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TOUR BUS (some text hidden)
By Car & Driving
Introductionword count: 87
Volkswagen's second generation Touran was launched in 2010, designed to compete with the best that the compact 7-seater MPV class could offer. Underpinnings from a MK6 Golf hatch brought with them highly efficient engines that complemented neat design and general quality that in this era couldn't be bettered in the Scenic and C-MAX sector. You might think that ought to make it a good used car buy in you're in the market for a compact People Carrier with three-row seating. But will it be? Let's find out.
Modelsword count: 6
5-dr MPV (S, SE & Sport)
Historyword count: 218
Volkswagen really should be good at MPVs. It has, after all, been making the things for well over sixty years. Just after the war, a British Major, Ivan Hirst, was appointed to run the Wolfsburg factory and needed a simple, yet spacious vehicle to get things around the plant. The result was the Transporter, launched to the public in 1950 and changed little during the next quarter of a century, during which we saw it as anything from a hippie campervan to a practical minibus - a true Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Though the Transporter continues today in people carrying Caravelle form, today's volume Volkswagen MPV is somewhat smaller - this car, the Touran. This car was first introduced in 2003 but here, we're looking at the second generation version, launched in 2010 when it slotted in beneath two larger MPV models in Volkswagen's range, the Sharan and that aforementioned Caravelle. Though the size of a Touran might not suit people who've qualified for their own private parking bay at the maternity ward, for most families most of the time, it turned out to be about right, positioned directly against rivals like Vauxhall's Zafira and Renault's Scenic at the larger end of the compact-MPV sector. This MK2 model sold until 2015 when Volkswagen introduced a not too dissimilar MK3 model.
What You Getword count: 536
Stylistic surprises are rarely forthcoming when Volkswagen unveils an MPV and so it was that in second generation form, this Touran borrowed further from the design language already used by its maker on everything from a Polo supermini to a People Carrying Sharan. With this MK2 model, the German designers managed the unusual feat of changing every body panel bar the side doors, while still creating a look that nonetheless, appeared broadly the same as this car's predecessor, if cleaner and more purposeful at both front and rear ends with a sleek 0.29 drag factor. It was much the same inside, where everything was changed - yet nothing was different, exactly as many satisfied owners wanted. So buyers graduating from the previous generation version got restyled dials, a smarter three-spoke height and reach-adjustable steering wheel and a revised switchgear layout for the climate and entertainment functions. But the same classy cabin that ignored the fancier approach favoured by rivals and worked much better for it. At the business end, Volkswagen's marketeers rather ambitiously promised 'over 500 different combinations of seating'. You may disagree. Access to a cabin that gains plenty of light from the large windows is via side doors that, unlike some obvious rivals, open conventionally rather than sliding back and forth. But sliding back and forth to optimise legroom is certainly something you'll be able to do in the three individual chairs that make up the second seating row, positioned relatively high so children can see out of the bigger windows more easily. Unlike the larger Sharan, these seats can't neatly fold into the floor when you're not using them. For maximum carriage capacity, you have to carry them out and store them in the garage, so it's just as well that at 17kgs, they're not too heavy. When in situ in the car, they do fold in half though and the advantage of that if there are only two people in the back is that the middle seat can create a useful centre table. Or you can take it out completely and slide the outer two seats sideways and inwards to create limo-like elbow room. Neat. Behind, there are a couple of extra third row seats, adequate for occasional use by smaller adults over short journeys but really designed for children. Some original buyers deleted these at the point of original ordering in order to create more bootspace. Talking of bootspace, there really isn't much - just 121-litres. If that's a problem, you really should be looking at a proper large 7-seater MPV like Volkswagen's Sharan. Still, with the 3rd row folded into the floor, you do get 695-litres if space - or as much as 1989-litres if you fold the second row seats in half, with more again on offer if you lift them out completely. Just as important for families are the various storage compartments dotted around the car for smaller items - 35 in total - including storage compartments in the floor and in the roof console, trays under the front seats, a lidded compartment on top of the dash, door bins that will accommodate a 1-litre bottle and more cupholders than you'd find in the Real Madrid trophy room.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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