Volkswagen Touran Sport 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Story and pictures by Jarvis Seo
21 Oct 2008

A classic story of two personalities fighting for dominance. One side is calm, the other, wild. Definitely a challenge for any car company to fuse two seemingly conflicted personalities into one car successfully...let alone in one that carries seven people.

The heart of a Golf GT Sport

The main character in the story, Henry Jekyll, said the following: “In each of us, there are two natures. If this primitive duality of man: good and evil, could be housed on separate identities, life would be relieved of all that is unbearable. It is the curse of mankind that these polar twins should be constantly struggling”

This curse is also very true when you see from the perspective of a car enthusiast dad who has to decide between a fast handling sports car and a people carrier. With a wife, three kids, two frail grand parents and a maid to factor into the equation, the dad will have to struggle with the decision of either buying a sports car and squeezing the rest of his family members into the boot or buying a big, cumbersome people carrier that is as sporty a drive as your 80 year old grandmother can dance hip hop.

And because of this constant struggle between heart and mind, the good engineers at Volkswagen have decided to come up with a radical solution: Bringing speed and 7-seats together in one elegant solution called the Touran.

The Golf Mk5 is possibly one of the hottest hatches in this part of the century, with Volkswagen churning out countless variants – from the 1.6l FSI to the hard-core 3.2l R32 - there is a Golf to suit the needs of everyone on this planet. To give the element of speed in the new Touran, it isn’t surprising to find engineers turning to one of their fastest Golf - the GT sports - and make it the building block of the Touran.

What this means is that the Touran shares the same chassis, the same 1,390cc TSI engine and the same 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) as the Golf GT. And to cater to family needs, the engineers increased all three dimensions of the car (
4407mm x 1794mm x 1635mm) so that your family members can fit in, together with ample space for cubby holes that your kids will use to hide their half eaten sweets in.

With huge menacing projector headlights and a chromed-plated grille that covers the entire front radiator, the Touran appears to be built for speed. However, the side and rear design of the Touran suggest a more boxy people carrier with a rather rectangular-ish side and rear profile. The only attempt at breaking this linearity is with the use of anodized chrome finished roof rails, which doesn’t help much.

But if you were to think about it deeper, perhaps all this was intentional; the fusion of the menacing front and the angular design of the body into the Touran was the designer’s way of symbolizing the constant struggle between speed and practicality…

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Engine Capacity 1390cc TurbochargedSupercharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Bore x Stroke (76.5 x 75.6)mm
Power 170bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 240Nm @ 4750rpm
Power to Weight 111.7 bhp per ton


Acceleration 8.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 212 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF


Body Type MPV
(L x W x H)
(4407 x 1794 x 1635) mm
Wheelbase 1677 mm
Turning Circle 5.6 metres
Kerb Weight 1522 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs