The Touran hasn’t received much love from perfectsteer of late, no doubt due to its almost exclusive tenure by another member of the household and its many shunts which brings up a sense of hopelessness in trying to keep it looking good. At least it runs well, having had its major 60k service done in November and the engine is as smooth and powerful as I remember it from its first day on the road.
The 1.4 TSI is a spectacular motor. 170bhp and 240Nm is more useful on the road than it is reading off the screen, and the low-end eagerness of the engine is truly astounding in something that can sit seven. It always surprises me pleasantly when I jump from my Subaru to this hulking boxy MPV, because it can show many cars a trick or two up its sleeve. I don’t think we’ll ever sell this workhorse.
After the 60k service the car started to need other services too, including new tyres, new wipers, a new rear light bulb, a new battery and a wheel alignment. The last of which is the most noticeable because I always have to drive the car with the wheels turned left which is quite annoying. I’m not quite sure how my sister lived with it for more than half a year.
The battery and lights got sorted first, which was a relief because the longer cranks were worrying every time the car needed to be started, especially in Malaysia.
The next things I did were the tyres and wheel alignment. After a recommendation and some research, I went ahead with Autokinetics for the tyre change.
Their service is excellent! I’ve never said that about any workshop in Singapore, and in my book 99% of workshops in Singapore give absolutely poor service while the 1% only mediocre. So when I had the owner of the shop explain to me the characteristics of the tyre and explaining professionally why he recommended it, I really appreciated the extra insight.
We decided on the Michelin Primacy 3s (thereby making the fleet a full Michelin-equipped garage with the PSS, PS3 and P3). I took a drive just now, but the roads were wet and the tyres still running in. Can’t say I’ve noticed any difference except perhaps more communicative steering (the previous Hankooks were really bald) for now, but I can’t to try them out when they’ve bedded in. Yes, the Touran is an MPV you can get excited about. It is that good.
At the same time I also brought the S204 for its wheel alignment because I felt something was not quite right when going quick on the NSH. As it turns out my hunch was correct, with the rear toe and camber quite off.
Unfortunately only the toe could be adjusted while the fixed camber arms prevented the camber from being adjusted. I’m not sure why this is so from the factory – if anyone reading this has any insight please do share!
I also had a new horn fitted – c’mon Subaru, the standard horn is plain pussy cat – although the sad trade-off is a broken plastic piece caused by poor workmanship.
Thankfully the shop was gracious enough to waive the installation fee of the horn for this botch. Nonetheless I’m now inconvenienced to source for this part and retain the S204-specific mesh – sigh! See what I said about crappy workshops…
Thankfully the S204 feels better than ever, as we look forward to 2014′s road trip of the year in March (more details on that later)!