2003 Volkswagen Touran S TDi 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A van with 7 seats


Alternator failure.

Front wheel bearing.

Brake calipers x 3.

General Comments:

Even after researching twice and deciding to look for some other make/model 7 seaters, I was still drawn back to the Touran, as I still believed in the VW badge, even after reading of all the common faults.

Bought cheap primarily because of the known ESP/ABS problem, which this one has, and also because this model year is not fitted with a DPF (particulate filter).

Exterior build quality and general overall quality compared to another family member's 98 VW Passat is no match. Rust issues affecting both front arches and rear tailgate, likely neglect issues by previous owner to be fair, but common enough on the Touran. My mechanic mentioned that the underside of the car was pretty badly corroded too, which I was not expecting. Work required now is a rear shock absorber, coil spring.

Very comfortable drive on a long journey and good MPG.

Plenty of space, especially with the middle row of seats removed; pretty bland interior with lots of cubby holes.

Have driven fully loaded with a roofbox on and it handled well.

No spare tyre on this model, have purchased a spare wheel and tyre, but only take them on a longer journey.

With other potentially costly issues starting to appear, I am now having to decide whether to keep and repair, or take a bit of a hit and move on.

Would I buy this model again? No. I have tried pretty hard to get to like this car, and although it has some good points, there are just too many bad points to entice me into buying a newer model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd November, 2014

2003 Volkswagen Touran 1.6 FSI from France


Would be good if it wasn't a Volkswagen


Lousy plastics -- some ventilation vents broke (replaced under warranty).

The "check engine" light turned on for no apparent reason and had to be service to be turned off (under warranty).

The driver window mechanism broke, leaving the window fall down inside the door, less than 2 weeks after warranty ran out. VW refused to cover it.

Windshield had to be changed (hit by a small piece of rock on the highway).

We had to change the trunk carpet -- entirely our fault for having an badly closed can of paint in the trunk!

Did I mention the crappy plastics? The plastics are crap.

General Comments:

This is a comfortable car for hauling a family with 2 or 3 (small) kids.

Lots of room, enough storage space to accommodate several families of hamsters. The kids loved that car.

I had a love-hate relationship with this car, though.

The quality is both excellent for everything that's not plastic, and absolutely horrible for all plastics. Whatever type of plastic they used is brittle and marks ridiculously easily at the slightest scratch.

The car's 1500kg are a challenge for the 115hp 1.6FSI engine. Thank god for the 6-speed manual. Anything else would be hopeless.

The upside of the small engine is that it burns very little fuel for a car of that size and category. I commonly averaged less than 7.5l/100km on longer trips.

The biggest downside with this car is that it's a Volkswagen, and unfortunately my local VW dealer was a hopeless jerk with attitude.

I reported several times a problem with the driver window, which they refused to do do anything about, until the thing broke for real literally a few days after the warranty ran out -- and of course they refused to cover it under warranty.

If you consider this car, check your local VW dealer: many of them (in France) have way too much attitude.

Also, maintaining and servicing this car is *very* expensive. But it runs around 25K between services.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th July, 2009