The Jewish Chronicle - - MOTORING -

SO OFF we went to Aus­tria, with four of us in a Volk­swa­gen Touran 2.0 TDI. It was a great choice — cruis­ing ef­fort­lessly at around 85 mph, mop­ping up the miles in a leisurely fash­ion while re­turn­ing an im­pres­sive 43.3 mpg in just un­der 2,000 miles. The Touran is a seven-seater, but we re­con­fig­ured the seat­ing for our smaller party. With some multi-seaters, it’s a ter­ri­ble fight to get the seats out, but in the Touran, ev­ery­thing is easy to fold or de­tach.

The Touran and the Ford C-Max are sim­i­lar, as most of the in­put for the CMax has come from Volk­swa­gen, so it is hard to choose be­tween them.

Al­though the Touran’s 2-litre 16valve diesel en­gine is slightly smaller in cu­bic ca­pac­ity than that of the CMax, it de­vel­ops more power.

Both the Touran and the C-Max have a six-speed gear­box, and both gave much the same fuel econ­omy (43.3 mpg for the Touran and 43.9 for CMax). How­ever, the Volk­swa­gen was driven con­sis­tently faster than was pos­si­ble for the UK test of the C-Max, so it might be con­sid­ered the more eco­nom­i­cal.

Both cars have a fil­ter that re­moves all traces of smoke from the ex­haust yet re­quires no rou­tine main­te­nance. Both also have very ef­fec­tive au­to­matic switch­ing of lights and wipers.

The Ford starts off much cheaper, at £18,745 against £22,277 for the Touran, but its ex­tras are more ex­pen­sive, es­pe­cially with £1,000 more to pay for the Sport ver­sion of C-Max, whereas VW’s price is al­ready the cost of the Sport model. Satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion is less costly in the very good VW ver­sion (£1,345 to in­clude six-disc CD player and an ad­vanced trip com­puter).

For a level play­ing field, we should ex­clude the £500 tow-hitch and £400 glass roof from the Ford, to bring the to­tal to £23,945. The Touran as tested is £26,133.

Both SUVs (sports util­ity ve­hi­cles) were very com­fort­able and ef­fi­cient trans­port. The Touran would prob­a­bly win my vote, es­pe­cially if I needed the seven-seater ca­pac­ity, but I would be still be well pleased by the C-Max.

Par­tic­u­larly ap­pre­ci­ated on the Touran were the ex­cel­lent head­lamps which give bril­liant Xenon il­lu­mi­na­tion and re­volve with the steer­ing, to light the way around cor­ners.

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