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Text | Clarence Seow
Photos | Editorial Team

A raft of convenience features pair with economical yet powerful engines in Volkswagen's MPVs to make them ideal for ferrying seven in the city.

There may have been a few oversized MPVs making their way into Singapore of late, but for those that need transport for a large family yet don't want something too big and cumbersome for driving around downtown, the Volkswagen Touran and Volkswagen Sharan are ideally-sized vehicles.

Just the right size

Space is always at a premium here in Singapore, but with cars, bigger isn't necessarily better. Think about it: If you're driving through Singapore, chances are high that you're going to be driving up a tight multi-story, or navigating through the narrow streets of Little India from time to time.

And it is here that the right-sized Touran and Sharan are going to shine. With a total length of 4,527mm and a width of 1,829mm, the Touran just manages to inch out the Golf hatchback, so you get that extra space you need without sacrificing inner-city maneuverability.
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But that does not mean space in the interior is compromised. Quite the opposite, in fact, with the car offering a third row that has plenty of space, even for adults. The 'Easy Entry' system makes access to these seats easy, and they can also be folded down to form a flat load area when not in use, perfect for storing scooters, strollers, and all that other family paraphernalia!

And for even more flexibility, the three seats in the second row can each be individually adjusted lengthwise - with a total travel of 200mm - while even the backrest angle here can also be adjusted. Whether you're toting kiddos in car seats or older kids, everyone is guaranteed a comfy ride.
And for those that need something a little larger, there's also the Sharan, which, at 4,854mm long and 1,904mm wide, occupies a footprint just similar to that of the popular Passat, so you'll never have to fear tight city streets.

And the best part of driving a smaller MPV is that you won't be paying ridiculous sums when the tax collector swings around. With a 1.4-litre engine in the Touran and a 2.0-litre unit in the Touran, they will only invite as much road tax as any other hatchback or premium sedan.

Plenty of go

But driving in Singapore can involve a lot of hard acceleration as you dart from traffic light to traffic light. The last thing that you'll want here is a vehicle that is down on power. Thankfully, the Sharan and Touran do not disappoint with their gutsy outputs.
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The Volkswagen Touran is equipped with 148bhp 1.4-litre engine, which is plenty for any daily drive, and with 250Nm of torque from a low 1,500rpm, the Touran will easily shrug off any extra weight it may be carrying when you have all seats filled with passengers.

And if its pace you're after, the Sharan will effortlessly keep up as well, with its EA888 engine (also found in the Golf GTI) offering up a whopping 217bhp and 350Nm of torque. That's enough, mind you, to send you into triple-digit speeds from a standstill in just 7.8 seconds.
This means you'll not only have plenty of power on tap for effortless drives when all seats occupied, but will also stand to gain from the decent fuel economy that both cars offer, with the Touran returning a stated 14.5km/L and the Sharan delivering a stated 10.5km/L. A big family comes with big expenses and you don't want to be burning all that budget away on fuel now do you?

Easy in the city

And once you arrive at your destination, both cars still sport an entire suite of convenience features that ensure you won't be left struggling with your kids or the luggage.
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With the Sharan, you can always count on the aid of Park Assist, which automatically steers your vehicle into the parking lot, be it a parallel or a reversing parking space.

A hands-free boot and electric sliding doors here also ensure that ingress and egress into the car is as easy as possible, even when there isn't much room to spare in the parking lot. And you know these features will be a godsend when you have either groceries, or a child and child seats to carry.

And while the Touran may not be able to steer itself into a lot, you won't be breaking into a sweat here either, thanks to Park Distance Control, which makes parking safer thanks to audio signals that warn you of any imminent collision.
The system also comes with a Rear-View Camera that displays its feed onto the infotainment screen on the dashboard, so you have the clearest view of any hazards when reversing, while overlay guidelines here ensure that you always have an easy time manoeuvring into a lot.

Integrated child seats here on the R-Line variant mean that getting children in will be done with minimal fuss, and if your kids are younger still, the seats of all variants are additionally ISOFIX compatible on both the second and third row, providing optimum safety for up to five child seats at one go, and they sure make securing the child seats a heck of a lot easier to manage than fiddling with straps!

So whether you've got a big family or if your friends' kids are coming along, you can rest assured that everyone rides safely in either car.

Entertainment on the go

Of course, part of the fun of driving an MPV comes from having all in tow entertained. And the two MPVs here certainly excel, while both cars are equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so all can listen to their favourite tunes while on the go.
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Both cars are also available with a panoramic sunroof, so come night time, all will be treated to a spot of stargazing as you travel about on your journey. And should your party become intent on snacking along the way, there's always those convenient folding tables behind each front seat, good for satiating even the largest of appetites.

If you're looking for an MPV that can offer plenty of show for your tour, look no further than the Sharan and Touran! Head on down to the Volkswagen showroom at 247 Alexandra Road or book your own test drive online here!