Road Test: Volkswagen Touran R-Line 2.0 TDI 150 DSG
Volkswagen’s prosaic seven-seater gets an added dose of car park appeal. By Julian Kirk
Sector: MPV Price: £30,485 Fuel: 58.9mpg CO2: 126g/km
The sensible seven-seat Touran doesn’t mark itself out as a car much in need of a range-topping sport model, but the need to leave no niche unfilled means that the arrival of an R-Line model was a certainty.
And despite it being a somewhat incongruous mix, it’s a car which has a certain degree of appeal. Helped by the less boxy styling in general of the new model, the Touran R-Line gains deeper front and rear bumpers and side skirts as well as bespoke front grill and alloy wheels.
The effect is to add a little weight to the upright looks of the Touran and raise its car park appeal – no longer does a young mum or dad need to think they have foregone a car they actually want just because of the needs of their growing family.
This mood carries through to an interior which is exceptionally light thanks to the Touran’s large glass area, especially the deep side windows. The usual R-Line styling touches continue in here with more bolstered seats, decorative trim on the dashboard and a smattering of R-Line badges to remind you how sporty you are.
All of these niceties add appeal to what is already, as you would expect, a solid and well thought out car. The seven-seat layout is a boon for when extra children need transporting, while the two rear-most seats stow away neatly and easily to offer up a huge boot area.
To drive, the Touran has that typical solid, four-square Volkswagen feeling (which is no bad thing) and the ubiquitous 2.0 TDI engine does its work efficiently and without fuss – ride the torque at low revs and you’d be hard-pressed to hear much in the way of engine noise. And despite its taller body, there are impressively low levels of wind noise around the A-pillars too.
Our test model was fitted with the six-speed DSG automatic gearbox, but if you don’t mind changing gear yourself the six-speed manual gearbox is slightly more efficient, drops the car down two BIK bandings and costs £1,300 less.
The Touran’s R-Line makeover adds some visual excitement to what is a solid, sensible choice for user-choosers with families.