Categorically an A Tourer
It certainly feels like a taller Golf Variant, for those who are familiar with the car. The 1.6 turbocharged diesel offers a lower 113bhp compared to the 1.4 engined version but the 250Nm of torque from a low-down 1,500rpm, delivers the same pull that you need from the lights, unfortunately as per many smaller turbo diesel engines, torque bands are usually narrower than their petrol counterparts, and the diesel Touran does run out of it at 3,250rpms instead of 3,500rpms on the petrol engine. Why this is important, because we drive within this range, and maximum on-tap torque is important, especially when the car you drive is built to haul a load. Fuel economy is a very good combined 22.7km/l.
In Volkswagen fashion, the seven-speed DSG transmission swops cogs quick and with just minimal (if any) loss of power, and also importantly, keeps the turbocharger nicely spooled.
The Touran does handle decently well, with generally less body roll than say the Renault Grand Scenic we did a test on a while ago. Another plus, are the 17” rims, with not-so-thin 215/55 tyres, which does offer enough air between the rims and tyre surface, providing more comfort than its French rival, which utilises 20” units… good for looks, bad for ride comfort, and heavier on the pocket when it comes to buying a set of new tyres.
While many policies when introduced might just go about spoiling something good, like the power cap on the category A COE, new Vehicle Emissions Scheme which kicks off next year, that will undoubtedly see an increase in car prices; and the more recent Euro 6 compliance, which resulted in many cars being taken off the shelf, since they do not meet the stricter emissions standards.
The diesel powered Touran has found its place for now to deliver the goods, in a market already saturated with compact MPVs, while still being a little more reachable in terms of cost.