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VW Touran in the test: completely redesigned family van

Hans-Dieter Seufert
VW Touran in the test
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B ritic racers have coined a key motto of the car scene: Never change a winning team. It can easily be transferred to completely unsporting family vehicles such as the VW Touran, because it has been one of the winners since its launch in 2003. In Germany it dominates its market segment with an overwhelming 47 percent.

VW Touran shows what has been tried and tested for many years in its current VW presence

So what changes in a new Touran edition? The designers didn't have an easy task because a functional van cuboid offers little space to play. The design of the appearance shows fine work that is visible in details such as changed taillights or a radiator grille adapted to the current VW appearance. Nobody will turn around after the latest VW Touran, but because of the external impact nobody will buy such a car. But because it's so practical. Nothing has changed about that, the customer encounters what has been tried and tested over many years. For example, the effortlessly foldable seats in the second row, which can also be removed if there is more space required, which also worked without undue effort on the VW Touran in the test.

VW Touran available with third row of seats

Retractable seats for the VW Touran would be better? Not necessarily, because they have to be sparse for reasons of space. In the family van you will find neatly dimensioned armchairs that offer a high level of comfort. Even a centrally placed passenger still has it good, although the space available in the VW Touran in the test is somewhat limited by the center console reaching far back. The second argument for the VW solution: How often do you transport objects that take up the entire possible space volume? And how often do children sit in the back? So what.

There is also a two-seater third row of seats for large families. This can be sunk in the trunk floor, but can only be expected of the young on longer journeys. Father or mother at the front, on the other hand, are particularly good at it. The seats leave nothing to be desired in terms of comfort and adjustability, the seating position fits like a well-tailored suit, and the cockpit environment is typical for VW: neatly finished, simply designed, free of stylistic frills. You can find your way around without having to consult the bulky operating instructions.

Adaptive chassis control DCC adapts itselfpermanently to the given circumstances

So everything as usual in the Touran? Not at all, there is noticeable progress in the field of technology. Most of them, however, cost extra money before indulging in pleasure. The test car has the adaptive chassis control DCC. This permanently adjusts the identification of the shock absorbers of the VW Touran in the test to the given circumstances and allows the driver to choose between the modes Sport, Normal and Comfort. When the family is on the go, comfort is recommended. This means that the VW Touran cushions unevenness in the floor with great flexibility. The suspension comfort reaches the level of a sedan in the upper middle class, but the damping is never so flexible that the body vibrates afterwards. Normal is still a good compromise, sport makes things much tougher - that is something for the head of the family traveling alone who secretly dreams of a Porsche.

VW Touran 1.4 TSI with a consumption of 8.9 liters /100 km

You can drive the VW Touran 1.4 TSI in a sporty way and have fun with it. The precise steering behavior and the body's swaying movements, which are perceived as slight despite the high seating position, speak for the dynamic qualities. But the relatively modest tires for a 1,600 kg car (205/55 R 16) in the tested Comfortline version set natural limits - for example in the form of rubber that screams out early on when the driver gives free rein to his optimism.

Larger tires are in the surcharge list, but need to be carefully considered. Further dynamization of the driving characteristics seems questionable, especially in a family van, because it comes at the expense of comfort. And the series 205s are particularly inexpensive to replace because they are a widespread mass size. Which brings us to profitability. For the 1.4 TSI engine with 140 hp, VW promises a reduction in fuel consumption of over half a liter, which is mainly due to the body's drag coefficient, which has been reduced from 0.32 to 0.29. In the test it is then 8.9 liters. The difference to the standard consumption (6.6 liters) is no wonder. Under the unrealistic standard conditions, the small four-cylinder, which is inflated by a combination of compressor and turbocharger, hardly runs seriously in the charging area.

Seven-speed dual clutch transmission with long gear ratio

You can be satisfied with the practical consumption of the VW Touran from auto motor und sport , because you get very harmonious drive characteristics: good draft already around the bottom, smooth revving and an unobtrusive running noise. The long gear ratio of the optional seven-speed dual clutch transmission, which effectively reduces engine speed on the motorway, also contributes to this. The only thing left to say about the automated DSG transmission of the VW Touran in the test is: In all its inconspicuousness, it is one of thebest of its kind and, if your wallet allows, a clear purchase recommendation. Like the whole VW Touran. Nothing has changed about that either.

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