Ten Point Test

Auto Trader Ten Point Test rating: 82%

Having a family doesn’t mean you can’t have a hot car – just look at the Volkswagen Touran Sport.

It’s a member of the new breed of MPVs offering practicality, safety, comfort and performance.

But what is the petrolhead’s people carrier like? Adrian Hearn borrowed one for a week to find out.

1. Looks 8/10

The Touran is a conservative-looking MPV in comparison with the radical Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. But it’s still a pretty car and sports 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome roof-rails and sleek, sexy bi-xenon lights. The bumpers and side skirts are all body-coloured and the front grille is surrounded by an anodised chrome finish.

2. Looks inside 8/10

Inside, all seven seats are adorned with ‘Nappa’ leather. The interior has an excellent build quality – as expected from Volkswagen – and the dials are easy to understand. Our top-end model came with the sat-nav multi-function computer, which – surrounded by faux chrome – is a good-looking addition to the centre console.

3. Practicality 8/10

As a multi-purpose vehicle, you would expect the Touran to be practical and it is. It’s easily transformed from five to seven seats, but with this comes less boot space. Seating seven, the Touran’s luggage capacity is 695 litres, but with the rear seats folded this increases to a massive 1,989 litres. The seats are really easy to fold up and down and there is sufficient room in the back to seat two adults. There are cup-holders galore and little compartments hidden all over the place.

4. Ride and Handling 9/10

It’s a high car with medium-sized wheels, but it handles like a hatchback. The ride is firm and cornering is exceptional for an MPV. We took the car on cross-country route covering the motorway, A-roads and winding B-roads and were seriously impressed with the lack of roll and abundance of grip.

5. Performance 9/10

The Touran isn’t short of oomph, with the 2-litre turbodiesel engine producing 168bhp and 258lb/ft of pulling power. It accelerates from 0-62mph (100kph) in 9 seconds and on to an impressive top speed of 133mph. The maximum pulling power is delivered between 1,750 and 2,500rpm, which makes overtaking and hill-climbing easy and entertaining.

6. Running Costs 7/10

After the initial, pricey outlay, the Touran’s running costs are fairly reasonable. It’s a big, powerful people carrier but still manages a combined 42.8mpg, making long journeys economical. And with carbon dioxide emissions of 174g/km, the Touran has an annual tax bill of £165. But the Sport model is in insurance group 12, making premiums above average. However, the entry level 1.6-litre petrol and 1.9-litre diesel models are groups 6 and 9 respectively.

7. Reliability 8/10

Volkswagens are solid, reliable cars and we’d expect the Touran to follow the trend. Inside, the trim felt well put together. However, if anything is to go wrong with the Touran it is covered by Volkswagen’s three year / 60,000 mile warranty which covers the car against the failure of most of the mechanical and electrical components.

8. Safety 9/10

The Touran boasts safety features in abundance. Standard driver aids include anti-lock brakes, hydraulic brake assist, electronic stability control, electronic differential lock and traction control. Inside, occupants are protected with driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags for front and second row passengers and front seat side impact airbags. In the EuroNCAP crash test programme, the Touran was awarded five stars.

9. Equipment 8/10

Inside, the Touran is well equipped, but nothing surprising for the price of the vehicle. There are all-round electric windows, dual zone climate control, and the winter pack, which heats the front seats as an optional extra. There are three levels of trim with the Touran; S, SE and Sport. All models, except for the 1.6-litre petrol come with a six speed manual gearbox, with the sporty TSI and Sport range available with the option of Volkswagen’s excellent semi-automatic gearbox. All models come with a Volkswagen CD player and the option for a six-CD auto changer. Our Touran came with the DVD sat-nav system with touch screen technology. This costs an extra £1,175, but is first class.

10. X-Factor 8/10

More and more people are opting for an MPV as a practical and safe alternative to a hatchback, saloon or estate. The Touran Sport offers performance as well, making it a strong contender for any petrolheaded parent.

Key facts

Model tested: Touran 2-litre Sport TDI (7 seats)
Price as tested: £26,462
Range price: £14,750 – £26,462
Date tested: July 2007
Road tester: Adrian Hearn