Five child-seat anchors: How FOUR words tell Touran story
I can tell you all about the new Touran people carrier from Volkswagen in just four words: Five Isofix seats standard.
That makes it one of the few cars of its kind on the market. And I happen to know there is a lot of demand for multiple Isofix options.
With three child-seat anchor points across the middle, and two more in the third row I can see it being a major selling point.
I've just been driving the new Touran and for a car that was quite dull, they have managed to inject some badly-needed vim and vigour into it. Of course, it is still conservative but there's a far better feel to it.
It gets here in November and will cost from €29,500 with around 400 people, mostly young families, expected to buy one in 2016. Only seven-seaters will be sold in Ireland.
There was palpably more room when I sat in, the result of a 13cm longer body and increased wheelbase (up 11cm) - the space, therefore coming between the axles and making a lot of room for the second row. For the record: it is 4,527mm long (+130mm), 1,814 wide (+41mm) has a 2791mm (+113mm) wheelbase but, at 1,628mm, is 6mm lower.
I found sliding and tipping the second-row seats easy and quick for access to the rear duo. And the folding-seat system opened up a lot of flat floor for bulky items.
But there are no fewer than 47 smaller storage areas around the cabin too.
With second and third rows folded there are nearly 2,000 litres of space. And as there is no tunnel, the occupant of the middle second-row seat won't feel deprived of leg room.
I think the cabin has improved more than anything else. The old one was criticised, rightly, for being so dull. They've attempted to address that with better quality, brighter materials and levels of finish.
As a family car you expect a lot of safety stuff - there are up to nine airbags - and driver assist systems.
And keeping the young ones happy while on the move should be a bit easier with what looks like a decent infotainment system. It can integrate with both Apple and Android smart phones. They can all use Mirrorlink now. There is even a media-control app which lets you wirelessly access functions from the second-seat row. That should be fun. And there is a wifi hotspot.
From a practical point of view it should be less expensive to run; they claim the engines are up to 19pc more economical.
The engine lineup has a 1.2 TSI 110 PS petrol, 5spd manual (5.4 l/100km, 124g/km €270 road tax).
Then there is a 1.6 TDI 110 PS (up 5PS) with either a 6spd manual (4.4 l/100km, 115 g/km, €200 road tax) or a 7spd DSG (4.2l/100km,109 g/km, €190 road tax).
And there is a 2.0 TDI 150 PS (up 10PS) with 6spd manual (4.4 l/100km, 115g/km, €200 road tax) or 6spd DSG (4.8l/100km, 124g/km, €270 road tax). The 1.6 TDI Trendline at €31,715, may have to share best-seller status with Comfortline trim.
Standard equipment includes air con, front assist/city emergency brake, 16ins steel wheels and Bluetooth.
Comfortline adds cruise control with fatigue detection, park distance control, multi-function steering wheel.
And Highline adds adaptive cruise control, 3-Zone Climatronic, 17ins alloys and folding mirrors.