- Excellent interior quality
- Surprisingly good to drive
- Refined and comfortable
- More expensive than rivals
- Conservative styling
- Only one petrol engine
Classy 7-seater MPV is one of the market leaders
Volkswagen is a brand that offers prestige without the price. The Volkswagen Sharan is no different. First introduced in 1995, and now in its second generation, the Sharan is one of the classiest 7-seater MPVs on the market. It’s also one of the most practical, as the sliding rear doors make getting in and out in car parks safer for your kids, and the cars next to you. It’s a little bit more expensive to buy that some of its rivals, but it also holds its value better in the long run. If you want a big family MPV that doesn’t compromise on quality, look no further than the Volkswagen Sharan.
An update in 2015 featured a minor facelift, as well as a new, more efficient engine range, and new electronic systems.
The market leader when it comes to quality
One area in which the Sharan stands out from all of its rivals is in its interior. The build quality is excellent, and there’s a prestige feel throughout. The seating arrangement is also exceptionally flexible, and you’ll get plenty of kit as standard to boot.
The dashboard design of the Sharan is much like the other cars in the Volkswagen range. It’s simple, classy, and well-built, perfect for the everyday rigours of family life. Soft-touch plastics are used throughout the cabin, whilst controls are well placed, and well damped, so they’re a pleasure to use. It’s not as striking as the interior of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, but it’s certainly one of the most pleasing cabins in the class.
Space and practicality is usually some way up the list of requirements for buyers who want a 7-seat MPV. The Sharan thankfully impresses in this sector. There’s plenty of seating flexibility inside the cabin, so getting comfy, even with all seven seats in use, doesn’t take long. There’s also 375 litres of boot capacity with seven people in place, which is more than offer in the Ford S-Max (285 litres), and the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso (130 litres).
Equipment levels are pretty generous in the Sharan, no matter which model you choose to go for. Even the entry-level S trim comes with dual-zone climate control, electric windows, and a DAB radio. The mid-range SE Nav trim offers the best value in the range however, as it adds chrome exterior trim, cruise control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, rain sensitive wipers, and sat-nav. It’s worth paying the extra for both aesthetics, and comfort.
All in all the inside of the Sharan is one of the best in its class. The quality on show in the cabin is unmatchable, whilst it’s also one of the most practical seven seaters that you can buy. Add in the generous equipment, and you’ll realise just how good the Sharan is.
Surprisingly good to drive for such a big car
7-seater MPVs aren’t known for their engaging driving experience, but the Sharan is actually pretty good to drive. It’s not exactly a sports car, but there’s plenty of grip in the corners, and steering is accurate, offering plenty of feedback both in town, and at speed. The Sharan doesn’t feel like a huge MPV to drive, which is ideal for drivers who don’t want to feel like they’re driving a bus. It’s still not as fun as the more driver-focused Ford S-Max, but it’s still one of the best in its class.
Suspension and Chassis
Not only is the Sharan rewarding to drive, it’s also comfortable and refined. The suspension and chassis may seem stiffer than rivals at first, but it still manages to iron out the majority of rough road surfaces, potholes, and city centre speed bumps without too much of a fuss. There’s also very little in the way of road, wind, and engine noise, even at speed, so the Sharan is an impressive motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Sharan come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six speed manual transmission that is sharp, well-geared, and easy to use. Volkswagen’s excellent dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission is also available with some models, and it’s easily one of the best automatic gearboxes that you can get, though it does marginally reduce fuel economy.
Efficient diesel and petrol engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Sharan, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. Diesel models are super efficient for a car of this class, whilst the single petrol engine is well-balanced.
Family buyers looking for a 7-seat MPV probably won’t be considering speed first and foremost, so Volkswagen understandably doesn’t offer a performance-orientated engine in the Sharan range. The most powerful option is the 1.4 litre petrol-powered TSI BlueMotion Tech. This engine produces 150bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. It’s not much quicker than the diesels however, and it is slightly less efficient.
Eco-friendly buyers will be relatively pleased with the engines on offer in the Sharan range. The greenest option is the diesel-powered 2.0 TDI CR BlueMotion Tech 150 engine, which produces just 130g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s not quite class-leading, but for such a big car it’s still mightily impressive. Money savers will also want to go for this model, as it can achieve up to 56.5mpg, is in the lowest tax-bracket in the range, whilst it’s also cheaper to buy than the more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre diesel.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Sharan you’re going to have a good balance of usability, efficiency, and green credentials. The low-powered diesel looks the best on paper, though the petrol model is also worth considering, especially if you don’t do a lot of miles each year.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, and plenty of family-oriented safety kit
Like most of the cars in its class, the Volkswagen Sharan easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 96% in adult safety, 80% in child safety, and 46% in pedestrian safety, the Sharan is the class-leader for adults, but falls some way short of the Ford Galaxy for child safety. Nevertheless, Volkswagen equips the car with plenty of safety kit, even as standard. You’ll get seven airbags, including curtain airbags, electronic stability control, a post-collision braking system, tyre-pressure monitoring, and integrated child seats, even on the most basic models.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Volkswagen Sharan represents good value for money for family buyers. It may be more expensive to buy than quite a few of its rivals, but it shouldn’t cost you too much to run day-to-day. This varies from model to model, but emissions are relatively low throughout the range (with no model exceeding 150g/km), whilst fuel efficiency is likewise impressive (with no model below 42mpg).
Insurance groups in the Sharan again depend on which model you choose to go for. Starting in group 15 for entry level models (such as the 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Tech S), and up to group 23 for the most powerful, top of the range 2.0 TDI CR BlueMotion Tech (177bhp) SEL DSG. Whichever model you choose to go for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is one area that particularly affects the Sharan, but only for the first year. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Volkswagen Sharan is one of the most complete 7-seater MPVs that money can buy. It may be more expensive than some of its rivals, but it does offer class-leading quality, efficient engines, and one of the most practical, spacious interiors in the class.
Buying a used Volkswagen Sharan online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volkswagen Sharan for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Sharan. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volkswagen Sharan online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Sharan? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Volkswagen Sharan, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Sharan, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volkswagen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.