From November 2003, (VIN WVGZZZ1TZ4W088613) the Touran is fitted with an intelligent reminder for the driver and front passenger to buckle their seat belts. The Touran has therefore been awarded an extra point that now gives the car the five star crashworthiness rating. Previously, Euro NCAP allowed VW to re-test the Touran after the car maker improved this model’s side-impact protection. The car performed exceptionally well. Its body suffered only modest intrusion and deformation during the frontal impact. The protection the child restraints gave in the frontal impact was poor. The protection the Touran gave to pedestrians was good. It becomes the second European designed and manufactured car to achieve a three-star result.
Forces acting on the passenger’s chest were higher than for the driver but both were acceptable. While efforts made by the Touran’s designers to protect the driver’s knees were commendable, they did not satisfy Euro NCAP requirements. Hard points remained unprotected behind the fascia, putting his legs and knees at risk. But there was little intrusion at fascia level and the footwell protected the driver’s feet. Each of the rear seat belts was three-point, which gives better protection than a lap-only belt can.
An impressive protection system includes a thorax side airbag and a head curtain airbag for front and rear occupants. The car’s body and airbags worked well to protect the driver in the side impact and also in the pole test.
There was a pictogram on the centre pillar and a peel-off label on the windscreen. Neither warned against the dangers of using a rear facing restraint opposite an airbag. The passenger’s frontal airbag turned on or off using a switch but labelling and other instructions were judged to be confusing. The older child was forward facing and the younger rear facing. The younger child’s head was protected in the side impact as was the older child’s. In the frontal test, neither was protected adequately and both suffered fairly high chest and neck loads.
The Touran’s large windscreen and features designed to protect pedestrians worked well, although the bonnet leading edge needs work to match the cushioning provided by the bumper and bonnet top. A well deserved three-star rating.