Better looking than predecessor, frugal and eco-friendly engines, seven seats as standard
Servicing costs higher than rivals
Launched in 2010, the second generation Volkswagen Sharan replaced the successful original which debuted 15 years earlier, its longevity aided by a significant makeover in 2000.
Spacious, seven-seater people carrier
Rivalling the likes of the Ford Galaxy as well as slightly smaller competitors such as the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, the latest version was an all-new model. In fact, the only parts carried over from the original Sharan were the door blinds.
As before, there’s a virtually identical SEAT Alhambra sister car, but unlike the original versions, the Ford Galaxy is no longer related.
On average Volkswagen had shaved 30kg of weight from the Sharan which, combined with a 12mm lower stance, improved ride and handling characteristics, making it feel more like a conventional car to drive.
Not that it could be mistaken for anything other than a large MPV, with seven generously-sized seats – most adults should manage to get comfortable in the rearmost row and back sliding doors to aid entry and exit. Depending on the trim, these are operated electrically.
There’s also a wealth of storage solutions and practical touches to make life easier with the Volkswagen Sharan, such as a hanging boot net, roof-mounted pockets and features to improve the driving dynamics such as optional adaptive suspension dampers.
Turbocharged petrol and diesel engines
From launch the Volkswagen Sharan was available with an updated 138bhp edition of the familiar 2-litre TDI diesel and as an alternative a 1.4-litre TSI petrol motor, producing 148bhp. Both engines could be paired with a six-speed manual gearbox or a DSG automatic, also with six gears.
Expanding the range the following year were 113bhp and 168bhp editions of the TDI, the former only available with manual transmission, as well as a potent 197bhp 2-litre TSI petrol.
Mild facelift in 2015
Available from October 2015, the Volkswagen Sharan was given the merest of visual refreshes, with a revised grille and headlight design, LED taillights, new styles of alloy wheels, while the inside benefitted from new steering wheels and different seat upholstery.
Mechanical revisions saw the range upgraded to meet the latest EU6 emissions standards: although power-wise the 1.4-litre TSI and 113bhp 2-litre TDI remained as before, the 138bhp and 168bhp editions were upgraded to 148bhp and 178bhp respectively. The larger 2-litre TSI petrol was dropped from the range.
At 56.5mpg and 130g/km of CO2, the manual gearboxed 113bhp and 148bhp TDIs are the least costly to run.
All motors feature BlueMotion Technologies to minimise their thirst for fuel, while stop/start functions mean the engine cuts off when the car’s stationary.
For the now four-tier range of trims, standard equipment across the board too, with all Sharans featuring an improved infotainment package, Bluetooth connectivity and three-zone climate control.
Could VW’s new seven-seater satisfy your family car needs? Read on for our full Parkers Volkswagen Sharan review.