1.6L SE Family TDI
The Volkswagen Touran is a compact seven-seater that combines a high-quality, family-friendly interior with an enjoyable drive and affordable ownership costs.
In many ways the Touran looks and feels like a bigger, more practical version of Volkswagen’s Golf hatchback and because the two cars share many parts that’s essentially what it is. The Touran is similarly stylish inside and has the same feeling of quality, as well as the same high standard of features and technology.
Although it’s not as spacious as some seven-seater MPVs the Touran’s interior is roomy, packed with useful storage areas and is easy to get in and out of. It’s a brilliant family MPV yet it’s as nimble and enjoyable to drive as a hatchback and doesn’t cost much more to buy and run.
It’s obvious that Volkswagen consulted a few mums and dads when it created the inside of the Touran because everything has been designed to make your family journeys as stress-free as possible.
The three rows of seating give you plenty of space and lots of ways to arrange them and the Touran is one of the few seven-seaters that has Isofix child seat fittings for all five of the seats behind the driver and front passenger.
There's lots of headroom in the front two rows and access is easy thanks to the large door openings. The two third-row seats are easy to get in and out of, and are perfect if you suddenly decide that the kids’ friends or the grandparents are coming along on the trip. All five back seats fold easily into the floor, creating a space that would shame some vans.
The quality of the interior is excellent and a cut above most rivals’. The Touran also has a smart infotainment system and is available with a range of high-tech features.
Some seven-seater MPVs make you feel like you’re driving a van, but the Touran is different. It feels agile and responsive, which helps whether you’re on a country road or negotiating the school run. It doesn’t lean much as you turn corners, either, which means your children can enjoy the journey back from the drive-thru without fear of losing their milkshakes or fries.
The suspension gives a smooth ride that makes longer journeys feel relaxed and it’s an easy car to park thanks to large windows that give you a great view of what’s around you. When you’re driving, the Touran feels less like a big MPV and more like a hatchback with a high driving position.
The 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines give you plenty of power and you can choose from a range of turbocharged petrol engines that may be a better bet if you don’t cover a lot of miles. Even the 1.0 and 1.2 petrol engines have enough power to haul the family around comfortably.
MPVs aren’t as popular as SUVs, so prices tend to be lower. This means you’ll get more for your money when buying a Touran over most seven-seat SUVs. It’s also more affordable than a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer of the same age.
The Touran also gives you a lot of equipment for your money and all of its engines are very efficient. Petrol versions have an official average of about 40mpg and the most efficient diesels have an official average of more than 50mpg. Insurance costs are reasonable, especially on models powered by the smaller engines.
Volkswagen has a good reputation for reliability and generally scores well in independent customer satisfaction surveys such as the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study. The Touran certainly feels like a quality product that’s built to withstand family life.
It’ll help to keep your family safer, too, with a maximum five-star rating from independent safety organisation Euro NCAP safety rating that included excellent scores for adult and child occupant protection. All versions come with seven airbags while most versions have an automatic low-speed braking system and front and rear parking sensors.
Best for economy - S 1.6 TDI SCR 115PS
Best for family - SE Family 1.5 TSI 150PS
Best for fun - R Line 2.0 TDI 190PS DSG
The entry-level S trim might be attractive in terms of cost, but it lacks the kind of tech you’ll need if you hope to discourage cries of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ from the back of the car.
It’s why you should consider the SE trim or, better still, the SE Family, which features an eight-inch infotainment system and a panoramic sunroof. You can’t go wrong by choosing any of the engines, but the 1.5-litre petrol is a particularly good option.