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January 14, 2015

UPDATED: Volkswagen Touran Serves as Alternative Popemobile

UPDATE 1: We included the official press release below the break (1/16).

When he’s not waving to the crowds atop the white, open-air jeepney, His Holiness Pope Francis will be using the Volkswagen Touran as his official car in Manila when he attends private meetings and functions. You could say therefore that it’s the alternative Popemobile during his visit here.

Volkswagen Philippines recently turned over two (2) Tourans that will be used for the Pope’s visit in Manila. After His visit, one of the two Tourans will be donated to the Pope’s chosen beneficiary (CarGuide.PH is certainly applying as one of them).

The choice of the Touran seems very fitting to Pope Francis’s simple demeanor. We’ve driven the Touran before and we’ve loved its TDI performance and fuel economy. It’s also a 7-seater MPV that doesn’t take the space of a small bus—perfect for Manila roads. It’s also safety-minded with 6 airbags, ESP, and Hill Hold Control.

Pope Francis will visit the Philippines from January 15 to 19.

Press Release:
Volkswagen Touran - The Pope’s Car During PH Visit

Starting from Pope Francis’ arrival at Villamor Airbase on January 15, until departure on January 19, His Holiness will use the Volkswagen Touran as one of the official cars.

“It’s an honor and privilege for us to become part of His Holiness’ historic five-day visit to the Philippines. VW, one of the most trusted brands in the automotive industry, somehow reflects Pope Francis, a man of inner strength, rooted in humility and expressed in simplicity. VW’s hard-won reputation for reliability, safety, and solid construction is very much reflected in the Touran,” said John Philip Orbeta, president and CEO of VW Philippines, the official importer and distributor of VW cars in the country.

Orbeta said that VW PH has provided two units of the Touran for the duration of His Holiness’ numerous engagements here in the Philippines. After the papal visit, one of these two vehicles will be donated to a church beneficiary that Pope Francis will later identify.

Powered by a Euro 4 emission standard compliant two-liter turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engine with an automatic  six-speed, dual-clutch Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG),  the Touran delivers a commendable 109 horsepower and an even more impressive, torque output of 280 Nm.

Aware that safety is a prime concern among buyers of MPVs, VW has gone out of its way to provide a solid safety package: The Touran is equipped with six airbags (front, side, and curtain airbags that extend up to the 2nd row passenger seats), an Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), Hill Hold Control, disc brakes on all wheels as well as Cruise Control.

With the Pope’s various engagements which require him to go to different venues, VW made sure to give the Pope a comfortable ride in the Touran whose seats are the best in terms of support and all-day comfort, complemented by a long list of convenience features like automatic headlamp activation, an 8-speaker audio system, retractable folding tables for 2nd row passengers, overhead storage compartments, underseat drawers, and front foglamps with static cornering light, among others.

The Touran which has three rows of seats has a flexible seating system. The third row seats can be folded down flat which can then allow access to a very spacious luggage bay.

Upon the Pope’s arrival on January 15 at Villamor Air Base, he will be shuttled to the Apostolic Nunciature on Taft Avenue, Manila. The next day, Pope Francis will be welcomed in Malacañang before leading a motorcade to the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral), which will then be followed by a motorcade going to the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

On January 17, Pope Francis will fly to Tacloban in Leyte, and then be driven to the town of Palo, where he will meet and pray with the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” as well as survivors of the Bohol earthquake who are invited to Palo, to meet the Pope.

A youth meeting at the University of Santo Tomas in the morning will be led by Pope Francis on January 18. Then he will be celebrating Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in the afternoon.

Pope Francis leaves for Rome on January 19.

“In between these activities, His Holiness would require a reliable and comfortable ride. The Touran fits the bill as it is a no-nonsense people carrier with impeccable engineering credentials. To discover more about this remarkable MPV, why not visit one of our showrooms,” said Orbeta.

For more information on the Touran or to request a test drive, visit or drop by one of the dealerships located at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; Quezon Avenue; Sheridan Street in Mandaluyong City; Molito Lifestyle Building in Alabang, Muntinlupa; and North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.

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