Sunday 4 December 2016

Volkswagen bid to put saga behind them as new Touran kicks off its models for 2016

Published 07/01/2016 | 15:56

Volkswagen Touran
Volkswagen Touran

Volkswagen here moved to put the bad publicity of the emissions saga behind them by launching their first new car of 2016 – the Touran seven-seater people carrier.

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As sales countrywide are reportedly surging for all marques, Volkswagen here tell me they expect to sell around 500 of the new arrival this year.

The current one was a 250-a-year seller but this is, after a decent drive in it today, a far better proposition.

The key selling point, however, is that it has FIVE Isofix anchor points. That means you can fit five child seats – three on the second row and two on the back.

There is demand for that number of anchor points - obviously from large families and where they share the school/creche/lessons-run.

There is a starting price of €29,725 – that’s for the 1.2-litre petrol but the big sellers of course will be the diesels and especially the 1.6-litre 110bhp which starts at €31,970.

It’s a bigger car all round than the old one and the extra width is the critical element in terms of being able to take the three Isofix points across the second row.

On the occasions when the seats are not in use (1,857 litres for luggage), they fold flat quite easily.

I’ve done the bit of nudging and pulling required to come up with whatever permutation of seats is needed and if it’s easy for me, I reckon most people will have no trouble.

You’ll find it better to drive as well. And the 1.6-litre diesel – don’t worry it is EURO6 compliant so there are no emissions issues we are assured – worked well over a variety of roads and pulling conditions today.

There is a range-topping 2-litre diesel (150bhp) as well but stick with the 1.6-litre, I think.

There are three spec levels, Trendline (25pc of purchases, Comfortline (45pc) and Highline. They expect those buying the Highline to increase from 3pc to 30pc partly because of the better spec but also because of the way the 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.

It’s early days but, all in all, a promising start.

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