Testing the new Volkswagen Touran for Drive, Seán Creedon was struck by the practical virtues of a car that will never win beauty contests…
If there are indeed just two kinds of cars in the world, one known for style, and the other for practicality, the Volkswagen Touran, which I test-drove last week, would be most at home in the latter category.
It probably will never win any prizes for its looks, but it does the job that it was designed for; and that is, to ferry children and adults around. And folding down its back row of seats provides ample space for transportation of bulky items if required.
The decision-makers in design at Volkswagen clearly have a liking for the letter ‘T’, with the large Tiguan, medium sized Touareg, and the compact Touran, which comes in five- and seven-seat versions.
Despite having been around since 2003, the Touran is probably the least-known vehicle of the Volkswagen range. Essentially, it’s a people-carrier based on the best-selling Golf.
The weather wasn’t great during the week that I test-drove the Touran, and the model was a grey one that seemed to match the gloomy weather. However, when I saw that the interior was also grey, it wasn’t exactly inspiring. But of course, there are other brighter colours available in the Touran range and it won’t always be raining in Ireland… will it?
This new revamped Touran is a reliable people-carrier that will do anything you ask of it. As it’s a VW, you can take it as read that it won’t let you down, and that you are guaranteed a good trade-in deal when you decide to upgrade.
There have been slight changes to the new model, but nothing too dramatic. The front end has been modified, and the car now boasts the stop-start technology that is becoming commonplace in new cars. I drove a 1.6l diesel version, and didn’t require many pit-stops for fuel top-ups.
Externally, two roof rails enhance the people-carrier look. Inside, the driving position is high, giving the driver a good view of the road. The seats are very cosy and I didn’t have any complaints from my front or back seat passengers. Speaking of passengers, the Touran would be ideal for those thinking about getting into the taxi business. However, judging by the long queues of taxis everywhere, it’s not a job I would like unless I was really stuck for a few bob.