Volkswagen Touran 1.9 SE TDI 7-seater — MotorBar Road Test

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Volkswagen Touran 1.9 SE TDI 7-seater — MotorBar Road Test


147;VW#146;s compact MPV

is just the thing for

a family on the move#148;

A FAMILY MAN used to have three options: clunky 4×4, boring estate or a bus-sized MPV. Then along came the compact MPV and #151; hey presto! #151; family motoring ceased to be a necessary evil. In fact, if you ‘ re talking about Volkswagen ‘ s Touran it could well become a most enjoyable pursuit.

The beauty of buying a Volkswagen is that you can be sure that

you’ll get two things: quality and practicality. A ‘sister’ to the class-leading family hatchback Golf, the Touran with its lustrous paintwork, tight panel fit gaps and palpable look of quality gives you a glow of satisfaction every time you walk up to it.

VW understands perfectly that sense and sensibility don’t have to be dull and boring and that, even if there happen to be two, three, four

or even five Mini-Mes to be carted around, family drivers still want to feel a pride in their car.

A smart set of alloys always enhance a car, and the 6Ѕ x 16-inch

8-spoke light alloy ‘Imola’ wheels fitted to our 1.9 TDI test car set off the gleaming metallic blue paintwork perfectly. Classy touches are evident in often unnoticed items #151; the clear lens indicator repeater lights are stylishly integrated into the door mirrors and, in the luggage compartment there are chromed load lashing rings.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the Touran’s cabin is extremely well put together, using first-class quality materials. This is, after all,

a Volkswagen. First impressions are of lots of space, helped by the

fact that both front ‘comfort’ seats have masses of height adjustment as well as lumbar adjustment.

The Touran utilises the floorpan of the latest generation MkV Golf and enhanced suspension deals with the additional weight and height, while the interior makes maximum use of every inch of space. In standard form the Touran ships out as a five-seater, but it’s also available as a seven-seater.

In five-seat mode you get a decent boot, while in the seven-seat the two individual rearmost seats fold flat into the floor in one quick, simple action for the times you need to carry baggage not bodies.

The three individual seats making up the second row all slide forwards and backwards and are all foldable and removable. Seats can be added or removed in seconds. If you’re into seat-shifting then you can have fun with a Touran.

According to Volkswagen, there are 500 different interior variations and we’ll just take their word on that one!

Access to the load bay is excellent, helped considerably by the two-stage opening rear tailgate. Simply push up past the standard indent and it will rise even higher. Another practical safety feature

is a rear screen wiper that activates automatically when reverse

gear is selected.

Stylistically, the Touran’s compact lines are well-honed and crisply functional, and, like the Golf, it should remain fresh-looking for quite

a while #151; unlike some ‘flavour of the minute’ designs that will swiftly fade and dent residuals.

Standard ‘kit’ is generous, with air-conditioning, cruise control, CD player, electric windows front and rear, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, dust and pollen filter, heat insulating tinted glass and a multifunction computer. Sun visors are large enough and feature illuminated mirrors. Trademark blue adjustable instrument lighting adds another nice touch #151; and it’s easy on the eyes, too.

There are numerous reading lights as well as 12-volt sockets in the rear and the luggage compartment. Smart black roof rails are

designed to use a carrier system.

The punchy 1.9-litre TDI engine generates 185lb ft of torque at 1,900rpm. As you increase pressure on the accelerator, the more than ample torque makes the Touran feel much quicker than the paper figures would have you believe. From standstill to the benchmark 62mph takes 13.5 seconds.

Top speed is 110mph and the good news #151; for the family budget #151; is the combined fuel consumption of 47.1mpg.

Our test average came out at a healthy 48.7mpg with a lot of stop-start driving on motorways and country lanes. Lighter-footed drivers should achieve the Touran’s official extra-urban figure of 53.3mpg.

For the record, the Touran’s TDI unit meets the Euro IV ultra-clean emissions standard. A bonus for company car drivers is that the

‘clean’ Touran avoids the usual 3 per cent tax penalty.

The Touran is refined at speed and does a good job of hiding the fact that it uses diesel rather than petrol. The TDI unit is hushed on motorways which, with a well-insulated cabin and an absence of NVH from other sources (the tight build quality means a complete absence of squeaks and rattles) combined with a smooth and firm ride, all ensure happy motoring.

The speed sensitive power-assisted steering is pleasantly light around town and feel noticeably improves #151; as it should! #151; as your speed increases. The steering is accurate and the front-wheel drive Touran

is reassuring at higher speeds, tracking arrow-straight and remaining resolutely steadfast even in the extremely windy conditions we experienced during our test week. With its precise and light shift, the six-speed ‘box is a perfect mate for the 100bhp powerplant.

The dashboard is uncomplicated and ergonomically spot-on. All controls feel good to use. The four-spoke leather rimmed steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, pedals are well-positioned and the gearlever

falls easily to hand. Contoured semi-bucket front seats, upholstered in a smart, hardwearing cloth, are both accommodating and supportive and offer a commanding view of the road ahead from a relaxed driving position.

Don’t ask us why, but kids seem to love sitting ‘up back’ in the Touran’s individual third row seats #151; maybe it’s the neat arm rests

and grab handles, or the clear views out through the large windows.

They also made good use of the middle row’s centre seat, which folds to become a table, and the flip-up tables mounted on the back of the front seats were appreciated. Use the sixth and seventh seats all

the time and you’ll sacrifice most of your boot space but when not in use they fold flat into the boot floor. Take out the rear seats as well and you have 1,913 litres of load capacity capable of carrying 660kg

of luggage.

The Touran has a wealth of storage areas, including a number of concealed cubbies to store things out of sight. A game the kids enjoyed on the Touran’s arrival was ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’. Not the classic movie, but finding each and every one of the Touran’s 39 storage spaces that range from sizeable lidded underfloor ‘secret’ compartments to drop down sunglass holders in the roof, drawers under the seats, and one-litre bottle holders in every door.

The Golf underpinnings endows the Touran with excellent body control but, while it’s no GTI, its real strength is more fundamental. Fluent

and unfailingly secure handling should keep you, and your family, safely out of harm’s way. Overdo things and there’s ESP to get you out of trouble. No surprises from the brakes either as they are as good as you’ll ever need.

Not only will the kids be happy being whizzed around in a Touran, they will also be as safe as houses thanks to its five-star Euro NCAP rating and a comprehensive array of safety equipment. In addition to

driver’s and front passenger’s active head restraints there are head restraints for all rear seats, three-point belts for every seat, Isofix child seat preparation on the outer seats of the middle row, driver’s and front passenger’s airbags with passenger’s airbag deactivation switch, curtain airbag system for front and second row passengers

and front seat side impact airbags.

You also get ABS with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including EDL (Electronic Differential Lock)

and ASR (Traction Control).

Volkswagens are traditionally built to last #151; witness the number of ten year old Golfs you see on the roads that still look fresh #151; and, like them, the Touran will cope admirably with the rigours of family life, the hard wear and high mileages that usually go hand-in-hand with running a family. You could say that owning a Touran shows good family planning!

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