Volkswagen has revealed more details of its forthcoming compact MPV, the Touran, including details of its highly flexible interior. The new vehicle is set to be launched in the UK next summer.

The versatile cabin of the Touran, which has five seats as standard and seven as an option, has been carefully designed to maximise space efficiency. Despite compact exterior body dimensions – its length is roughly the same as that of a Golf estate – it achieves interior space more usually associated with significantly larger vehicles.

The three single seats in the second row can be independently adjusted either fore/aft or sideways, or alternatively can be folded or removed altogether. When folded, the middle seat becomes a table, while for further practicality retractable picnic tables with cup holders are incorporated into the back of the driver’s and front passenger’s seats. A high seating position, along with generous headroom, ensures impressive long-distance comfort regardless of the occupant's height.

The Touran is available with the option of a third row of seats, creating a genuine seven-seater vehicle. For extra practicality, these two seats can be quickly lowered into the floor of the vehicle when not required, rather than having to be removed and left at home.

There are plenty of stowage areas throughout the Touran – up to 39 in fact, depending on trim level. Highlights include a compartment on top of the dashboard, an air-conditioned glovebox, hidden floor compartments, a drawer under the driver and front passenger seats and a large roof console segmented into three parts. The door bins are sizeable enough to accommodate a 1-litre bottle or a large road atlas.

Safety is of prime concern, with front, side and curtain airbags fitted as standard, as well as ABS, BAS (Brake Assist System) and ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme). Three point seatbelts are provided for all occupants, including those in the third row.

In five-seater mode, the luggage capacity is an impressive 695 litres, while even as a seven-seater, the Touran has a capacity of 121 litres. When all seats in the second row are removed and those in the third row lowered, the maximum load volume becomes a capacious 1,913 litres, or 1,989 litres for the five-seater version.

From launch the Touran will be available with one FSI petrol and two TDI diesel engines, all featuring advanced direct-injection technology. The 115 bhp 1.6-litre FSI is new to Volkswagen, and will eventually be joined by two other petrol units. A 100 bhp version of the proven 1.9-litre TDI features alongside a new 2.0-litre 16-valve TDI engine, which produces 136 bhp.

The Touran will be the first Volkswagen model sold in the UK to feature Euro 4 compliant diesel engines, ahead of the legislation’s introduction in 2005. This will enable both Touran TDI models to benefit from lower company car tax liability than their nearest competitors, as the 3 per cent diesel supplement is removed for Euro 4 diesel vehicles.

Published : 12/11/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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