Practical experience Volkswagen Touran: is it already missed?

‘With two teenagers, this is a perfect family and Ikea car’

Volkswagen Touran 1.4 TSI Highline

Volkswagen jumped on the midi-MPV train relatively late with the Touran, but was also one of the brands that stayed on for a long time. You could get it between 2003 and 2020, but since it is no longer available you have to switch to the Tiguan Allspace or the Multivan for your seven-seater. What attracted drivers to the Touran and how did they like the car in practice? We check the user reviews of the second – and last – generation.

Even though VW was late in introducing the Touran, 47,933 copies were sold in our country during its lifetime. Some of them did not go to decent families, but had to tolerate a different kind of rascals in the backseat. After all, the Volkswagen Touran was the police’s means of transport. This applied to both the first and second generations. As flexible as the car was, the range of engines was also varied. You could get it with well-known TSI petrol engines and TDI diesels, with or without a DSG automatic transmission.

Space and ease of use

The next driver switched from a Golf Plus with, in his own words, a trunk that was far too small. He sees the Touran as a breath of fresh air. “With two teenagers, this is a perfect family and Ikea car. Large suitcase, high seat and with the seats flat at the back, two bicycles can be placed in it.”

The car is not only suitable for bicycles, livestock apparently also find a good place there. “In terms of space, it is also a treat for the children. Thanks to the three separate seats, three in a row (including high chairs) are no problem and the eldest is no longer stuck in the middle. And otherwise there is a spot in the third row,” writes the driver of a late Touran 1.5 TSI from 2019. “Two seats in the third row of seats are fine and are comfortable,” also writes the driver of a Touran 1.4 TSI from 2016 , “already used to drive friends to swimming lessons.” You pay a price for this flexibility. “Please note that this makes the trunk smaller, even when folded it provides an ‘extra bottom’ in the trunk.”

“I am still happy with the space in the car, especially on the back seat and in the trunk, and the fact that the car is quite quiet,” reports the largely satisfied driver of a 2017 Touran 1.2 TSI. On other MPV aspects the car falls short in his opinion. “No compartment for glasses in the interior mirror, only a drawer under the passenger seat, no double floor for the rear passengers, in the luggage compartment only a box above the left rear wheel.”

Seating comfort and operation

If we look at the further interior experience, we see that users spend few words on the chairs. A rider who does so writes: “I think the seating position and comfort are simply great.” The driver of a 2016 Touran Highline has Ergo Active seats and is also pleased with them. “Good seats/driving position!”, he writes enthusiastically. The same applies to the operation, including the infotainment. “If it all works, the infotainment system is easy to use, all other options also work well/simply.” At the same time, you realize that the system does not always function properly. More about that later. It is also possible to use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via App Connect. “The last disadvantage: app connect is not activated. Costs almost 400 euros at the dealer… Yay…,” responds a bewildered used car buyer.

Road behavior and drivetrains

The driver of a 2016 Touran 1.4 TSI Highline, with DSG automatic transmission, gives a big compliment to his MPV. “The car has now been in our possession for a year and a half. Remains very comfortable, quiet and child-friendly. I regularly drive other cars or rental cars, but I haven’t actually had a better experience (including Audi A6 and Q5).” However, he does find the response to the accelerator pedal special. “The car sometimes reacts somewhat erratically to the gas at low speeds. Slowly accelerate in two, more gas and then it sprints forward.”

The Comfortline rider mentions the same phenomenon. “The accelerator pedal sometimes seems to respond a bit slowly, but if you press it hard, it is just too quick. Perhaps this just takes some getting used to,” he writes. He is very satisfied with the 1.4 TSI and DSG automatic transmission. “Automatic responds well and seems to do its job well. I underestimated that 150 hp engine, overtaking is really nice! We are happy that we did not go for the 110 hp variant.”

Our former Golf Plus driver puts the Touran against his own yardstick. “The car steers fairly lightly and has harder suspension than the Golf,” is the conclusion. “The Touran drives very quietly and smoothly, but also light and a bit numb. When the children have left the house, I take a lower car to feel more in touch with the road.”

Maintenance, malfunctions and irritations

So far, the Touran has been a good-natured all-rounder that does its job without getting in anyone’s way. That picture changes somewhat when we look at the problems. “At 3,500 km I felt a first hesitation in the engine when accelerating on the motorway,” writes the driver of a Touran 2.0 TDI. “A few days later, a warning light remained on after starting and the car had reduced engine power. Restarting or warming up did not seem to help. The roadside assistance department analyzed a malfunction in injector 4…” After replacing all four injectors, the car functions properly again.

The driver of a 2016 Touran 1.6 TDI Comfortline Business also suffers from start-up problems. “The Adaptive Cruise Control has been defective since the beginning of this week, the car is less than 2 weeks old,” he writes. This problem was eventually resolved after a number of dealer visits. A vibration has also been resolved. We hear nothing from this rider between 10,000 and 214,660 kilometers until it is time to say goodbye. “Had to say goodbye last month after the leasing company decided not to carry out the 210,000 km service due to too high costs. 4x brake disc, 1x timing belt and water pump and the pressure group of the DSG gearbox. Just wear and tear parts, but yes also a disadvantage of leasing… they decide.” It seems that the car has enjoyed the intermediate two tons.

A driver we mentioned earlier reports malfunctions in the infotainment system. “Problems with navigation persist,” he writes after more than 25,000 kilometers. “Two dealers cannot resolve the ‘no position data available’ message in the on-board computer.” Another problem was less serious and could be resolved. “Door seal on right rear door came loose and replaced under warranty.”

The image that emerges of the Touran is that of a car that does what you would expect from it. It is not exciting, but it convinces with its space and flexibility – although it does not have as many storage compartments as some competitors. According to owners, the ‘van’ drives very nicely, but it is a bit numb and the 1.4 TSI engine, in combination with the DSG automatic transmission, reacts alternately to the accelerator pedal. “In terms of space, the Touran is a top car,” concludes one of our drivers. “Unfortunately, VW is no longer available in the Netherlands, so I had to look for another car.” It became a Skoda Kodiaq.

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