Later this month in Paris, VW will publicly unveil the latest iteration of its Touran compact MPV. The seven-seater gets a new Passat/Eos-style face that features VW’s new grille and headlamp designs. A walk around back reveals a redesigned bumper and new taillamps. It’s not the sexiest MPV you’ll ever see, but it’s clean and appealing to the eye. The refreshed interior incorporates some upgraded materials and adds MP3 support to the stock head uniit. The instrument panel and controls are all logically arranged.
The big news for the ’07 Touran is the introduction of Volkswagen’s ParkAssist system. It uses sensors fore and aft to help the driver place the car in the optimal position to park and then waits for him or her to engage reverse. Once that happens, the car takes over steering while the driver controls the gas and brake. VW claims that the car will park itself within 15 seconds.
Power-wise, a selection of diesel and gasoline 4-cylinders will be available.
European MPVs are pretty cool. Yes, they’re smaller than the traditional American minivan, but they often have nicer, sportier styling. Consider this: if, for example, Ford was selling the S-Max and Galaxy here instead of the Freestar, would they have axed their minivan program in favor of the Fairlane? Not likely. Ford’s Euro MPVs are two of the more stylish people movers you’ll find anywhere. People would actually be buying them. (Kudos to Ford, however, for bringing over the Mazda5.)
Will we ever see this VW? Nope, We’re getting a machine based on the new Chrysler minivan platform, meaning it’ll be big. If we’re lucky, however, some of this Touran’s understated style will rub off on it.
Volkswagen has revealed the first images of its new Touran compact MPV, ahead of its world public debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month.
With a fresh new appearance and innovative technologies, yet still boasting all the practical features for which the Touran has become renowned, the revised seven-seater people carrier looks set to continue the model’s success.
The new Touran will be the first Volkswagen available with ParkAssist, an optional parking guidance system developed by Volkswagen engineers. ParkAssist enables automatic parking, using front and rear ultrasonic sensors to detect available parking space and a control unit to calculate the ideal manoeuvring path. Acoustic and visual displays guide the driver to the correct parking start position, then once reverse gear is selected the car parks itself in under 15 seconds. All the driver has to do in this time is accelerate and brake – the Touran does all the steering. The system is likely to be available in the UK from June 2007.
In appearance, the revised Touran has a new radiator grille and headlights which are similar to those of the recently launched Eos coupÃ© cabriolet. At the back, new rear lights and a modified bumper distinguish the new generation Touran. Inside, new fabrics and stainless steel trim, plus an MP3-compatible radio/CD player among other items give an upmarket feel and make the cabin a nicer place to be.
In the UK, the Touran line-up of S, SE and Sport remains, while engines will be rationalised to include two petrol and four diesel units. These will be a 1.6-litre 102 PS and 1.4-litre 140 PS TSI; and 1.9-litre 90 and 105 PS TDI plus 2.0-litre 140 and 170 PS, the latter with DPF (diesel particulate filter).
The new Touran will go on sale in the UK early next year; prices will be confirmed closer to launch. The current Touran went on sale in the UK in summer 2003 and has proved very successful with sales of over 32,700 units since launch. [Volkswagen UK]