Volkswagen Touran 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review
People Power

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
9 Dec 2010

Volkswagen’s new base model Touran has been a roaring success on the sales charts. Raymond Lai finds out why.

Introduction, styling

There will be a time in life for most of us when we finally have to ditch our hot hatches for something more sensible. You grow older, get married, have a kid, then have a second kid. But the need to sit just four occupants don't sound like there's a need to give up that Golf GTI. And then you remember that there's the maid and the occasional outings with the kids' grandparents and the reality will finally sink in - you do have to give up that GTI for a boring seven-seater MPV!

And then you say, "Heck, I still want to drive something that at least offer warm hatch levels of performance but affordable!". Hmm, there is actually a seven-seater MPV out there that seems to fit this description and it's the Volkswagen Touran. The Golf-based MPV was first introduced way back in 2005 but it never caught on with MPV buyers here perhaps due to its premium pricing, unimaginative styling and last but not least, its links to being a taxi. Back then, the Touran offered only average performance in both 1.6 and 2-litre guises.

And then Volkswagen facelifted the Touran a couple of years back and did the best thing ever to their compact MPV - to shoehorn the Golf GT's twincharged TSI engine under its bonnet. With its new 170bhp heart, the Touran Sport offered performance levels that are rare for a compact MPV and it finally gained popularity and recognition among local MPV buyers.

Now, Volkswagen has introduced a new Touran. Well, it's not exactly brand new as it is more like a heavily updated and feacelifted model. Today's sky high COE prices means that the Touran Sport might still be out of reach of young families though and so Volkswagen has decided to introduce a base model Touran that actually uses the same engine as the Touran Sport but with less power and kit.

With a boxy profile and right angles all over, the Touran looks somewhat unimaginative. Blame it on the German's obsession of maximizing the use of interior space in this compact MPV - square exterior equates to more cabin room after all. The latest update has improved the Touran's looks just a wee bit though - the nose features Volkswagen's latest corporate face which means it has slimmer headlamps and radiator grille for a more streamlined looks while the rear feature Touareg style tail lamps that now extend onto the tailgate and have distinctive light patterns when lit and a larger rear window. From the sides, the new model is most distinguishable from the old at the D-pillar area - there's now a more prominent upward kink at the rear side windows.

It's not all about aesthetics though as the new front end also equates to a more aerodynamic vehicle overall - drag coefficient has fallen from 0.32 to 0.29. The latest Touran might not be all new and radical looking on the outside but the tweaks have certainly improved its overall stance and visual appeal a tad.

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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 140bhp @ 5600rpm
Torque 220Nm @ 4000rpm
Power to Weight 91.1 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 202 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic


Body Type MPV
(L x W x H)
(4397 x 1794 x 1674) mm
Wheelbase 2678 mm
Turning Circle 11.2 metres
Kerb Weight 1536 kg
Boot Capacity 695 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1989 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs