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Driving to work on Thursday, i did a double-take when I spotted a smallish grey minivan several car lengths ahead of me as I cruised (if you can call 20 - 25 mph "cruising") in the right lane of Connecticut's charming-but-congested Merritt Parkway. "That looks like a Touran," I thought. The Touran, if you're unfamiliar with it, is a Mazda5-sized MPV offered in other markets by Volkswagen. Naturally, I worked on catching up to it. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper when I first eyeballed it, however, so this feat would take some time.

Ultimately, after what seemed like an eternity of cat-and-mouse, I came up behind the car, and sure enough, it was a last-gen ('03 - '06) Touran TDI (it's been facelifted for 2007). Seeing one was surprising enough. Even more surprising was the fact that it appeared to be privately owned. With apologies for the lousy cameraphone shot, you'll notice the oval decal on the left side of the rear glass (it was one of those things that symbolized Nantucket or Block Island or wherever). The tag, which is obscured by glare, was from New Hampshire. Apparently, living free includes scoring forbidden-fruit automotive machinery from the other side of the Atlantic.

However the owner came to posses the vehicle, a tip of the cap is deserved. It's a nice little van, and figure on it getting at least 40 mpg highway with the 2.0L TDI. It looked nicely-appointed, too with a large sunroof that was open, bathing the driver in light. Morst importantly (to me, at least), finding it and checking it out broke up the monotony of yet another brutal morning commute.

For better shots of what the last-gen Touran looks like, see below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I bet it's an illegal re-VIN.

      It can't be a Canadian import - sneaking things across the border doesn't work like that.

      The Touran is on the A5 Jetta/Golf platform... this is highly unlikely, but if someone totalled a Rabbit or Jetta or something, but it didn't get reported to the BMV/DMV of the state that that car was in, it could have gotten "sold" (really just the VIN plates) to this person.

      Anyway, Tachy, it's NOT old technology. The Otto engine is even older technology, but everything around it is updated - just like this. ;)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Grrr... I'd like to look at the gallery, but that damned Montoya/Texaco ad pops up.

      Nothing against them, but the ad has an ERROR in it that hangs the rest of the PAGE.

      Weblogs.inc really, really needs to improve their feedback matrix, there's no address to email about it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Our local dealer (Virginia Beach, VA) occasionally has one in for service. We've seen Polos, Lupos and Seats as well. Story is they are cars brought in by foreign govt. workers and they must leave when the people do.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm driving an Audi A4 2.0 TDI since 2005, but i'm waiting for a real EV!

      What's so revolutionary in diesel, that it's worth to be placed on this blog? It's old technic!
      • 8 Years Ago
      maybe its a Canadian import? Just wondering...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here is a potential answer:

      In the early 1990's, I had a neighbor who drove a Citroen AX. This was in Hartford, CT. It had CT plates. I asked one day as to how they managed to get this car and was informed that they bought it used from somebody at the French consulate, and had no problems at all getting it regestered.