By on June 12, 2014

photo (1)


Spotted in the wilds of Toronto today: A VW Touran TDI. Canadians, don’t get your hopes up.

Toronto is the central location for every OEM in the Canadian market, and that means that you can sometimes spot forbidden fruit out on the road, much like residents of Detroit and Los Angeles are privy to.

This Touran is here for evaluation purposes, but will not be offered for sale anytime soon. Canada’s regulatory regime is aligned with America, which makes the homologation costs too high for such a small market. Furthermore, while Canadians like smaller cars, they don’t favor small minivans. The Canadian-made Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country own the Canadian minivan market by a huge margin, with small vans like the Mazda5 and Canadian-only Chevrolet Orlando and Kia Rondo picking up the scraps.

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34 Comments on “Spotted In The Wild: Volkswagen Touran...”

  • avatar

    Yep, left knee wants to twitch with enthusiasm, but it’s strangely still.

    Some things that happen in Europe should just stay in Europe.

  • avatar

    Wait is Chrysler planning to build this in Ontario?

    • 0 avatar

      They built an earlier version in Illinois with Mitsubishi, called the Dodge Vista wagon and Mitsubishi Expo. I wonder if this one will eventually have the sliding rear door?

  • avatar

    For this type of vehicle, I think that wheel/tire combo is ridiculous looking.

  • avatar

    Full size greenhouse! Unsquashed roof line! Compact, yet spacious! It’s perfect.

    • 0 avatar

      Go get a Kia Rondo, same ugly style of vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      “Full size greenhouse! Unsquashed roof line! Compact, yet spacious! It’s perfect.”

      Creepy… I don’t remember posting this or ever using that name…. but it’s *exactly* what I’d say….(twilight zone music)

      My first thought was… bigger Honda Fit!
      But it could never be built like one.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Have to agree. Nice to see a ‘people mover’ built for families that actually provides headroom, easy access and visibility for the kids.

      Lowering the roofline creates claustrophobic conditions, poor sightlines and makes it harder for ‘more mature’ people to get into and out of the vehicle.

      Our previous generation Kia Rondo is nearly perfect. The new one, has regressed.

      And for those who do not like it’s looks, well in this segment function is more important than form.

      However, those looking at the competition for this VW (Chev Orlando, Kia Rondo, Mazda 5 and Ford C-Max) may have qualms regarding VW parts and maintenance costs. So that may be another reason why we will not see it in North America.

  • avatar

    Okay, so a “Touareg” is a desert wanderer and a “Tiguan” is an amalgam of Tiger and Iguana, so a “Touran” must be Tour and Duran Duran, right?

  • avatar

    Having recently sat in a variety of “new” VW”s, and seeing how cheaply de-contented their interiors have become, I wonder how this is supposed to be an “up-scale” version of the Chrysler Town & Country. My FIL recently picked up a 2012 CPO T&C and the interior was quite excellent – good dash materials, etc; felt very much like the JGC. If anything, I feel like the Touran would be a down-grade from this.

    • 0 avatar

      This is a European VW. Their interiors are as good as ever (although I still wouldn’t buy one because I’m not convinced I can trust it like an Acura or Lexus).

    • 0 avatar

      You’re thinkng of the Routan. Switch the r and the t. VWs confusing and ambiguous names of certain products don’t help their cause IMO.

  • avatar

    A tidy balanced design, much more appealing than a Routan anyway.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    This is completely unrelated to any Chrysler. I believe it is built on a modified Golf chassis. I’d love to consider this type of vehicle; size is perfect for those of us who don’t want/need a full size van. I would expect the accommodations to be superior to the Mazda5, as well as the price point.

  • avatar

    Styling has really progressed on people haulers, especially when comparing this to the nearby 2005-ish Ford Freestar nearby.

  • avatar

    Looks about the size of the original Dodge Caravan, the first “mini” van.

  • avatar

    One great thing about tiny, sideways engines is they allow cab-forward like crazy. May the trend continue because since we got our Fit I have Monospace Fever. Just make ’em a tad bigger.

    Another great thing about tiny, sideways engines is they’re all I need.
    I’m happy and optimistic about vehicles again for the first time since trading away my last truck.

    • 0 avatar

      There are many pro mechanics and driveway wrenchers alike who curse tiny transverse engines. For mini cars where space is at a premium, transverse is the way to go, if it breaks, throw it away and buy another one. For compact and up, mechanics prefer the longitudinal engine with FWD, like the LH cars. Try changing the oil filter or spark plugs in a transverse engine, and you’ll see why (clean the grease off your bashed knuckles before seeing the doctor).

      • 0 avatar

        Well, maybe they’ll just have to hire more littler mechanics with 1/4″ drive sockets and jewlers screwdrivers and stuff.

        They could train all those munchkin models who make Encores and Escapes appear capacious inside.

  • avatar

    Why would I have my hopes up? That thing looks awful.

  • avatar

    It’s the perfect car for those who didn’t like the road noise, reliability,wild design, huge engine or lack of seats in the luggage department in the 2nd gen Honda CRV.
    You can even get a ‘Crosstouran’-version, making it every bit a silent comfy, slow 2nd gen Crv without the great backseat (although you can fit a lot more shortlegged children in it)

  • avatar

    Even though this thing probably has a slim chance of going on sale in Canada and no chance in the U.S., where are the rest of the pictures? A man’s gotta dream.

  • avatar

    I believe this is the rental car we got for our French road trip, with a TDI and 6-speed manual. Four people in the car, luggage Tetrised all the way to the roof in back. Nice VW interior, nice VW handling, decent MPG, loads of torque, practical legs-down-not-out packaging.

    I was surprised this was the car the rental agency gave us, considering that the French invented the modern minivan, and continue to make ones that are roomier, comfier, and cheaper. But the VW is a nice rig–and favored by taxi drivers, which might say something about its reliability vs the domestic competition.

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