Review: Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010)


Solid, small 7-seater with a comfortable ride. 2.0 TDI model is greatly improved by DSG autobox and gets 3 stars.

The two rear seats are really for children only. Front three-quarter blindspots. DMF problems on diesels.

Recently Added To This Review

7 August 2017

Haynes manual for VW Touran models with 1.6 litre (1,598cc), 1.9 litre (1,896cc) & 2.0 litre (1,968cc) turbo-diesel engines. Offers practical step-by-step instructions and clear photos and provides... Read more

2 February 2017

Exhaust fumes entering the cabin of a 2008/58 Touran 2.0TDI 170 DSG found to be because the exhaust pipe stops short of the rear of the car and in traffic exhaust fumes can be blown forwards, entering... Read more

25 September 2013

DSG failed on 50k mile 2005 Touran. Quoted £4,600 for replacement. But reader had been getting the car independently serviced and had not changed the transmission fluid and microfilter at the required... Read more

Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010): At A Glance

I didn't notice the problem until my second drive. The first had been in daytime through a town, involving parking in a car park and about 35 miles of motorway. But it wasn't until the dark, wet night trip through the suburbs to a supermarket I became aware of the blind spots. The A pillars in front of you are so thick they create a triangular blind spot big enough to hide an approaching bus, never mind a cyclist or a pedestrian. Sure they've put little quarterlight windows in them, but from the driver's seat you can't see through the one to your right so it might as well not be there.

Okay, those A pillars are part of the price of that excellent five star NCAP crash safety rating. And you can probably collide with a moose without getting decapitated. But they're not so brilliant if they cause a crash in the first place.

VW Touran 2003 Road Test

VW Touran DSG 2004 Road Test

What does a Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010) cost?

List Price from £27,810
Buy new from £20,885
Contract hire from £252.52 per month

Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4391–4407 mm
Width 1794 mm
Height 1620–1635 mm
Wheelbase 2675–2678 mm

Full specifications

It's a compact, Zafira-size 5 or 7 seater, though the extra two back seats are optional and suitable only for children. They fold individually into the floor, leaving a large, flat luggage space if travelling five-up. The remaining three individual rear seats can be slid forwards, folded or removed altogether, leaving a load volume of 1,913 litres. But with all seven seats in place the luggage area behind them will take no more than a couple of days shopping. There's no spare wheel, and nowhere to put one.

The seating position is multi-adjustable with a good range of seat height, steering wheel height and steering wheel reach, but, like the Zafira, not very much space fore and aft. If you're like me you'll find the seat adjustor rubbing the left leg of your jeans. But, though your leg movements on the pedals are more up and down than in and out, it's comfortable, light, easy and pleasant to drive.

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010) like to drive?

Mine had the new 2.0 16v 136bhp direct injected diesel engine, mated to VAG's compact six-speed manual transmission through a precise, nicely-weighted cable change lever. There is a gear for every eventuality and though 6th is quite tall at around 30mph per 1,000 rpm, it's still flexible enough to be left in that gear on the motorway. Ride quality is very good, at the expense of some roll understeer typical of small MPVs. It doesn't handle badly, just not as well as a car with a lower centre of gravity.

It has the new four-link independent rear suspension system used in the new A3 and forthcoming Golf V, with struts at the front. These struts are attached to an aluminium subframe itself fixed to the body at six points. The lateral control arms, anti-roll bar and steering are pre-assembled on this subframe during production, so that precise steering and suspension geometry is achieved.

Also like the new A3 and Golf V, steering is electro-mechanical
which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds. Other advantages include mild self-centring action, the ability to compensate for different driving hazards such as crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a small benefit to fuel economy.

Standard Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) includes an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic differential lock (EDL), traction control (ASR) and Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA).

Thumbs up? Well the car I had was okay, but I can't see myself justifying £19,000 for it. I suppose as a compact, smart school run kind of car it makes sense, and the 136bhp diesel engine is better than any available in the Zafira. Its closest competitor is the new Renault Scenic 7 seater. But it's very much a niche car and whether it's for you depends on what niche you're in.


How wrong they can be.

The 6-speed DSG box and the 140PS 16v diesel engine are made for each other. There are no paddle or button shifts because you don't need them. In Sport mode the box does everything you could do faster than you could do it. The vehicle is astonishing.

It romps up hills and grips round corners almost as enjoyably as a MINI. Yet there are not one, but two rows of seats behind the driver. I'd have been happy with this level of performance from a hot hatchback, and the Touran is a minibus.

So anyone who wants a 7-seater diesel automatic sportscar can end their previously fruitless search right here. The Touran DSG has and does everything, including 42.8mpg combined and an eco-friendly 178g/km CO2.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 TSI 38–41 mpg 9.7–9.8 s 159–180 g/km
1.6 35 mpg 12.9 s 193 g/km
1.6 FSI 36 mpg 11.9 s 190 g/km
1.9 TDI 47–48 mpg 13.2–14.9 s 155–158 g/km
1.9 TDI 105 48 mpg 13.2 s 156 g/km
1.9 TDI BlueMotion 52 mpg 13.0 s 144 g/km
2.0 FSI 35 mpg 10.4 s 194 g/km
2.0 TDI 41–47 mpg 9.0–10.2 s 159–182 g/km
2.0 TDI 140 44–47 mpg 10.2–10.3 s 159–172 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

31–59 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Should I ignore the engine emission warning on my high mileage diesel Volkswagen?

I'm driving a 2005 Volkswagen Touran 2.0 DSG automatic diesel. It has done 138,000 miles. Is there anything I should get done? It drives well, however, the engine emission warning has lit up on the display. The dealer I bought it from says not to worry but what do you advise I do?
You've done well. But as long as the DSG fluid and filter have been replaced every 3 years, the DSG 'should' be okay. Lots of potential problems with the engine. But the emissions warning light is probably because the DPF is full of ash, or it could be because the EGR is getting choked.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Volkswagen Touran (2003 – 2010)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Diesel engine, Family friendly, Generous head room, Large boot, Raised driving position, Room for a buggy, Seven seats and MPV.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 20%
  • 4 star 60%
  • 3 star
  • 2 star 20%
  • 1 star

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