The Best VW Touran MPV models
Tested: VW Touran R-Line 2.0 190hp 6spd DSG
When: January 2017
This version of the Touran is a lot of money, but we can understand what it’s for.
In R-Line specification its comparatively staid looks are at their best thanks to the bodykit, 18-inch alloy wheels and R-Line badging dotted around the cabin.
It uses the most powerful engine on offer too – the 2.0-litre diesel with 190hp and 400Nm between 1,300-3,300rpm. This is only available coupled to a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which works very well unless you’re using the paddles on the back of the steering wheel – it can be a little reluctant to change gear quickly enough.
The official 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds belies the fact that this does feel like a quick car, easily enough so to match its sporty appearance.
But you don’t pay too high a penalty for picking the most powerful version when it comes to fuel economy. The claimed figure is 58.9mpg but we managed just over 40mpg during our weekend with the car doing mixed and fairly representative driving.
It won’t be cheap to insure, though – group 21 is at the upper end of the line-up, so to balance this cost you’ll need to secure yourself a decent finance deal.
We’d perhaps urge caution on the optional extras front too. This car has £6,210-worth and that’s a big percentage of the car’s value.
The Discover Pro sat-nav and 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system is excellent, but we wonder whether it’s demonstrably better than the standard Discover unit with 6.5-inch screen you get as standard. That alone will save you £1,475.
While the overwhelming majority of buyers will completely ignore it, we’d suggest the £665 adaptive suspension is a good box to tick on the options list. This allows the driver to flick between softer Comfort and firmer Sport settings at the touch of the drive mode button, and adds a much-needed extra dose of sportiness to the grown-up-feeling Touran.
LED headlights are another option we’d consider dropping. They cost £1,295 and unless you’re doing lots of night-time driving in the countryside they’re a little difficult to justify. For another £410 you can even have them automatically avoid dazzling other road users, which is neat, but dipping your headlights manually is just as effective.
The automatic parking system known as Park Assist (£195) is a bit of a no-brainer really – incredibly useful for families.
Keyless entry and ignition are nice touches too, and join a powered tailgate that can be opened by wiggling your foot under the rear bumper for £635. Not bad at all.
Tested: VW Touran 1.6 TDI SE Family
When: March 2017
Sometimes manufacturers signpost different versions of their cars to help buyers pick the one that most fits in with their lifestyle.
And so it is with the VW Touran SE Family – a parent and child friendly variant of Europe’s most popular MPV.
What’s under the bonnet?
This is the 1.6-litre TDI with a six speed manual gearbox – one of the best performers if you’re after low running costs.
- 115hp at 3,200-4,000rpm
- 250Nm of torque at 1,500-3,250rpm
- 118mph top speed, 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds
- 61.4mpg, 119g/km of CO2
Interestingly though it’s not miles more efficient than the more powerful 2.0-litre motor, in either 150 or 190hp tune. That said it is cheaper to buy in the first place.
The larger engine has considerably more torque and you’ll notice this when pulling away with lots of passengers or a boot full of heavy items.
In the middle of the diesel range, the 2.0-litre 150hp unit feels like a better balance of power and economy, particularly if you plan to regularly make the most of the interior space the Touran offers.
What about an automatic gearbox?
If you spend a lot of your time in traffic then the auto is a real labour-saving option compared with the manual, largely due to the Touran’s adaptive cruise control, which is standard on some models.
Pick the DSG ‘box and this system will slow you down to a complete stop, and then pull away again when the traffic begins to move. Manual cars only work down to 30mph.
If traffic doesn’t play a big part in your daily drive then there’s nothing at all wrong with the manual gearbox – it has a light and springy gearshift action which is matched by the clutch pedal.
What equipment do I get?
Mid-grade SE Family is broadly similar to SEL but there are a couple of important differences – while our test car has a panoramic roof, the SEL grade swaps this for three-zone climate control, Car-Net App-Connect (smartphone mirroring) and front foglights.
It costs £27,005 but we’ve also got some options taking the price up to £29,235, such as keyless entry and start (£635) and the winter pack, which adds headlight washers, heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets and low washer fluid warning light (£390).
The 1.6-litre diesel engine is fine for most uses but starts to feel a bit strained when you’ve got a full ship’s complement of people or luggage. That said, it has a lower bottom line and marginally better fuel economy too.
Both middle specs (SEL or SE Family) have their advantages - SEL feels more luxurious and business-like, while our test car rides better on its smaller wheels and has a lighter cabin thanks to the panoramic roof, so would suit someone looking predominantly for family use.
Either way it’s a competent, if not particularly interesting, way to carry up to seven people around.
Tested: VW Touran 2.0 TDI SE Family
When: May 2016
Whatever you need to carry, your engine choice is crucial to ensure running costs stay low. In this case we’ve got a mid-range 2.0-litre diesel engine. This fuel is expected to power nine out of ten Tourans sold, and we’ve also got a six-speed manual gearbox that’ll come fitted to one in seven.
Go for this engine and gearbox
Our testers think this powertrain is the best combination for most drivers. While it doesn’t have the slightly lower running costs of the 1.6 diesel, you do get far better performance so the Touran is much easier to drive in most situations.
The 2.0-litre TDI reaches motorway speeds easily, not working quite as hard, so you’re likely to find fuel economy just as good anyway. The figure quoted by Volkswagen is 61.4mpg, which is only 3mpg lower and frankly a little unrealistic, but we did an easy 45mpg during our weekend.
The name of this car says it all, really. In SE Family specification the Touran makes a lot of sense for a family. We’d suggest the 2.0-litre is exactly the right engine too, and we’d save some money by going for the manual gearbox over a DSG automatic. The Mirror Pack seems like a good optional extra if you’ve got a tight garage or parking space.
- September 2015 – Volkswagen Touran available to order in the UK in S, SE, SE Family and SEL trim levels powered by a choice of five engines. There are 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrols, as well as a 1.6-litre TDI diesel and two 2.0-litre TDIs. Power ranges from 110-190hp across the range, with manual and DSG automatic gearboxes available.
- February 2016 – VW adds sporty R-Line to the range, adding a sportier body kit with unique bumpers front and rear, and sports seats inside with dedicated R-Line badging. It’s available with the 1.4 TSI and both 2.0-litre TDI engines.
Buying a new VW Touran MPV
- Our choice would be SE Family specification
- Petrol or diesel depends on intended usage
- Keep an eye out for great deals from brokers and VW
The Volkswagen Touran may not be the cheapest of its competitors but it’s one of the best, offering a good overall package when it comes to kit and practicality for the price. Mid-range SE is likely to be the most popular along with diesel options in the range.
We reckon SE Family, which is a new trim on the Touran, offers a great balance of cost and equipment, so we’d pick that with the 1.4-litre petrol engine unless planning on doing the sorts of mileage to make diesel a worthwhile option.
If you’re looking to buy a Touran then your local Volkswagen dealership should be your first port of call as they will offer the latest deals, bundles and competitive finance packages.
We suspect it may be possible to pick up a great deal at a broker or car supermarket, though, and if you’re less bothered about the precise spec of your car you could pick up a seriously good deal and get the car delivered very soon.
Buying a used VW Touran MPV
- Should prove a reliable vehicle
- Check all equipment works and is undamaged
- Carry out a Parkers Car History Check
Volkswagen cars may not be as distinctive to look at as some rivals, but they are synonymous with words like well-built, reliable and good quality. The firm has an excellent reputation when it comes to durability.
If buying from a previous retail owner ensure the service history is kept up to date and you inspect the car thoroughly including the brakes and tyres.
The Touran is a family car so check for any bumps or scratches, particularly for any damage to the fabrics and interior details, plus make sure any previous repair work has been carried out by an approved garage or at a Volkswagen workshop.
Don’t forget to get a Parkers Car History Check to make sure there are no hidden surprises which will put you off buying.
- Ideal car for growing families; advertise on parenting sites
- Take a good selection of images and write a clear advert
- Get a Parkers Valuation for an accurate starting price
Selling your VW Touran MPV
Volkswagen is a well-known and respected brand here in the UK and has a good reputation for producing reliable cars that last. An ideal car for growing families, the Touran is likely to attract plenty of attention when you’re looking to sell on but you can help your chances by placing an advert on parenting websites.
Higher trim cars which offer more kit as standard are likely to keep their value the best and the new SE Family trim comes catered with lots of family features so should appeal to plenty of used buyers too.
To help attract buyers make sure you keep your service and maintenance history of your Volkswagen Touran up to date and if you’ve added any aftermarket modifications consider removing them before selling to boost your car’s appeal.
There are a number of ways to sell your Volkswagen Touran - either on forums, in your local newspaper, or online classifieds. Make sure your pictures are as clear as possible and the advert contains everything a buyer needs to know including spec and optional extras.
Ensure you carry out an accurate Parkers Valuation, adjusting for your car’s mileage and optional extras, before advertising it for sale.