One of Singapore’s most memorable car advertisements in recent years was for the Volkswagen Touran. It showed two parents and their five kids in the car wearing crash helmets of different colours.
A more recent follow-up ad shows seven members of a family in crash helmets, and this time their pet dog wears one, too. Even cuter than the original premise, in other words.
The second ad is for the updated Volkswagen Touran, which has been given the current VW face, prettier tail lights and a couple of cabin revisions. The shape is still more boxy than foxy, but this is as forgivable as before, because being boxy outside means more room inside.
Its cabin is indeed as spacious as ever, even for occupants number six and seven in the third row, although the catch is a boot barely bigger than the huge glovebox (which can easily house a professional DSLR body).
Various fold/flip/rejig/remove options for the five rear seats (newly wrapped in local leather, adding a bit of colour to the Teutonic sobriety) offer over 500 different interior configurations. Coupled with an array of storage bins, including overhead lockers and front under-seat drawers, the Volkswagen Touran has all the volume and versatility required by a typical HDB household.
The car offers vitality too, thanks to its 1.4-litre “Twincharged” 4-cylinder. We tested the 140bhp version, introduced as a $26k cheaper alternative to the 170bhp Volkswagen Touran Sport.
Both models employ Volkswagen’s proven 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which in this latest application seems even sweeter on the go. The tastefully restyled shifter is a pleasure, too.
Gear shifts in automatic mode are responsive and precise, so you can just leave it in D and go touring in the Volkswagen Touran, with little time wasted.
The usual, irritating “Are we there yet?” question is pre-empted by the car’s lively acceleration and tidy handling, while the comfortably firm ride keeps everybody on board happy.
The VW marketers’ “family sports car” tag is stretching the truth, because the Volkswagen Touran is not quite racy enough for the enthusiast, who won’t be driving an MPV in the first place anyway.
Maybe the 170bhp Sport version, but definitely not the 140bhp variant.
But for the family man who needs a no-nonsense, highly efficient and well-packaged transporter for his brood, this botoxed German box car would be just the ticket.
Volkswagen Touran 1.4 (A)
ENGINE 1390cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 140bhp at 5600rpm
MAX TORQUE 220Nm at 1250-4000rpm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 9.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 202km/h
PRICE INCL. COE $119,300 (as of January 2011)
Check out the latest Volkswagen Touran