I HAVE really enjoyed driving the various VW Tourans I have tested over the years because they are so good.
Despite the extra bulk they feel just like the Golf models they are based on, with a ride that is firm but always comfortable and road holding and handling to match the best.
The steering and other controls are superb, with a light clutch, sweet gearchange and marvellous brakes.
Petrol engines start with a 100 or 113bhp 1.6, then comes a 1.4 turbo with 140bhp and the range topper is a 2.0-litre with 147bhp. Diesels include a 1.9 with 88 or 103bhp, and a 2.0-litre with 138 or 167bhp.
Best engine, although more expensive, is the 2.0-litre diesel, which is smooth and reasonably quiet and offers very good performance with excellent economy.
It’s a gem, with enough pzazz for most enthusiastic drivers – who says you can’t have your cake and eat it. The Touran is a family holdall for the driver who loves driving.
Inside, the Touran is versatile and spacious. It will seat seven in comfort and even cope with two adults in the third row seats, although these are more suited to kids.
The third-row folds flat into the floor to leave a large load area and the middle row tips or folds and can also be removed altogether to create enough space for a small bowling alley.
VW Touran 2.0 TDI
Price: Pay about £5,200 at an independent dealer for an ’05 05-reg SE, or £12,500 at a franchised dealer for an ’09 09-reg Sport.
Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Combined mpg: 47
Insurance group: 8
CO2 emissions: 159g/km
Main rival: Citroen Picasso