Road Tested by Hugh Maguire.
THE new VW Sharan is one of many MPV vehicles currently avaialble on the market today. As we all know MPVs are primarily bought for their practicality and undenied ability to lug a family around on their holidays, do the school runs, yet provide comfortable motoring.
There really are so many MPVs to choose from that I am not going to list them all here, however obvious rivals to the VW Sharan include cars such as Ford’s Galaxy, Renault’s Grand Scenic, or Espace, the Seat Alhambra (based on the VW Sharan) and Peugeot 5008 to name but a few.
So what is the new Sharan like? Well let’s get two dislikes out of the way first. Really could they not have come up with a better name than calling it a Sharan? Secondly it won’t win any prizes for style!
While the square rather van-like proportions of the new VW Sharan may offer good interior packaging it really does nothing for its looks. Cars such as the Peugeot 5008 manage to look a bit more attractive. The new Sharan shares its front VW family face with cars such as the new Passat and Jetta, not bad, from there back though it’s less interesting.
Behind The Wheel
In true VW fashion the cabin is practical, functional and very well laid out. The dashboard is a model of excellence with everything where it should be. I like the solid well-built feel to the car and the interior materials are of good quality. In short the Sharan is as you would expect from VW, very well put together.
I like the commanding driving position, visibility is pretty good all round and standard specification on this “Comfortline” model is very good. Apart from the usual expected electric windows and so forth the Sharan has Sports seats, a multi-function steering wheel, roof rails, alloy wheels, electrically adjustable lumbar support (which I found to be excellent for back support), cruise control, a very good sound system, rain sensors, auto lights, follow me home lights, fold out rear picnic trays, ISOFIX, and of course a host of airbags as well as, ESP, ABS, ASR, EDR, EDTC, and TRSP.
Accommodation is excellent with masses of head and legroom both front and rear. The third row of seats makes the Sharan a full seven seater but of course with dramatically reduced luggage space. With the last row folded down a huge load area is available and easily accessible via the big rear tailgate that opens to bumper level.
Powered by VW’s tried and tested 2.0 TDI mated to a good six-speed gearbox performance is lively even when laden. This unit produces some 140 bhp, while C02 emissions are 146g/km putting the Sharan diesel in band C at €302.00 to tax. Over my week’s road test which included very mixed short and long journeys the Sharan burned just 6.3 litres of diesel per 100km giving it a range in excess of 1,000km between refuels...excellent!
In a way I was quite surprised at just how well this rather boxy looking MPV drove. As I said performance proved lively, but it rides and handles very well too! Furthermore I could not fail to be impressed at just how refinded and quiet it proved to be.
With little or no wind, engine or road noise the cabin of the new Sharan proves to be a very nice place in which to travel.
Entry to the Volkeswagen Sharan ranges starts at €41,990. Yes I bet a bit more expensive than you thought? Me too!
The car as tested in “Comfortline” specification costs €44,725. That is indeed a tidy sum of money these days and some rivals are quite a bit cheaper.
So the Sharan probably has to sell itself on its quality, refinement, specification and practicality. There are more stylish MPVs and others can beat it on price, but if the above virtues matter to you then try the Sharan.