There are two petrol engines and four diesels to choose from in the Touran. The 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine is available with 104bhp, which returns 44.1mpg and emits 149g/km CO2. However, the same engine can be specified with BlueMotion technology (six-speed gearbox only) meaning emissions of 139g/km and 47.9mpg on the combined cycle. You’ll hit 62mph in 11.9 seconds, but it has more than enough pulling power to get it up to motorway speeds in an acceptable period of time.
There’s a larger 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with either six-speed manual or optional seven-speed automatic DSG gearbox. This generates 138bhp meaning a 0-62mph time of 9.5 seconds. However, the most popular Touran models are the diesel options and there are four versions to choose from. First off is a 1.6 TDI with either 89bhp or 104bhp and choice of six-speed manual or DSG ‘box (BlueMotion tech models the manual gearbox).
Top diesel choices are a 2.0 TDI with 138bhp (DSG or manual) or 168bhp with a DSG ‘box only. The latter car is the quickest in the range, reaching 62mph in 8.9 seconds and continuing on to a top speed of 132mph. The most economical choice is the 104bhp 1.6-litre diesel with BlueMotion technology, which returns 61.4mpg. The BlueMotion technology package consists of low rolling resistance tyres, battery regeneration, a computer to indicate when best to change gear and a stop/start system.
An easy car to manoeuvre around town. It has light steering at lower speeds, but becomes more heavily weighted at higher speeds meaning you feel more in control. Once you’ve hit motorway speeds the car feels planted and very controllable. This is partially thanks to the car’s clever power steering system. The system makes the car easy to manoeuvre and it also prevents the vehicle from being caught out by crosswinds or steep road cambers.
Another feature making the Touran easier to guide around town is the hill hold function. It will apply the brakes automatically when the car comes to a stop and means it won’t roll backwards when you try to accelerate from a hill start. Parking is a fairly simple exercise thanks to the second generation parking assist. This will steer the car into any bay or parallel parking space, with the driver controlling the throttle, gears and braking.
It works remarkably well and comes standard on all SE and Sport trim levels. The ride is comfortable and forgiving, but suffers a bit of body roll when going in to corners at speed. However, Touran drivers are unlikely to be doing many track days, so it does its job fairly well.
The driving position is slightly higher than most cars, providing excellent visibility for the driver. The gearshift is floor-mounted and feels nice and solid. While the arm-rest on the door is ideally placed to provide support without being intrusive. The dash and interior is the kind of high quality typical of VW, with the controls intuitively placed and easy to use.