It's a 7-seater but Touran's 'Isofix Five' get family vote
Cars with seven seats are a bit like politicians. You need to have recourse to them now and again. But when you don't, you'd prefer they didn't bother you much and kept out of sight.
Those who want a 7-seater such as Volkswagen's new Touran rarely need all the seats all the time. But because this new people carrier has FIVE Isofix anchors for child seats (three on the second; two on the third row) there is a reassuring level of backup for when the need arises. That's the sort of manifesto that can make mums and dads of large, or extended, families sit up and take notice.
There was a time, not so long ago, when MPVs such as the Touran were deemed in real danger of being obliterated by the swing to SUVs and crossovers. But, like the wily old politician, they have re-invented themselves and shown just how flexible a proposition they can be.
And the Touran - rivals include the Citroen C4 Picasso, Renault Grand Scenic, Toyota Verso, Ford S-MAX etc - claims an edge with its large number of Isofix seats.
The old one was a bit of a bore. This is a much better candidate for your money, I think. It's uncomplicated; I had no problem sifting and sorting the seating combinations. When the second and third rows are not in use there is luggage space of 1,857 litres.
And it drives much better; it's good to get around in - as opposed to just getting you there.
It also marks the first official unveiling of a new car here by Volkswagen since the emissions scandal broke. The company came in for ferocious criticism - rightly so - but that doesn't appear to have dented loyalty too much with executives saying they expect 500 of you to buy a Touran this year.
The big sellers will be the diesels, especially the 1.6-litre 110bhp (from €31,970).
The starting price of €29,725 is for the 1.2-litre petrol but sales will be small. That 1.6-litre diesel does meet EURO6 emission levels and we were assured there are no issues on that front at all. There is also a range-topping 2-litre diesel (150bhp).
It is a bigger car all round and has extra width (crucial for the three Isofix points across the second row). I think it looks and feels a lot better overall. Having said that, little enough would have marked a big improvement over the old one (a great old workhorse nonetheless).
The three spec levels are Trendline (25pc of purchases), Comfortline (45pc) and Highline. The numbers buying the latter trim are expected to go from 3pc to 30pc mainly because interest rates on PCPs are weighted in its favour.
Standard equipment includes air con, connectivity package, 5ins Composition colour radio system while Comfortline adds 16ins alloys, front fogs, park distance control, 6.5ins Composition audio system with CD player and cruise control. And Highline has adaptive cruise control, 3-zone climatronic air con and multifunction colour display.
I think the Touran will get a good few 'votes'.