Advantages Seats fold down, move and remove easily; Manouevrability; Light steering; Space
Disadvantages Engine seems unnecessarily loud; Ride seems harsh; Spec is bettered by rivals; Looks
The VW Touran is by no means a class leader. The Renault Megane Scenic was really the first 'mini MPV' and the Vauxhall Zafira was the first small MPV to cleverly incorporate seven seats.However, the offer from VW is by no means a bad vehicle. I found it hugely practical, with masses of storage space and completely intuitive seats. I didn't even read how to use them, but just fiddled the the backs for two seconds and they moved about exactly as I wanted them.
It's very easy to drive, with light steering and controls dotted around the cabin where you would expect to find them. It's a car that doesn't try to hard - there is no wacky positioning of the dials or displays, but instead a crisp, clear readout in typical VW/German/efficient manner.The restyled headlights and nose work well and soften the Touran's looks compared to the first generation model. However, the rest of the design is broadly unchanged and it remains slightly obvious and dull compared to rivals like the latest generation Picasso or Ford C-Max. However, if looks are not that important, this makes a good buy.
As for fuel economy, around town, I struggled to better the high 20s, which is far below the manufacturer figures. Performance is reasonably strong however and I wouldn't say this is a sluggish vehicle. The one thing I did notice, and frankly it surprise me, was that the ride seemed unnecessarily harsh and the engine quite loud. If you're used to petrol engines, a diesel can always seem slightly strange, but I've driven plenty of TDI-engined VWs and this was markedly different...Otherwise, the Touran is a competent vehicle with great attributes for this market. I'd say it's a sensible car for sensible people, and the VW badge adds cache that is still hard for other 'mainstream' manufacturers to beat.
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