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VW Touran 1.2 BlueMotion driven

  • VW's small people carrier gets a new small engine
  • BlueMotion drops emissions and improves economy
  • For full review on the new Touran range go here 

The Touran is VW's compact MPV targeting the Renault Scenic and Ford's C-Max.

Billed as a seven-seat family car (you can delete the rear two, if required), 90 per cent of UK buyers opt for diesel variants. However, VW has seen fit to install a 1.2-litre petrol engine, but can such a small engine cut the mustard?

This new engine is the same turbocharged unit in the latest Golf, and gets 104bhp. Thanks to BlueMotion technology it emits 139g/km CO2, 10g/km less than the non-BlueMotion car. Economy jumps to 47.9mpg, up from 44.1mpg, while top speed also rises to 117mph.

The features helping the car perform more efficiently - earning it the BlueMotion badge - are a start/stop system, battery regeneration, lower rolling resistance tyres and a display on the dash which tells you the optimum time to change gear.

Surprisingly for such a small engine, the 1.2-litre TSI pulls the people-carrier along effectively. It's rev-happy, doesn't struggle under the weight of the car and coupled with the six-speed gearbox will hit motorway speeds with minimal fuss.

Once you're up to motorway speeds the car feels planted and controllable. This is partially thanks to the car's clever power steering system, which as well as making the car easy to manoeuvre around town also prevents the car being caught out by crosswinds or steep road cambers.

Another item to make things easier is the hill hold function, which applies the brakes automatically when the car comes to a stop so you won't roll backwards when you are trying to accelerate on a hill.

Inside it gets a functional and comfrotable cabin with a good level of standard kit. You get a radio/CD/MP3 player, air conditioning, ISOFIX mounting points on outer rear seats.

Practicality is an important part of this car's pitch. The seven seat version gets 121 litres of bootspace with the seats upright, but this expands to 1,913 litres when all rear seats are down. The five seat version offers 695 litres of bootspace rising to 1,989 litres once the seats are folded.

For the full Parker's verdict on the new Touran review go here.

Also consider:

Ford C-Max
A rewarding drive, the C-Max has a spacious and high quality interior and good equipment levels.

Renault Scenic
Representing great value, the Scenic has a practical interior, is comfortable to drive and feels well-refined.

Citroen C4 Picasso
Citroen's offering has a family-friendly interior, sleek styling, a spacious interior and loads of storage space.