As my own Volkswagen Jetta approaches the first 15000 km, VW Singapore invited me to review the Touran, a 7-seater MPV. Since its debut in 2003, this all-new second generation model launched in 2016 offers new design, expanded interior space, lower weight, efficient engine.
The review unit is the Comfortline 1.4 TSI with additional equipment package (EQP) option which comprises of 4 features – LED headlights, keyless entry and starting, driving profile selection, and Front Assist. Compared to the Trendline, the Comfortline comes with additional multi-function steering wheel, rear view camera, and panoramic sunroof.
Enjoying The Ride
As a sedan driver all my life, it was almost a breeze to handle the Touran. The 1.4 TSI engine is a new design that produces 150PS and 250Nm torque, achieving 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds. The car is generally more responsive than the other VW I have reviewed – but still not as nimble as Jetta. The engine sound is adequately tame without that sporty growl that the Jetta lets out. It takes some getting used to getting the Touran around the roads as I find the side view mirror somewhat small and I could not really see a lot of the traffic at the sides.
But I appreciate the Side Assist feature where the side view mirror lights up when it detects vehicles at the blind spots, and blinks when I try to enter the lane. Road holding is quite decent considering the Touran is high, while the suspension is also comfortable without too floaty.
Like my Jetta, the Touran supports personalisation of certain settings of the car based on the remote key detected, for instance, the dashboard info selection. The Touran now provides an added personalisation by naming the profile. It caught my surprise when I saw my name appearing on the dashboard as I started the engine.
On paper, the VW Touran can achieve fuel consumption of 5.9l per 100km, but that is probably the best case scenario. During my 4-day test drive, I average about 9.3l, which is just a little higher than my Jetta, an impressive feat considering it is Cat B and heavier car.
Less Premium Features
Apparently, to keep the price affordable, VW Singapore does not bring in the “Highline” premium features for Touran. For instance, the infotainment system is “Composition Color”, a lower model than my Jetta. This infotainment system does not come with navigation map, though it supports smartphone connection which my Jetta does not.
This top-line Touran model in Singapore also does not have Park Assist or auto-park feature, which means during parking, there is no on-screen radar indicator to show how close the car is against other objects.
Similarly, the interior does not feel as premium as the usual Highline versions I reviewed on other VW models.
Still, this Touran throws in Front Assist feature which detects moving traffic in front and applies assistive brake during situations. For instance, when travelling at a slow speed, the system will apply full brake, and when travelling at a fast speed like highway, the system will apply partial brake. There will be on-screen icons to warn the driver of front vehicles.
Longer Panoramic Sunroof
The sunroof has always been my favourite feature. I love having more light entering the car interior. Office execs like me are cooped up indoors for too long and it really benefits to bathe in the sun once a while. During evening drive with light traffic, I open up the sunroof to let in the breeze and accompanying noise.
Configurable Rear Seats
One of the main purpose of MPV is to allow car owner to use it for multiple purposes. Folding up the rear 2 rows of seats are a breeze, and I love how simple it is to operate on them.
To gain access to the third row, the middle row can be lifted up instead of folded down.
And the leg room is quite generous too.
The second row consists of 3 independent seats that can be adjusted aft and fore by 200mm to manage the leg rooms for second and third row. The seats can also be folded independently depending on the transport needs.
The back of the front seats come with fold-up trays which can be tilted for multiple uses, like placing a tablet at an angle.
Safety is of paramount for Volkswagen, so even middle seats and third row seats get 3-point safety belts.
Three-zone Air-Con Climate Control
Another plus feature of the Touran is that the rear air-con duct also supports independent climate control, allowing rear passengers to adjust the temperate to their liking. And since there is no centre floor tunnel, middle passenger gets ample leg room.
The Volkswagen Touran is a comfortable car to drive in, and a versatile MPV to own. In a bid to keep the price competitive, VW Singapore chose to leave out some of the Highline features like Park Assist and navigation map.
After testing a handful of VW cars, each with a different interior configuration, which one do I like? Well, the Jetta is a standard sedan, the Sportsvan is a 5-seat mini-MPV, the Golf Variant is a wagon, while the Touran is a 7-seat MPV. For small family, the Sportsvan should suffice, but if you need a larger boot space, then it would have to be Golf Variant. For large family that often carries more than 5 persons, or a small family in need of even larger boot space than Golf Variant, the Touran will meet the needs. I have nothing major to dislike about the Touran, except that I need to be more careful to watch for traffic due to the seemingly narrow-angle side mirrors (I guess that’s where the Side Assist blind spot detection system is for), and the lack of premium features like Park Assist (which would increase the purchase price).
Now that I have experienced various vehicle configurations, I am quite convinced that my next vehicle will not be a sedan anymore. The new recreational bicycle we bought for my daughter during Christmas requires the rear seat of my Jetta to be folded in order to accommodate the bicycle. Still, I am pleased with the Jetta which I bought for around $112,000 in May 2016. The relatively nimble response makes my drive an ease, but I do prefer the newer Euro6 models which are less aggressive but more comfortable ride for the passengers. The Touran, despite the largest VW model I have reviewed so far, achieves the fun responsive drive that I like on the Jetta.
Don’t be shy to visit the Volkswagen Singapore showroom for a test drive to experience yourself. As a customer myself, I have been pleased with the professional service thus far, from the PR to the Service Centre handling my 15000km servicing. Their in-house car insurance with AIG even offers complimentary loan car during repair. I am one of those car owners who prefer to let the car company handle everything, including parts replacement. It gives me a single point of servicing history and ensures issues are resolved without pushing the blame on third parties.