2021 Volkswagen Touran Review: See Why It’s Our Favourite People Carrier!

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People carriers might not be the most exciting cars on the market, but they still outperform SUVs when it comes to doing the basics – carrying lots of people and their stuff. The Volkswagen Touran is a shining example of how a seven-seater can be subtle and fairly cool.


Based on the great Volkswagen Golf, the Touran has built a reputation as being pretty tidy to drive and easy to live with. But do both these things mean you should buy one? We take a look at everything from the Volkswagen Touran’s design, practicality and interior features, to how it drives out on the road, to help you decide.


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2021 Volkswagen Touran design

2021 Volkswagen Touran Review - exterior design

We’ll be the first to admit that the Volkswagen Touran doesn’t exactly ‘wow’ you with a sporty look in the way that, say, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer does. However, it’s far from being the most hideous people carrier we’ve seen (trust me, we’ve witnessed the Fiat Multipla which made our list of ugliest cars!)

What you can be guaranteed with the VW Touran is that it has that typical Volkswagen air of maturity about it. This is thanks to its solid build quality and many design cues as standard, including 16in alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, silver roof rails and chrome radiator grille.

If you want luxury there’s a higher-spec SEL trim which adds loads of chrome in areas such as the window surround, front-bumper insert, front air intakes and fog light surround. On top of this, larger 17in alloy wheels and rear tinted glass from the B-pillar backwards are thrown in for a smarter look.

Our pick of the range is the top-dog R-Line version, though. If you’re conscious of having a cool-looking car – even when it’s a bulky people carrier – then this is the trim you want to look at. It’s the priciest one, but you’ll get sporty 18in Marseille alloy wheels, plush R-Line badges inside-out and sportier front and rear bumpers for a more imposing look. Stepping inside, you’ll plonk down in R-Line sports seats and place your feet on stainless steel pedals.


2021 Volkswagen Touran interior

2021 Volkswagen Touran - interior

What’s great about the Volkswagen Touran is just how upmarket the interior looks and feels. A lot of the materials on show are soft to touch, while you can tell the physical buttons and stalks are well put together – it’s clear you’re sat in something classy.

When it comes to the infotainment system too, that’s been kept up to date like the rest of VW’s smaller models. Usually you’d expect bigger, more family-friendly vehicles to be left behind and made less of a priority. Not here though, with each Touran getting an 8in colour touchscreen display as standard, plus USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

For a sat nav system, check out the mid-range SE Family version. But many people prefer to use their smartphones and mirror this onto their car’s display. This function is only available on SEL and R-Line trims unfortunately, which is a shame when you consider most modern, smaller gets this function as standard.

There are more reasons for stepping up to the SEL and R-Line trims though, such as three-zone climate control which allows front-, middle- and rear-row passengers to set their preferred temperature to ensure optimum comfort – a very handy feature on long-distance journeys.


2021 Volkswagen Touran practicality

2021 Volkswagen Touran - all seats down

If there’s one thing you’re guaranteed in the Volkswagen Touran it’s a shed load of space. Starting with the second row of three seats and Volkswagen made the decision to design these as the same size and shape, meaning it’s a doddle to sit three adult-sized passengers back there.

Access into the car is very easy too thanks to wide-opening doors, and the car’s tall roofline means even taller people won’t need to do much ducking to get in.

A big advantage of the Volkswagen Touran is just how flexible its seats are when folding. As you can see from the picture above, every seat can be folded individually and fully-flat for optimum loading space. The outer seats in particular are easily flipped down with just one hand if you want to access the rear two spaces. However, most people will take advantage of the large boot when five seats are upright because you get a whopping 927 litres to use.

2021 Volkswagen Touran - seating configuration

What if you want to carry six or seven people in the Touran? Well we wouldn’t say there’s a great deal of room. Average-sized adults will be comfortable there and will have loads of headroom. You can even slide the second row of seats forwards and backwards individually to make more legroom if you want to create more room for those sat in the very rear of the car.


2021 Volkswagen Touran driving

2021 Volkswagen Touran - driving

The Volkswagen Touran comes with punchy engines that even when you’ve got seven people onboard it feels nippy.

Our pick of the range is the 1.5-litre TSI 150 engine with 148bhp. The turbocharging is very handy and means you can go from 0-60mph in just 8.9 seconds. It’s also very fuel-efficient too, with a combined fuel economy of 43mpg on manual models and 44mpg on automatic versions.

There’s a 2.0-litre diesel engine with the same power for those of you who do a lot of miles, taking fuel economy stats up to a very generous 53mpg. However, it’s not as quick off the mark, with a 0-60mph time of 9.3 seconds. Saying that, acceleration stats aren’t a big selling point of MPVs and the engine still feels pretty powerful when you hit motorway speeds, so it’s worth considering.


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