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VW Touran: People power

By Roger St. Pierre with Hazel Kempster

Things have moved a long way since Renault’s ground-breaking Espace introduced the - at first sceptical but soon enthusiastic- motoring public to the MPV people carrier concept.

Volkswagen entered the fray with their solidly reliable and recently comprehensively upgraded Touran.

With seven-seat capability, the new model provides masses of room and high equipment levels to afford award-winning family transportation at prices ranging from £19,790 for the entry level 1.2 TSI S five-door up to £28,350 for the range-topping  Sport TDI 177PS six-speed auto DSG five-door.

There’s a range of super-efficient engines – 1.2 and 1.4 petrol lumps and two different 2.0-litre diesels  – capable of up to 61.4-mpg to provide a sensible mix of power and economy.

Not surprisingly the little 1.2 unit is a bit wheezy lo down when loaded with a full compliment of passengers but it is very economical and is qiquiet running once wound up.

VW’s BlueMotion technology plays an important role in all this.

There are some formidable rivals – the Ford C-Max, Toyota Versp, Vauxhall Zafira and Citroen Picasso spring to mind but the Touran can comfortably trade blow for blow with all of them.

It’s solidly built, is very easy to drive and holds the road well but most important is the robustness of its interior, primed to receive all the detritus that family life might throw at it and there’s a five seat option if you want to carry fewer people but give them more leg and shoulder room.

In the standard model the middle row’s three individual seats can each recline, side or fold forward while the three seats in the third row can be folded away into the luggage compartment floor when they are not in use.

The Touran sports a whopping 35 individual storing spaces dotted around its interior, including massive door pockets and a globe box that can swallow a whole lot more than just a pair of hand-warming aids.

Even at entry level there’s air-con, cruise control, a DAB digital radio and 15-inch alloys, while the luxury SE model gets added bright trim, a leather clad steering wheel, automatic wipers and other goodies.

Yes, it’s a bit van like to look at but that boxyshape gives it the acres of both luggage and passenger space, the high seating position and generous headroom that are the hallmarks of a genuine MPV people carrier.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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