By Gerry Murphy
As the Dieselgate clouds still hang over the Volkswagen brand, and the US Government is in the process of taking action against the giant car maker, the company has just launched its first new car for 2016.
The Touran arrives in Irish showrooms this week and at the official launch in Meath last week, Irish bosses were rather pleased with their new model, which is both longer and slightly wider than the outgoing version.
Indeed the new Touran – which is not affected by the cheating allegations – is redesigned from the ground up and built on Volkswagen’s advanced MQB platform and is priced from €29,725 for the 1.2-litre TSI petrol and €31,970 for the 1.6-litre TDI.
Visually it is sharper and more elegant than the previous model, and it will be cheaper to run and comes with a host of new features ensuring that this becomes the most coveted car in its segment.
It is 130mm longer than the previous generation model, thanks to a longer wheelbase, which at 2,791mm is 113mm longer and that makes a difference to the interior space. It is also 36mm wider and there is more headroom so rear passengers will sit in much greater comfort. Hence the new layout lends itself to more legroom too.
All Tourans for Ireland come with seven seats as standard and feature a new fold-flat system. The seats in the second and third rows can be folded flat in a matter of seconds creating a continuous floor for easy loading, plus the front passenger seat backrest from Comfortline models upwards.
With the second and third row seats folded, you get 1,857 litres of luggage capacity and the largest luggage compartment in its class.
For Ireland, the Touran comes with a choice of one petrol engine, a 1.2-litre TSI with 110bhp or two diesel engines, a 1.6-litre TDI with 110bhp which is expected to make up the majority of sales and at the top of the range a 2.0-litre TDI with 150bhp.
The 1.2-litre TSI is available with a six-speed manual transmission, while the two diesels come with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission option. Thanks to weight reductions of up to 62kg and new fuel saving technologies the CO2 emissions are significantly lower in the new model compared to the previous generation, with the 1.6-litre TDI DSG emitting just 111g/km.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.