2009 Volkswagen Touran S Bluemotion 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
So far so good, let's see if it's durable
Cruise control no longer works on 6th gear - very odd. No doubt will require an expensive visit to the dealer computer to rectify.
Rust around the rear registration plate lights. Apparently a common problem on VWs of this age, not just Tourans, and to do with the way they mount. The car is eight years old and should have a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. It has a full VW service history, so I will contact the local dealer to see what they can do. Other VW owners report varying success.
The lidded cubby on top of the dash no longer opens without being levered, unless you store something within it that pushes against the lid.
The rear load cover rattles against the rear seats.
Dual-mass flywheel just beginning to rattle at idle in neutral - the noise ceases when you depress the clutch pedal.
I had the opportunity to buy this car very cheaply from my employer. It was formerly someone's company vehicle, but had spent the last couple of years mainly sitting in a multi-storey car park, occasionally being used by an IT employee to visit a distant data centre. It was dusty, dinged and missing some trim (cheaply and easily replaced) - but on the credit side, an eye-watering amount of service history, all at VW.
The good old 1896cc VW turbodiesel engine, around since the early 90s I think, is fitted with Pumpe Duse direct fuel injection and, my goodness, it is clattery. Mind you, I have owned petrol-powered cars for the last decade so it's probably no better or worse than the Peugeot XUD turbos I had so long ago.
Starting is very quick - no discernible wait for glow plugs - and the power delivery elastic with great mid-range torque. There's no real benefit to revving over 3000rpm - peak torque is at 1900.
Incidentally as part of the "Bluemotion" high-efficiency, low-emission equipment fitted to this car, you get a 'change-up' indicator which always seems to suggest a gear ratio so high that the engine sounds like it wants to get out and walk. This cannot be good for the dual-mass flywheel (see above), so I try to keep the car at peak torque which roughly corresponds to 3rd @ 30mph, 4th @ 40mph and 5th @ 50mph. Sixth is about 40mph/1000rpm so there's no real point in using it on anything other than a motorway.
There's also a diesel particulate filter which regenerates (converts the stored soot into ash by raising the exhaust temperature) about once a week in my use - my commute is a 25 mile round trip split 50:50 urban gridlock and country roads by distance, but I do try and get some long runs in at the weekend. You can tell when regeneration is occurring because the idle raises, the change-up indicator suggests a more sensible ratio and there's some slight surging on cruise control.
Economy-wise it's about double my 2.0 petrol Espace in the same circumstances - approaching 50mpg - but nowhere near the maker's claims. I am sure that a nice long motorway run would garner over 60mpg.
The car drives very well compared to an Espace, it is not boat-like at all and the handling is particularly good with a nice weighting to the steering. Combine this with the turbo shove and you can throw it around quite well on back roads. Comfort levels are similarly positive and height adjustment on the front passenger seat is appreciated by oversized passengers.
Rear legroom is excellent for the external size of the vehicle, and the two foldaway seats at the very rear are much better than I expected, not far off the accommodation levels of the Espace which had "modular" rear seats that really compromised leg and foot room. It's a much shorter vehicle than a full-sized MPV though and you feel that when carrying cargo - taking some old doors to the tip, I had to scoot the front passenger seat forward and place the doors at an angle across the car to be able to shut the tailgate. The boot width is similarly compromised by the rear trim, presumably a function of the rear suspension configuration.
The perceived quality of the interior is good, nicely damped grabhandles and so on, but the dash plastics are surprisingly hard and the plastics on the rear seatbacks and in the boot get very easily scuffed.
The equipment level on this basic S is fine for me. You get semi-automatic climate control, electric front windows, electric heated mirrors, remote central locking, cruise control, roof rails and a reasonable CD radio. You don't get fancy alloy wheels (I like steel wheels and high-profile tyres anyway) or electric windows in the back.
All in all I like it so far, and I aim to keep it for a long time, so I hope it goes the distance without major expense.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 29th April, 2018