The seven-seat VW Sharan is a great all-round family car, with flexible interior and grown-up driving experience
Large MPVs are only as good as their seating, systems, and in my opinion, the VW Sharan has one of the best on the market.
Access to the passenger seats is made simple by way of the rear sliding door – especially in tight parking spaces. The rear most pair of seats, ideal for children, are accessed by folding and sliding the second row seat nearest the door. It is safe too, as there are full-length curtain airbags. All rear seats fold completely flat, which makes it easy to carry large items.
Being a Volkswagen, the Sharan has a high quality, yet robust feel. There are pleasing ‘soft touch’ materials on the dash, controls which have a satisfying ‘damped’ feel and all the dials and instruments are logically laid out and easy to read. The equipment is generous too; even the base model gets dual zone climate control, iPod connectivity and DAB radio. Obviously, being an MPV, you get lots of storage spaces but being a VW they are lined with a felt material or rubberised to stop rattles. All these little touches combine to make the ownership experience just that bit better.
The Sharan is available with two petrol turbo engines and two 2.0-litre diesels, the pick of which is the 140bhp model, which can do over 50mpg. Not bad for something that can carry seven people. All the engines are nice and quiet and the cabin is well insulated from outside noise. The ride is so good with the standard spring set up that it is not worth paying extra for the optional adaptable suspension.
Now, a large MPV is not purchased for its handling prowess, but the Sharan actually goes around corners pretty well for such a large vehicle and the steering is sharp and accurate. Although if you want to carry seven people and have fun the Ford S-Max is a better proposition. The Sharan is sensible, but not quite as entertaining. The door mirrors are a little small and being a large car, it can be quite tricky to manoeuvre around town. It is ideally suited to longer journeys.
Flexible cabin, low running costs, sliding doors