By Mike Torpey on 2016-09-17 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Volkswagen Touran SE
Family 2.0 TDI
NO more shouting and no cricked necks.
Both occupational hazards of family motoring of course, and both regular features of carting kids to school, to sports and for weekends away.
They are also issues addressed by Volkswagen with its latest Touran midi-MPV, a model the German brand proudly claims to be the most family friendly vehicle you can buy.
We've all got out of the car and griped about the pain in the neck from constantly swivelling in the front seat to sort out the squabble in the back.
Volkswagen's answer is something called Cam Connect, which lets you fix a Go Pro camera in the Touran, images of which are then displayed on the touchscreen so you can see what's happening in the back without turning round.
As for howling at the mini pugilists, well there's electronic voice amplification using the in-car phone mics and sound system speakers so you can talk softly rather than scream blue murder.
And to help a full car-load breathe more easily there's a pure air climatronic system with biogenic filter to maintain air quality at a consistently high level by keeping pollutants, including fungal spores, out of the cabin.
All useful additions to a car that not only looks deceptively compact, but has the strength and snap-to-grid efficiency that makes Volkswagen's cars stand out.
The new Touran, which hit UK streets at the start of this year, is larger than its predecessor so there's more interior space and underpins its family friendly characteristics courtesy of seven seats as standard.
And a fold-flat seating system allows the two rearmost seats, which are quite easily accessed, to drop flat to the floor while the middle row also folds flat when not needed.
Luggage capacity is also up and there are also now some 47 different storage compartments.
Even so, it still manages to tip the scales as appreciably lighter than before, with the effect of being able to return better fuel economy with lower emissions.
Power comes via a choice of petrol and diesel engines developing from 110 to 190ps and the 2.0-litre diesel driven here with 150ps proving definitely one of the best.
Spirited, with plenty of pulling power from low revs, it is both smooth and agile to drive while also absorbing the sort of pot-holed surfaces all too common on British roads. No jarred vertebrae or chattering teeth here.
Of the four trim grades the next to top SE Family does what it says on the box and includes a shedload of practical and safety-related kit, including stuff like a panoramic roof with integrated lighting, adaptive cruise control, sat nav with Car-Net Guide and Inform systems, a cargo management set up and PreCrash protection.
Volkswagen Touran SE Family 2.0 TDI
Mechanical: 150ps, 1,968cc, 4-cyl turbodiesel engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission
Max Speed: 128mph
0-62mph: 9.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 64.2
Insurance Group: 17
C02 emissions: 121g/km
Bik rating: 24%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
Choose from one or more of the options to find the car for you.
Based on your search find the dealership
nearest to you.