New Volkswagen Touran: Stronger, lighter, faster

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The seven-seat VW that makes road trips a whole lot more fun will be launched to the public on Saturday. Here are the details

By Carmen Rosso (additional reporting by Leow Ju-Len)

SINGAPORE — Does the all-new Volkswagen Touran fill the big shoes of the 2003 original? You’ll get to find out on Saturday, when it’s launched at the VW showroom.

If you own one of the previous Tourans, you might think things are pretty much the same this time ’round. But this is a new car with a new body.

It’s built on VW’s MQB platform (which underpins the current Golf and Passat), and the new architecture gives it a stronger, lighter bodyshell.

At a length of 4,527mm, an increase of 130mm from the previous model, the second-generation Touran is meaningfully larger. 113mm of that extra length goes to the wheelbase.

READ MORE > Here’s why the new Touran is one of the most connected cars around

The new Touran also has a newly developed fold-flat seat system — in previous versions the seats were removable instead. The new seat system allows the three individual seats in the second row and two individual seats in the third row to be folded down in a matter of seconds, creating a perfectly level floor.

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Doing so takes luggage space to 1,857 litres, which VW says is a class-leading amount.

It’s being launched with a 150 horsepower, 250Nm 1.4-litre turbo, which lets it hit 100km/h in 8.9 seconds — quicker than many larger-engined rivals. That amount of power puts it in Category B of the COE market, but a diesel model for Category A is currently undergoing approval for sale in Singapore.

Even with a petrol engine, the Touran should be frugal. The quoted fuel consumption average is 5.6L/100km.

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For now, buyers have two variants to choose from. A basic Trendline model costs $138,300 with COE. A more spendy Comfortline EQP model costs $150,300, but comes with 17-inch wheels (an inch bigger), a panoramic glass roof and a fancier entertainment system. It’s distinguishable on the outside by its LED-festooned headlamps.

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Both versions come with seven airbags and three-point seatbelts for all seven passengers.

At a sneak preview we slipped into the Touran’s Row Three seats and found kneeroom tight, though the car should be workable as transport for seven adults because the middle row chairs slide and recline individually.

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What’s missing is a three-row aircon system — you’ll have to make do with cold air for the five people up front only.

Regardless, it’s cooler outside. The new Touran has a lower roofline (compensated for by a lower floor), which helps it to look sleeker than its more upright predecessor. An MPV may not be sporty, but it doesn’t have to look drab.

We drove the new Touran overseas. Here’s what we thought then…


about the author

Leow Ju-Len
Leow Ju-Len is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 23 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.