent space and storage for a compact seven-seater.

New Volkswagen Touran offers decent space and storage for a compact seven-seater.

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Volkswagen’s new Touran seven-seater is all about space and practicality but it doesn’t come cheap, says Matt Kimberley.

What’s new?

The first all-new Volkswagen Touran for what seems like a lifetime has adopted the latest, sharp-edged Volkswagen styling. The new seven-seater is longer but still only about 4.5 metres nose to tail.

New engines make it more efficient, with well over 60mpg possible according to the official tests. But Volkswagen knows this is about as far from a sexy poster car as it gets, so steers clear of any misplaced claims of dynamism.

Volkswagen Touran

Price: Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI SE £26,730 (range £22,240 to £30,510)

Engine: 2.0-litre, 148bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 9.3 seconds; top speed 129mph

MPG: 64.2 combined

CO2 emissions: 116g/km

Looks and image

From the front only the roof height would tell you this isn’t a Golf – everything else is so similar. It’s a good looking thing from the front angles but the back end is a bit frumpy but that’s multi-purpose vehicles for you.

On the other hand it’s a Volkswagen which still counts for something against stiff competition from the likes of the Ford Grand C-Max.

Space and practicality

If you’ve got time to count them there are 47 storage areas in the cabin, ranging from elasticated belts to split pockets on the back of the front seats, drawers under the front seats and deep bins at the sides of the tailgate aperture.

With all seven seats up there’s nominal boot space, but lower 
the two individual perches on 
row three and van-like proportions are revealed.

Behind the wheel

Don’t expect any driving thrills here and, unless you’re buying into top trim levels, don’t expect much cutting-edge technology either. There are one or two old-tech features that are a bit disappointing, like the oddly-outdated LCD screen between the two main dials.

On the plus side the new Touran is noticeably more stable and composed, especially round corners. The butter-smooth test route revealed little about the ride quality but there is a much greater sense of oneness about the car.

The 1.6-litre diesel is fine for the low-speed school run but will struggle to haul a large family and their luggage. The 2.0-litre diesel is a vast improvement and the smooth 1.4-litre turbo petrol has its merits too.

Three sub-six-foot adults can just about sit in line down each flank of the car, and the front two rows of seats are nicely shaped and comfortable.

Value for money

While you can get a very high-spec Golf for the price of a decent Touran, it does have practicality on its side. Prices start at more than £22,000 even for the cheapest petrol version, but you get very little for your money other than the generous space inside it. The top-spec 2.0-litre diesel tops £30,000.

Who would buy one?

Growing families looking to upgrade from the Golf range will find the Touran a natural step up. Volkswagen also suggests empty-nesters might get on board with the Touran’s sensibilities, and grandparents could see an advantage in having space for all their grandkids.

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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