In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Touran MPV

“The Volkswagen Touran is a spacious MPV with seven seats and a wide range of engines”

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

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Owners Rating

3.3 out of 5

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  • Good choice of engines
  • Decent to drive
  • Quality build


  • Relatively expensive
  • Third row not the most practical
  • Boot space poor with third row in use

It’s fair to say that MPVs have never really been the most desired cars on the market, but the move to more fashionable seven-seat SUVs means there are fewer buyers looking for a traditional people carrier than ever. As a result, there is less direct competition for the Touran than ever.

But that doesn’t mean that a car like the Volkswagen Touran wouldn’t make sense for a lot of motorists who need space without the running costs and high purchase price of a crossover.

Besides the SUVs, the Touran also faces competition from bigger rivals like the Ford S-MAX and Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, and also from posh new alternatives like the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer. To convince customers to plump for the VW, the Touran isn’t particularly flashy or gimmicky, instead relying on the sheer practicality of its boxy shape, a range of impressive engines and a well finished interior to seal the deal.

As spelled out by past advertising campaigns, the Touran isn’t the cheapest option, either, being ‘reassuringly expensive’ instead. Materials inside certainly look pricier than those of some older rivals, with plenty of soft-touch elements and neat touches that’ll look familiar to Volkswagen Golf owners. The Touran is looking a little plain inside and out though, especially compared to its Citroen rival.

One of the Touran’s biggest selling points is its slick folding seven-seat layout, but if you plan on making use of the third row often, we’d say the larger Volkswagen Sharan or Ford Galaxy are better propositions if you can afford them.

Instead, the Touran works best as a huge five-seater, with two occasional extra seats if you need them, and a big boot when you don’t. A large hatchback opening and low loading lip make it easy to load, and there’s lots of space up front for tall passengers. Parents will be impressed that all five rear seats have ISOFIX points for a child car seat, but the boot is small with all seven seats in place.

Engines are another major draw for the Touran and we particularly like the 1.5-litre TSI petrol with 148bhp that works especially well with Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Those after a diesel are well catered for, with a 2.0-litre TDI offering 113bhp or 148bhp. For most drivers, the smallest of these should be perfectly adequate, returning almost 50mpg economy in everyday use and still being perky enough to move around a full load of people or luggage.

There are plenty of trim levels, including SE, SE Family, SEL and R-Line, with every version getting a touchscreen infotainment system, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning and electric windows. SE models also come with 16-inch alloy wheels, and there are some handy features like front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and rear airline-style tables for passengers, while the SE Family grade has sat nav, on-board internet, a panoramic sunroof and automatically locking rear doors.

SEL models add technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while R-Line Tourans have a sportier look thanks to 18-inch wheels and a unique bodykit.

With a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, the Touran is a reassuring model for families, with an 88% score for adult occupant protection and 89% for child passengers. Autonomous emergency braking is standard from SE trim and above, while post-collision braking (which helps prevent secondary impacts), tyre pressure warnings and a roster of airbags are all standard.

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