Finally, we come to the last of the Volkswagen trio – after the previous day spent going up in the Jetta and Passat, the return trip from Penang was made in the Cross Touran. The compact MPV sits on a PQ35 platform that the Golf Mk VI wears (the Jetta does too, but in modified form), but still offers seating for seven.

The RM166,888 vehicle, which is assembled in Wolfsburg, gets wider wheel arches and longer suspension springs than the standard Touran in its Cross form here, and the last means that it has 20 mm more ground clearance than the normal Touran. The Cross package also gives it Funplay 17-inch alloys in 6.5J front and 8J rear form, to accommodate the staggered 215/50 front and 235/45 rear tyres it wears.

Full story after the jump.

It’s also equipped with a 1.4 TSI twincharger mill, though in this case in its 140 PS at 5,600 rpm and 220 Nm at 1,250 to 4,500 rpm output derivative form, a positioning choice made to keep fuel consumption low. Performance numbers include a 0-100 km/h time of 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 193 km/h, as well as a combined fuel consumption of 7.1 litres per 100 km.

On the equipment list are bi-Xenon headlamps with dynamic bending lights and daytime running lights, an electronic panoramic tilt/slide glass sunroof, cruise control, ‘Fey’ fabric seats (in natural brown or anthracite options), a leather-covered three-spoke steering wheel, the same RCD 310 audio system as found in the Jetta, park distance control, Iridium decorative inserts for the dash and door panels as well as interior chrome trim, among others.

Like the other two, the Cross Touran comes with six airbags, as well as ABS, EBD, ESP, ASR and engine drag torque control (EDTC). And there are eleven colours to pick from for this one – eight metallic (Pepper Grey, Night Blue, Titanium Beige, Acapulco Blue, Reflex Silver, Silver Leaf, Toffee Brown and Wild Cherry Red), two pearl effect (Venetian Green and Deep Black) and a single solid shade, this being Candy White.

Veedub shouts it up that the vehicle offers plenty of interior comfort and convenience options, despite its size – there are 40 storage bins of all sorts to be found inside, and the Cross Touran offers up to 1,989 litres of cargo carrying space. Mention was made that there are 500 different possible configurations to be had with it in terms of folding, removing or tweaking the cabin layout. Which is a bit, really.

Certainly, there was more than enough space to carry a load of three people and a comprehensive amount of bags and kit. I was originally supposed to drive back to KL on my own, my drive partner having left earlier in the morning with another journo. The inclusion of the event cameraman and videographer as passengers meant that the Cross Touran made the return trip fairly filled up, with the rearmost seats folded to handle baggage duty.

Coming in from the sedans, the dashboard feels the most bare, but though the general presentation remains typical VW, all orderly and functional, the Cross Touran’s interior felt the breeziest – in this regard, the panoramic roof lends the cabin an airier and roomier feel and the suggestion that it was bigger than it was. For its intended role and its size, the presentation and functionality it offers scores high marks.

From a driving perspective, the 140 PS output from the 1.4 TSI mill – and 1,587 kg kerb weight – does take the edge of things somewhat, giving the Cross a more propulsive quality as opposed to it being tagged sprightly. Once you get going, it’s pretty capable of chugging along merrily, and there’s a decent spread of usable midband energy, but by and large this is very much a vehicle in which you ought to go along in unhurried fashion.

Which is where I can’t quite make out the suspension’s workings, or rather the intent. The Cross Touran is the firmest riding vehicle of the three. It’s not jarring, but firm enough for the rear passengers to feel a continuous attenuation at mid-level speeds, especially on poor roads, and for all occupants to discern that stiff is the operative word for this one at national highway speed limits.

Certainly, the amplitude all but disappeared as the vehicle went faster along and, at the top end of the speed scale, is certainly very impressive. Barreling along at maximum speed for most of the second half of the drive, tagged behind the pace-setting Eos, the Cross’ poise and composure was downright exemplary, the vehicle planted and unwavering, even if the engine had effectively run out of puff short off the double century mark, as advertised.

Perhaps it has all been geared up to carry a full load of seven and a fair amount of baggage in mind without turning into a soggy sponge, especially when pushed, I dunno. Whatever it is though, if you decide to fit your entire litter into it and charge along at 160-180 km/h, this one will shuffle along happily without inducing any girly screams from your occupants, that much can be said. It’ll drink like a fish too, if you do so. Still, not many compact MPVs can do what this one does, if it’s such thrills that amuse you.