• Sep 29, 2006
Autoblog's Eric Bryant checked out the new VW Touran for us in Paris, and was impressed by the fact that the MPV is available with the DSG gearbox. The slick tranny is standard equipment on vans powered by the 170 PS 1.4 TSI, and is optional on all other TSI and TDI-powered Tourans. The green-minded can opt for the Touran EcoFuel, which runs on compressed natural gas. As we reported earlier in the month, the interior of the car gets upgraded with more premium materials and nice touches like the available two-tone leather seats.Finally, gadgetry fanatics will be into the new Park Assist, which enables near-automatic parking in under 15 seconds.

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: we want more sporty minivans like this in the States. With optional seating for seven, styling that's easy on the eye, the trick DSG, automagic parking, and a size that actually keeps the "mini" in minivan, the Touran would win people over. People for whom a station wagon is not quite enough and the current crop of maxi-sized minivans is too much.

The original Chrysler minivans were smaller and more carlike. Those days are long gone, unfortunately. We know VW's coming with their own take on the next Chrysler minivan, but honestly, we'd be happy with this.

[Photos, press release after the jump]

[Source: VW]



PRESS PHOTOS:


PRESS RELEASE:

Paris Motor Show 2006 - World premiere III: Bestseller Touran gets started with a new front section
Bestseller with a new design, new top of the line engine and Park Assist

The only van in the world with dual charged TSI engines and DSG
Wolfsburg/Paris, 28 September 2006 - The Touran is coming with a new look, new technologies and a new top of the line TSI engine. The next generation of the bestseller will be presented in a world premiere at the Paris Auto Show. The market launch will be taking place in the middle of November. The van will be the first Volkswagen available with "Park Assist", unique in its technical design; the parking system that makes parking a snap, even in tight quarters.

At first glance the new Touran is recognizable from the front by its Volkswagen crest radiator grill in chrome design, a new bumper and precisely cut headlights; the optional lights available as bi-xenon adaptive headlights follow the stylistic design of the Eos. At the back the new rear lights and the bumper modified along the lines of the front section allude to the second Touran generation. Numerous interior modifications and expanded standard equipment top off the extensive package of features. In addition to the new Park Assist feature, extras include the Hill-Starting Assistant, daytime running lights and bi-xenon headlights with cornering light.

Starting in spring 2007, the highest performance gasoline direct injection engine, a Twincharger with 125 kW / 170 PS, will be employed in the Touran for the first time. The gears of this sporty as well as thrifty 1.4 TSI are changed via the standard DSG direct shift gearbox. The 103 kW / 140 PS strong Touran 1.4 TSI, whose Twincharger is also optionally available with DSG, will get started right at market launch.


WORLD FIRST PARK ASSIST /
Touran can park virtually automatically within 15 seconds

Park Assist.

Another technology highlight of the Touran is the optional parking guidance assistant (including ParkPilot / distance warning front and back). Developed by Volkswagen, "Park Assist" enables automatic parking. "Park Assist" is activated at the push of a button. While driving by at speeds of up to 30 kph an ultrasonic sensor system detects all parking spaces on the right and left that are parallel to the driving lane; a control unit calculates the ideal path for parking. "Park Assist" notifies the driver about the starting position both acoustically and via display in the instruments. After engaging reverse gear the van maneuvers into the parking space in under 15 seconds. During the entire parking process the driver only has to accelerate and brake – the Touran does the steering.


INTERIOR /
Conceptline, Trendline and Highline upgraded

Conceptline.

New upholstery fabrics and appointments breath new life into the interior of the next generation Touran, lending it a more refined feel. The middle plate of the instrument panel, for example: It is now crafted in a stainless steel design. The same is true for the area around the standard storage compartment above the middle console. In addition, the basic "Conceptline" version is refined by the new "Media" interior trim. The "RCD 300" radio-CD system with integrated MP3 mode is standard on-board equipment. Also true in terms of safety: no compromises. Front, side and head airbags are also included as standard features, as well as the ESP Electronic Stabilization Program including counter-steering feature and trailer stabilization.

Trendline.

The stainless steel theme is even more enhanced in "Trendline", the next highest equipment version: The décor trim here also exhibits this design. It has a sporty character matching the new "Energy" interior trim. The Touran Trendline now comes with the semi-automatic "Climatic" air-conditioning system as standard equipment (previously a Highline equipment feature). Taken from its predecessor are practical details such as the folding front passenger backrest with table and load-through facility.

Highline.

At Volkswagen "Highline" traditionally refers to the most exclusive equipment version. In the case of the updated Touran this now includes the newly designed "Magny Cours" 16" light-alloy wheels, the refined "Mando" interior trim, an air-conditioning system (Climatronic instead of Climatic), the most powerful version of the "RCD 300" audio system with eight speakers and ParkPilot for the back.

Versatility.

The innovative seating system of the Touran shows the way in terms of versatility. The three light-weight seats arranged next to one another in the second row can be quickly and easily moved – lengthwise and offset diagonally, folded down or removed. The Touran can be optionally equipped with a third row of seats; when not in use the two full-f ledged individual seats can each be easily lowered separately into the cargo compartment f loor. The luggage compartment of up to 1,989 liters (depending on seat configuration) is also a hallmark of versatile and efficient usability.


DRIVE TECHNOLOGY /
New 170 PS Twincharger with DSG direct shift gearbox

FSI, TDI, DSG.

Starting in Spring 2007, the new top of the line gasoline engine is the Twincharger 1.4 TSI with 125 kW / 170 PS, first used in the Golf GT. The next smaller engine version, like its predecessor, also comes with a Twincharger with an output of 103 kW / 140 PS. The new TSI replaces the FSI engine previously offered with 110 kW / 150 PS. The basic version engine Volkswagen offers for the Touran is a 1.6 liter gasoline engine with 75 kW / 102 PS.

A 125 kW / 170 PS TDI engine is the top of the line in the diesel engine range. The entry level here is a TDI with 66 kW / 90 PS. In the next TDI performance levels Volkswagen offers the new Touran with 77 kW / 105 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS. Another innovative way of saving without forgoing driving pleasure is the 80 kW / 109 PS natural gas version of the Touran, the "EcoFuel", that will also be available at market launch. A world-wide novelty in the van segment: All TDI and TSI engines (except the 90 PS TDI) can be combined with the DSG direct shift gearbox included as a standard feature with the 170 PS TSI – in the eyes of many experts and customers the sportiest and most economical automatic transmission in the world.

Note:
The data and equipment included in this press information applies to the range of models offered in Germany. There may be differences in other countries.
We reserve the right to make changes. Errors and omissions excepted.
The terms DSG, FSI, TDI and TSI are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago

      I think this would see better than the Mazda simply because of brand loyalty. Even with their crappy service/reliability, VW has a lots of followers.

      A LOT of them are young people that drive Golfs/Jettas. They need a bit more space and they go back and buy a Jetta or Passat wagon. When they have a couple kids where do they go? To a different dealer. This is the next step up (space-wise) from the wagons. Slap a TDI in there that gets 30mpg+ and they would sell out.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My Touran is now three years old and apart from initial problems with the independent diesel heating system and rattles inside the car the 140 ps diesel has been exemplary with a return overall of 51 mpg (uk gallon). The engine pulls like a train and can go as slow as 25mph in 6th gear and still pull away. I am now looking forward to receiving the new 170 ps version with dsg box and revised bodywork and interior.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Andrew - not all families are 5+ people with tons of stuff that go on road trips every weekend. There are plenty of vehicles for those people, and this isn't one of them. I don't think anyone is even suggesting that this is for them.

      I think this class of vehicle is PERFECT for people with 1-2 children and/or have to carry more than 5 people (or more cargo) now and then. Personally, I'd rather be a little cramped in a vehicle this size once in a while than be driving around a boat like an Odyssey when 99% of the time the extra size/space is a complete waste. If you need extra space spend $400 on a cargo box, instead of an extra $10k on a mammoth full-size van.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The #1 reason this hasn't made it here yet is that VW is holding on to its SUV pipe dream still, where bigger cars sell for tons more money. I'd give it a fair chance of coming soon with the success of the subcompacts in the market lately. Esp with the millions of pt cruiser owners that will be looking for something different, but just as useful, yet a little better.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mazda smaller than a Caravan mini didn't work here becasue it was too small. What would make this more successful than the Mazda?
      • 8 Years Ago
      thats what you think but nobodys gonna buy a 35K minivan in the US
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have an 05 TDI Jetta Wagon and it's just a little too small. The Touran TDI would be perfect for my family. I just visited France and Belgium and it appeared that at least 90 percent of all cars were TDI. I never smelled diesel fumes anywhere. I'm pissed that more cars in the USA are not available with TDI engines.
      • 8 Years Ago
      contrary to some of the previous posts on this page, I think this size would work well in the US. I rented a similarly sized minivan on holiday in Ireland last year (an Opel Zafira, 5-spd, seats 7) and it was a great vehicle all-around for lugging people and stuff. It would carry adults to dinner, was easy to park and handled more nimbly than US-sized "mini"vans.

      The Mazda just looks too ricey from the back, this Touran and similar offerings from Renault (read Nissan) and Opel (read GM) could fill an undeveloped market niche here.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Having said all that, I do think the styling of the VW is nice, inside and out. And I love that it has a diesel and a manual transmission. It just needs to be about 30% bigger in every dimension.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Another overpriced VW coming onto the market, eh? If people are looking for a smaller minivan than the American offerings, I would go with the Mazda5 over this thing. Mazda is not targeting people with three or more kids, and neither do I think VW would be. In regards to Andrew's post, yes I am single and childless, but I am not a hippie. How would you like to be called a careless procreating dimwit who doesn't care about overpopulation? Keep your generalizing to yourself, please.
      To me, the Mazda has way better styling and you get more bang for the buck.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry but those mini-minivan things really are too small. If you have 3 or more children, then you are going to use the third row of seats every day, and there is virtually no storage space behind the third rows in these things. You couldn't even get a week's worth of groceries back there. I recently tried out a Mazda5 at the zoom-zoom live event, and there was barely room in the FRONT row. I am 6'2" and my knees were literally touching the dashboard with the seat all the way back. The American-sized minivans are just so much more roomy and useful. The ones with flat folding third rows are excellent because of the huge deep well that is opened up for storage when the third row is in use.

      The people who hate large vans and Suburbans and recommend these downsized "people movers" clearly are single or childless hippies with no real experience taking a family of 5 or more on a road trip.

      As long as gas is less than $5 a gallon here, Americans are not going to cram themselves into micro-vans to get just a few more mpg.
      • 8 Years Ago
      rbw, I do not disagree. This would be fine for a small family (although if I had just one or two kids, I'd rather have a wagon or small SUV than any kind of minivan). My point is to rebut the suggestion that these small vans could be replacements for larger vans and SUVs for the people that actually need the space. They serve completely different markets. You don't need to go on a road trip every weekend. Just getting groceries and carrying some sports gear around would be overtaxing the 8 inches of space behind the third row of these things, much like in the smaller SUVs with third rows.

      And I'm not putting my weekly groceries in a cargo box on the roof...

      Also I doubt this VW micro-van will be $10K less than an Odyssey. Already a Passat wagon costs about the same when comparably equipped.
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