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TOUR LEADER (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The Touran compact MPV has the usual Volkswagen attributes - but will that be enough for class leadership? Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the latest version.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 48
Volkswagen's improved third generation Touran is designed to compete with the best that the compact 7-seater MPV class can offer. Underpinnings from a Golf hatch bring with them highly efficient engines that complement neat design and general quality that can't be bettered in the Scenic and C-MAX sector.
Backgroundword count: 194
Volkswagen really should be good at MPVs. It has, after all, been making the things for well over sixty years. Today's volume Volkswagen people carrier is this one, the much-improved Touran. The Touran is the vehicle to which your Volkswagen dealer is most likely to direct you if you've a growing family and need an MPV to suit - though these days, the German brand does offer quite a choice of 7-seater options. Buyers needing something more utilitarian have the Caddy Life MPV, while those in search of greater quality have the five-seat Golf SV. If you need something really big, there's the Sharan, a step down from the enormous Caravelle which really is designed for people who've qualified for their own private parking bay at the maternity ward. For most of us most of the time though, this Touran should be about right, positioned directly against rivals like Vauxhall's Zafira Tourer and Renault's Grand Scenic at the larger end of the compact-MPV sector. Launched in 2003 and updated in 2007 and 2010, it was re-fettled in terms of both engine and elegance in mid-2015 - and that's the version we're looking at here.
Driving Experienceword count: 196
As the demand for MPVs has grown, so has the demand that they drive more like 'normal' cars. The Touran has always been relatively good dynamically but more will be expected of this model, which is longer, wider, lighter than its predecessors and comes equipped with a range of petrol and diesel engines that are more powerful. Buyers get a choice of five Euro6 engine variants - two petrol and three diesel. All are four-cylinder direct injection units with turbocharging. The 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol TSI powerplants develop 110PS and 150PS respectively. The diesel engine range starts with a 1.6-litre 115PS unit, plus there's a 2.0-litre powerplant with 150PS and 190PS options. The fastest diesel comes only with a DSG auto gearbox and this auto transmission is optional with other engines beyond the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol unit. Volkswagen hopes these refined units will make this Touran one of the most agile MPVs on the market. In the driver's seat, the steering column has been pitched at a slightly flatter angle to the dash and the steering wheel is more upright for a sportier feel. The dash panel has also been redesigned with a more driver-oriented layout.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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