There are more options now for families looking for a nice ride. And they don’t have to be dull, over-sized boxes that shrug off form for function. Here are three options that inject some driving excitement into the practicality of today’s MPV.
Since its introduction in 2003, more than 1.9 million VW Tourans have been sold. It is the top-selling MPV in Germany, and growing in popularity here in Singapore as well.
In case you didn’t know, the VW Touran is a seven-seater in its true sense, even if it doesn’t look that way from the stylish exterior. The latest version is notably sporty, with long side windows and precise lines. Its drag coefficient of 0.296 is impressive for an MPV. Visually, the Touran is an attractive proposition. The front grille lines blend into the slimmed-down headlights cohesively, while the wheel arches and horizontal lines on the side of the car are notable design upgrades from the previous version.Of course, when it comes to MPVs, the configuration of the interior space is key. Through easy-to-use lugs, backrests of the second and third rows fold flat onto the luggage compartment, allowing for a full capacity of 1,857 litres. More specifically, the length of the interior has been increased to 1,779mm, making full use of VW’s Modular Transverse Matrix for maximising the usability of the car’s interior.Adjustability is also a selling factor in the Touran. The second-row seats can be adjusted lengthwise by 200mm, and the backrests can be inclined into three positions. A flat centre tunnel allows further comfort for the centre seats. All three seats in the second row are equipped with ISOFIX fixtures for child-seats.
VW’s well-regarded direct-injection turbocharged 1.4 TSI engine is capable of putting out 150PS of power and 250Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is capped at 5.6 litres/100km in the combined driving cycle. The car also comes with stop/start function and battery regeneration as standard. Four driving profile programmes are available in the Touran — Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. DSG coasting function also disengages and idles the engine when the accelerator is not engaged, optimising the utilisation of the Touran’s kinetic energy.
Safety is not relegated to the back seat in the Touran. Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which comes standard in Volkswagen’s MQB models, automatically slows the car down if it is involved in an accident. The Pre-Crash Proactive Occupant Protection System automatically pre-tensions the front seatbelts when it detects an impending accident. In the event of unstable driving conditions, windows and the panoramic sunroof are closed to optimise the use of the head and side airbags.
Front Assist monitors critical situations in front of the car through a radar sensor and preconditions the brake system to apply sufficient braking force to avoid a collision. It also issues alerts through visual and audible warnings. In addition, City Emergency Braking autonomously brakes the car in an emergency when travelling at speeds up to 30km/h.
The infotainment system has also been upgraded, and now features the five-inch Composition Color (Trendline version) and six-and-a-half-inch Composition Media(Comfortline) systems with their fast processors. The USB interface and Bluetooth connectivity further makes it user-friendly, and the proximity sensor allows the activation of features without needing to actually touch the screen. This is a step towards the future that the Touran is taking with aplomb.
PRICE FROM $199,900 WITH COE
ENGINE 1,395CC 4-CYLINDER TURBOCHARGED TSI PETROL ENGINE WITH 16 VALVES
TRANSMISSION 7-SPEED DUAL CLUTCH AUTOMATIC (DSG)
POWER 150PS @ 5,000–6000RPM
TORQUE 250NM @ 1,500–3,500RPM
0–100KM/H 8.9 SECONDS
DISTRIBUTOR VOLKSWAGEN SINGAPORE (Tel: 6474 8288)
CITROEN GRAND C4 SPACETOURER
Citroen may not be the brand that immediately comes to mind when it comes to MPVs, but the Grand C4 Spacetourer offers a wealth of practical features and the comfort that Citroen has come to be known for. Citroen Advanced Comfort provides a holistic approach when it comes to giving drivers and passengers the best for their body and mind, with its carefully and stylishly designed interior space, soft-touch contact points, and low noise levels in the cabin.
The seven-seater is equipped with individual rear seats that offer flexibility and spaciousness. Each of the two seats in the third row can be independently slid and tilted. A removable centre console seat and under-floorboard storage add to its functionality. The Spacetourer also comes with hands-free tailgate so that you won’t need to use your hands when accessing the boot space.Citroen’s little touches make all the difference. A second rear-view mirror lets you keep tabs on what goes on at the back, and the airplane-style tray tables are useful when you’re shuttling kids from school to extra-curricular classes, and need to feed them a snack along the way.
The connectivity and infotainment technology imbedded in the Citroen MPV makes shuttling the family a breeze and even enjoyable! Seamless connection with Mirror Screen lets you use the seven-inch touchscreen to access the apps on your smartphone. It also works with Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Android Auto. Driving information is also presented in all its full-coloured glory on the customisable 12-inch panoramic HD display that also allows 3D navigation maps in large format.
Behind the wheel of the Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer, you will have the confidence of being powered by the award-winning three-cylinder turbo-charged PureTech 130 S&S EAT8 engine, which was voted International Engine of the Year in 2018 (organised by the British magazine Engine Technology International). Not only does the engine reduce carbon dioxide emission and maximises fuel efficiency, but its 95% peak torque is available at low rpm, thus making driving your family around the city a punchy and pleasurable experience.
PRICE $149,999 WITH COE
ENGINE 1,199CC 3-CYLINDER PURETECH 130 S&S EAT PETROL ENGINE
TRANSMISSION 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH PADDLE SHIFT
POWER 130PS @ 5,500RPM
TORQUE 230NM @ 1,750RPM
0–100KM/H 11.5 SECONDS
DISTRIBUTOR CYCLE & CARRIAGE (Tel: 6479 2792)
BMW 2 SERIES ACTIVE TOURER
Apart from the many options in the BMW SUV stable, the Bavarian marque is not especially known for making a family-oriented car. But if you consider the practicality and functionality offered by the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, no one will refute the fact that this is a neat choice for a small family looking for a comfortable, fun-to-drive vehicle that leaves little to be desired for couples toting their family around town.
While the 2 Series Active Tourer does not offer the benefit of a third row of seats, it does make up for it by providing a crossover characteristic that some may prefer. The striking BMW kidney grille and slim headlight contours have an aesthetic appeal that blends nicely with the stretched side window and slim C-pillars of the car’s dynamic silhouette.If the interior space looks impressive, it’s because the car takes its design cues from the BMW iX. The premium ambience, slim instrument pane, BMW Curved Display, and ‘floating’ armrest all scream “luxury high-tech!”While it has only five seats, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer offers a wide range of seat adjustability for better long-distance comfort and storage. The newly developed, multi-adjustable seats come standard in Sensatec perforated design. If you want something extra, options include sport seats with prominent bolsters and shoulder areas, memory electric seat adjustment, and even lumbar support and massage features.
Boot space is a more-than-ample 145 litres with the back seats down, and the 40:20:40 split/folding configuration allows for maximum flexibility whether you’re carting around groceries or lugging bicycles. Automatic tailgate also comes standard.
Driving performance is uncompromised — this is a BMW, after all! Steering precision and agility have been enhanced, and the near-actuator wheel slip limitation function aims to improve both traction and directional stability. The standard M suspension has frequency-selective damping, sport steering, and a 15mm drop in ride height for better road holding.
The 2 Series Active Tourer offers the largest selection of driving and parking assistance available for a BMW compact-segment model. Parking Assistance, including Reversing Assist Camera and Reversing Assistant, come standard. For a little extra, you can also opt for the Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, Active Navigation, the exit warning function, the BMW Head-Up Display and the Surround View, Remote 3D View, BMW Drive Recorder and Remote Theft Recorder functions.
PRICE FROM $232,888 WITH COE
ENGINE 1,499CC IN-LINE 3-CYLINDER PETROL ENGINE WITH BMW TWINPOWER TURBO TECHNOLOGY
TRANSMISSION 7-SPEED STEPTRONIC WITH DOUBLE CLUTCH
POWER 136HP @ 4,400–6,500RPM
TORQUE 230NM @ 1,500–4,000RPM
0–100KM/H 9.0 SECONDS
DISTRIBUTOR BMW PERFORMANCE MOTORS (Tel: 1 800 2255 269)