- Car reviews
- Touran review 2023
"Probably better than an SUV"
- Launch: 2015
- Petrol Diesel
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- Easy to drive around town
- Plenty of useful storage space
- Solid interior
- The luggage compartment is small because all seven seats are in use
- Only models with higher specifications have access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Many buyers would prefer an SUV
Prices and specifications
Frequently asked questions
Overall verdict on the Volkswagen Touran
"The Volkswagen Touran is second to none. It drives like a Golf but offers as much space as most families can dream of. It offers better value for money than an SUV and its interior outshines most rivals this side of the BMW 2 -series Gran Tourer."
Although so many family buyers see an SUV-likeSkoda KodiaqLubPeugeot 5008currently the standard option, there is still much to be said for a conventional passenger car. Read our full Volkswagen Touran review to find out why it might be perfectfamily carfor you.
Below is a Volkswagen TouranVolkswagena Sharanain the company's offer, with competitors, inclCitroën Grand C4 SpaceTourer,BMW serie 2 Gran TourerIFord S-MAXa. All models are equipped with seven seats, and three individual seats in the middle row make it an extremely useful car for larger families.
Admittedly, there is not much space in the boot with the rear seats in use, but they can be easily folded down, so there is enough space for prams or weekly shopping. The Touran offers much more than just a big boot – it's packed with useful stowage and storage spaces, and even the tallest adults will appreciate the head and leg room.
For a car as practical as the Touran, it is surprisingly easy to drive and reminiscent of a Golf. Visibility is very good and all models are equipped with front and rear parking sensors. The steering is light in the city and the turning radius is extremely tight. Dealing with city streets and multi-storey car parks is a piece of cake.
Outside the city, the Touran is just as impressive. If you're on the highway a lot (especially with a full load), we'd recommend one of the diesels, but the 1.4 and 1.5 liter petrols will do 99% of the time.
On a twisty road, the Touran remains very composed, with a bit of lean in the corners. It may not be as much fun as the Ford S-MAX, but at the end of the day it drives very safely. It also drives very well, meaning potholes won't cause complaints from passengers, and engine and road noise is minimal.
When it comes to what you get for your money, the Touran does quite well. In addition to the aforementioned parking sensors, the Touran SE is equipped with manual air conditioning, electronic parking brake and DAB radio. The SE family, as the name suggests, is equipped with a kit to make family life easier, including blinds and childproof locks, and navigation will help you get to your destination.
The SEL looks a bit more luxurious with 17-inch alloy wheels and chrome exterior, while the interior features mood lighting, air conditioning and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. At the top of the range is the sporty R-Line version, which features individual body styling, 18-inch alloy wheels and sporty-looking R-Line branded seats.
Pricing starts at around £28,500, meaning it's cheaper than seven-seat SUVs such as theVolkswagena Tiguana Allspaceas well as premium passenger cars such as the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer. This gives even better value for money on the second-hand market, where you can buy a well-equipped three-year-old for only DKK 14,000.
Is the Volkswagen Touran right for you?
The Volkswagen Touran is an extremely practical family vehicle that can really fit seven people (provided you don't need a large boot). It does best with five used seats, three individual seats in the back and plenty of useful storage space up front. It's more practical than most seven-seat SUVs, and its relatively compact dimensions make it easy to park.
It drives like a Golf – with good visibility and responsive steering, although enthusiast drivers will find the Ford S-MAX and BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer a bit more fun to drive. However, it looks less like a bus than the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer.
Which Volkswagen Touran model/engine is best to choose?
Although diesel engines have fallen out of fashion, we think the 2.0-litre TDI is the best engine in the Touran. But if you drive low or spend most of your time driving around town, either the 1.4 or 1.5 TSI petrol will be more than enough, provided you don't expect flashy performance.
All models are generously equipped. We wouldn't necessarily bother with the top-of-the-range Volkswagen Touran R-Line - it's quite expensive and some of its features (like large 18-inch alloy wheels) aren't really necessary in such a sensible passenger car. Reasonable money goes to the Touran SE or SEL family, although the entry-level Volkswagen Touran SE can handle it if you're on a budget.
What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Touran?
Comfort and design: the interior of the Volkswagen Touran
“Although the Touran's seats are a bit firmer, they provide excellent support and adjustable lumbar support is standard on the front seats on all models. This should prevent pain on a longer journey."
You can even fit the driver's seat with electric lumbar adjustment and massage function, but it's a pretty nice (and expensive) addition, so it's an option box rarely ticked.
The Touran sits quite high and the seats are very adjustable. With three individual seats in the middle row, even rear seat passengers must feel comfortable.
The dashboard looks very elegant, with decorative inserts in different materials, depending on the trim level. In the center of the dashboard is the multimedia system, and below are the physical controls for the climate control system. You won't find a digital instrument cluster on the Touran, but the dials are clear and easy to read.
Quality and finish
As you'd expect from a Volkswagen, the Touran feels a bit sleeker inside than the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer or Ford S-MAX, though not as classy as the pricier BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.
Everything you touch feels well done as long as you don't bang your fingers on the dashboard (which works well for kicking kids' feet). Touran is comfortable handling years of family life.
The top-of-the-line Volkswagen Touran R-Line is of course the most luxurious thanks to the leather-wrapped steering wheel with gray stitching and aluminum inserts and sports seats with microfiber side bolsters. The R-Line version is also equipped with stainless steel pedals and, on DSG models, paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
Infotainment: touchscreen, USB, navigation and stereo in the Volkswagen Touran
The basic Volkswagen Touran SE is equipped with an 8-inch multimedia system, which does not come with navigation as standard, but can be upgraded at a later date. It also has a DAB radio, Bluetooth and an integrated SIM card.
The Touran SE family comes with satellite navigation as standard, while the SEL and R-Line models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can stream apps from your phone to the car's display. This is a very useful feature if, for example, you want to use Google Maps navigation or access your audiobooks while on the move.
No matter which model you buy, the infotainment system is easy to use with logical menus, clear graphics and quick responses. Unlike some cars that use a trackpad or a rotary controller located between the front seats, the Touran's infotainment system is operated mainly via a touchscreen – some people are fine with it, others find it frustrating. However, there are useful shortcuts on the steering wheel – for example, skipping tracks or adjusting the volume.
Space and practicality: the trunk of the Volkswagen Touran
Measuring 4,527 mm in length, 1,829 mm in width and 1,674 mm in height, the Volkswagen Touran is not that huge on the outside, yet its interior is extremely spacious and versatile.
Even the tallest adults will be able to sit comfortably in the front, where there is plenty of headroom and surprisingly plenty of legroom. The doors open wide for easy access and you slide over (not down) the seats. There's plenty of storage up front, including large door storage compartments, a generous glovebox in the dash and several cupholders.
Access to the second row is also easy. There are three separate rear seats, each large enough to accommodate an adult. They're all the same size, and the flat floor means there's plenty of legroom, so there's no need to argue about who sits where.
It's safe to say that the rear seats aren't that roomy, and you'll need to be prepared to climb to reach them. That said, they're more usable than those offered by the competition, and even adults will find a surprising amount of room there once they're in place.
If you want to transport small children, the Touran offers as many as five Isofix points, which make it easy to fit a child seat.
Taking into account the use of all seven seats, the Touran has a rather modest trunk. It can only hold 137 liters of luggage, which is hardly suitable for several shopping bags. However, the third row of seats can easily be folded down, so that there is a flat floor and a much larger space of 927 litres. Also fold the second row of seats into the floor, and you've got a completely flat floor and a 1,857 liter van-like luggage compartment.
In addition to a large boot (assuming you don't use all of the Touran's seats), the boot has a practical square shape and doesn't have too much edge to lift heavy objects. The hands-free power tailgate (swing your foot under the rear bumper) is a useful option to keep an eye on.
Handling and ride quality: How does the Volkswagen Touran drive?
“There is no reason to be afraid of the Volkswagen Touran. It feels like a big Golf, with a slightly higher than normal driving position and good visibility all around. Front and rear parking sensors are standard across the range (very useful when backing into tight spaces), and a reversing camera is optional when new.
Outside the city, the Volkswagen Touran does not lean too much in turns and responds quite well to steering movements. It's never going to be exciting, but it's one of the more car-like transporters out there.
The new Volkswagen Touran is offered with optional adaptive dampers that stiffen the suspension at the touch of a button when you feel like sporty driving. However, it is an expensive solution and somewhat pointless in such a car - so few buyers care about it.
Even with the larger 18-inch alloy wheels, the Touran does very well on the standard suspension. You won't feel too many bumps from the road carrying over into the cabin, which is a good thing.
What engines and gearboxes are available in the Volkswagen Touran?
When the second-generation Volkswagen Touran first went on sale in 2015, it was available with 1.2- and 1.4-liter petrol engines, as well as 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesel engines.
While diesel Tourans are the most popular, we recommend buying petrol if you don't drive many kilometers. The 1.2-liter unit is quite rare and, due to its relatively small displacement, quickly runs out of power under full load at highway speeds. However, it is fine for roaming around the city.
The 1.4 and 1.5 liter petrol engines have slightly more power, but the diesel engines require the least driving effort. If the budget allows, we recommend the 2.0 TDI engine over the 1.6 TDI, as its extra power and torque ensures a more relaxed driving experience. Since you don't have to work as hard, it's more refined and will also be more frugal.
You will find Tourans available with manual or automatic DSG gearbox. The DSG dual-clutch automatic is good, responds quickly to the accelerator pedal and works almost seamlessly. That said, their durability is questionable, so we recommend the manual if you're concerned about running costs.
Sophisticated and noise level
Regardless of which engine you choose, the Volkswagen Touran is a very quiet and relaxing people's car. Sure, with either TDI engine, you'll hear the typical diesel clatter on a cold morning, while the 1.6-liter TDI will purr a bit under hard acceleration, but none of that should ruin your day. Or discourage you from buying a Touran.
There's a bit of wind noise, as you'd expect from a brick-shaped car like the Touran, but it's no worse than the competition and you're unlikely to really notice it over the sound of the kids in the back.
Safety equipment: How safe is the Volkswagen Touran?
A fairly comprehensive set of safety systems is available in the Volkswagen Touran, but not all are standard across the range.
The PreCrash Preventive Occupant Protection System tightens the front seat belts, closes the power windows and prepares the brakes if an impending collision is detected. It is standard on the Volkswagen Touran SE Family, SEL and R-Line models, although it was a £145 option on the Touran SE.
On the motorway the Side Scan system will use radar sensors to warn you of other vehicles in your blind spot, but for a new one this is a rather expensive option at £525. This can be combined with Lane Keeping Assist, which warns you when the car is drifting out of its lane, but it costs DKK 1,040, so this is an extra box that is rarely ticked.
All Volkswagen models are equipped with Volkswagen's Front Assist system, which uses radars to warn you when you get too close to the car in front. It can even apply the brakes if it detects an impending collision, which is pretty handy. Other standard equipment includes seven airbags and Isofix child seat anchor points on all five rear seats.
During the Euro NCAP crash tests of the Volkswagen Touran in 2015, it received a maximum of five stars for safety. This included scores of 88% for adult occupants, 89% for children, 71% for pedestrians and 76% for safety features.
MPG and fuel costs: how much does it cost to drive a Volkswagen Touran?
"If you care about efficiency, go for the 2.0-litre TDI. In the 150PS version with a manual gearbox, it achieves 52.3mpg in the latest WLTP fuel economy tests. This means you should get close to this figure in real world. The 115bhp version is slightly less fuel efficient as it requires more work and is officially back to 49.6mpg."
Buy one with a DSG automatic and you might notice a small drop in savings, but it won't be huge. The 150bhp 2.0 TDI with seven-speed automatic achieves up to 51.4mpg, depending on specification.
The 1.5-litre TSI petrol officially delivers up to 41.5mpg with a manual gearbox and 42.2mpg with an automatic. As it is quite a large and heavy car, it can actually feel a bit thirstier.
How reliable is the Volkswagen Touran?
Volkswagen cars are generally quite reliable, with the brand appearing in the top 10 of the latest HonestJohn.co.uk satisfaction index. The Volkswagen Touran is no exception and has few common faults. Early 1.5 TSI engines were known to "kangaroo" when cold, although this was fixed in a 2020 software update.
Groups and insurance costs
Insuring any Volkswagen Touran shouldn't cost a fortune, but if you're a young or inexperienced driver it's worth shopping around for a quote.
If you're looking for cheap cover, look for a low-power 115bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine as it's in insurance group 14. The rest - including the more powerful 1.5 TSI diesel and petrol engine - are covered in insurance group 17.
ON car tax: What is the annual road tax for a Volkswagen Touran?
Buy a Volkswagen Touran registered from 1 April 2017 and you'll pay a flat rate of £150 a year in VED (Car Tax). This applies to all cars, except hybrid and electric cars.
The previous model will be taxed on CO2 emissions, so you can save money every year by buying an older car. For example, the 1.6 TDI Touran officially emits 119g of CO2 per km, so you only pay £30 a year in tax.
However, you won't save much money by buying an earlier petrol model. The 1.4 TSI with manual emits 133g/km, which puts it in Range E and will cost £150 a year in tax.
How much should you pay for a used Volkswagen Touran?
"The current generation Volkswagen Touran went on sale in 2015. You can save a significant amount by buying a nice early copy, which will set you back around £13,000 for the SE version. If you prefer something a little more recent, a three year-old example available from as low as £14,000.
Want to buy a new car but don't want to pay the factory price? Look for a pre-registration model or a previous demonstrator. These will be ordered and registered by dealers and will be ready for use. We've seen examples where delivery miles cost just £25,000, a saving of over £3,000 compared to new.
Trim levels and standard equipment
The cheapest Volkswagen Touran SE covers the base with 16-inch steel wheels, front and rear parking sensors (useful for a car this size) and silver roof rails. It is equipped with electric windows (front and rear), manual air conditioning and an electronic parking brake with Auto Hold function. The infotainment system provides an eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio.
The Touran SE family includes the Discover Media navigation system. There is also a panoramic sunroof, roller blinds for the rear side windows and electric child locks for the rear doors. The PreCrash prevention passenger protection system is also a welcome feature.
The Volkswagen Touran SEL looks a bit more exclusive thanks to 17-inch alloy wheels and various chrome trim elements. The interior is also more elegant with piano black inserts, mood lighting, air conditioning, floor mats and Arts Velours seats with microfiber reinforcements. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as well as Volkswagen's connectivity services We Connect Plus.
At the top of the range is the sporty Volkswagen Touran R-Line with 18-inch alloy wheels and individually styled bodywork. Inside there are gray decorative inserts, black headliner and gray stitching on the leather steering wheel. The sports seats proudly display the R-Line logo, as do the door covers. Stainless steel pedals complete it all.
Ask the Heycar experts:frequently asked questions
Is the Volkswagen Touran a good car?
Yes. It's not an exciting choice, but the Volkswagen Touran is a very good means of transporting people. It has plenty of space, is comfortable and drives well. The operation is also cheap.
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Does the Volkswagen Touran have seven seats?
Yes, all Volkswagen Touran models come with seven seats as standard. If you want to prioritize luggage space, the second and third rows can be folded flat.
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Is the Volkswagen Touran an SUV?
No, the Volkswagen Touran is more of a passenger car than an SUV. If you prefer a seven-seat SUV, take a look at the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.
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