This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Sharan (10-21) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The interior projects a good quality ambience with strong materials and an easy to use layout that is well finished. But we’ve seen several cars that haven’t dealt well with family life and the trim can look tired and loose after a few years. It’s not especially stylish and looks a little drab, but the controls are well laid out and the instrument dials easy to read.

It offers good all-round visibility too, although rear headrests provide somewhat of an obstruction when reversing. The driving position is fairly good and the steering column that adjusts for reach and height, but the seats lack support for longer journeys.

The cabin is well insulated against wind and road noise, but the diesel engines are a little clattery on start-up and there can be a fair amount of vibration in the cabin, especially at higher revs. But the cabin has an airy and spacious feel with well padded seats for all seven on board. Those in the very back suffer the least leg room, but it is still better than many newer people carriers and the square shape of the Sharan means good headroom.

Consequently, even six-footers can sit there – although it’s only really comfortable for shorter journeys. They’re ideal for children though. Two integrated child seats come on SE models (an the SL) and a further two can be chosen as optional extras. These look and function like a normal seat, but can be used to carry very small children or act as a booster.

The ride is reasonably comfortable, although it can fidget over bumpy or potholed roads.