Thursday, 22 March 2018

Seven-seater VW’s practical magic

TOPPING more than 700 miles in one week in a Volkswagen Touran has confirmed

TOPPING more than 700 miles in one week in a Volkswagen Touran has confirmed in my mind that this is one of the most adaptable and durable MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles) around.

I sweated long through the chronic traffic jams of our capital city and notched up many motorway miles in this week’s drive — the Volkswagen Touran SE 1.6-litre TDI 110 PS six-speed manual.

The Touran proved worthy of any challenge I happened to throw at it.

Most impressive of all, was its fuel-sipping ability — 64.2 mpg on the combined cycle is the official figure.

And from a driver’s point of view I suffered little fatigue from the actual ride and handling, which is super-smooth.

But also this is a wholly practical car. It has seven seats and room in the rear is well thought out: I find cars that are designed with all passengers in mind (as well as the driver, of course) get my vote these days.

Two items of good news came with the arrival of the Touran I was testing.

Volkswagen has announced a new top-of-the range Touran R-Line and this award-winning seven-seater was most recently named best MPV by What Car? magazine.

The new Touran was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March last year — 12 years after the first version went on sale.

The new Touran is larger than the version it replaces, with more interior space. There is good luggage space — 917 litres (loaded to roof with the rearmost seats in place), rising to 1,857 litres with the middle three seats folded and up to 47 storage compartments.

The cabin has been redesigned with extra space and a more driver-oriented dashboard layout.

In Britain, the Touran comes as standard with seven seats. A new fold-flat seating system allows the two rearmost seats to be folded flat into the floor to maximise bootspace. The middle row of seats also folds flat.

The new Touran is offered with a choice of two petrol engines — 1.2-litre TSI 110 PS with a six-speed manual gearbox and a 1.4-litre 150 PS which is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox — and three diesel engines. All are EURO6 compliant and up to 19 per cent more efficient than the engines they replace. The R-Line trim level is Volkswagen’s sporty mainstream equipment grade and provides a raft of exterior and interior styling enhancements.

The range-topping new Touran R-Line is available with a selection of turbocharged petrol or diesel engines ranging in capacity from 1.4-litre TSI to 2.0-litre TDI, and with outputs of between 150 PS and 190 PS.

These are mated to a similarly broad selection of transmissions which, depending on engine choice, comprise either six-speed manual or six- or seven-speed DSG.

All the new Touran R-Line models also feature a selection of Volkswagen’s BlueMotion technologies such as start/stop, brake energy recuperation and low rolling resistance tyres, meaning economy is maximised.

Combined fuel consumption ranges from 49.6 mpg for the 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS six-speed manual, to 62.8 mpg for the 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS six-speed manual.

By Nigel Wigmore

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