Volkswagen Sharan (2010-present)

MPVs may seem old hat, but the well-equipped, spacious and versatile Sharan reminds family car buyers just what they’re missing

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Strong and efficient engines
Excellent space and practicality
Good level of standard equipment

Weaknesses 

Some versions are very expensive
Diesel engines are noisy
Getting long in the tooth
VW Sharan prices from £12,996   Finance from £191 per month

Not so long ago, MPVs (Multi Purpose Vehicles) were the toast of the town but they’ve since been relegated to the shadows by the multitudes of new SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) flooding the market. VW has five SUVs in its range, so it must believe in them.

However, it also has two MPVs: the Sharan and its smaller sister car, the Touran. Where the Sharan scores over most SUVs is in having seven seats. It’s closely related to the slightly cheaper Seat Alhambra. Meanwhile, other seven-seat MPVs include the Ford Galaxy and sportier Ford S-Max, as well as the super-stylish Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer.

In short, the Sharan feels sturdier and classier than any of its rivals. And its low-levels of depreciation mean that PCP deals are reasonable too.

The current generation of Sharan has been around since 2010 but was lightly facelifted in 2015. At the same time, the engine line-up was trimmed slightly. On a practical level, its ace card is its sliding rear doors, which it shares with the Alhambra. These make it easier for passengers to alight in tight spaces. A worthwhile option is powered doors, which open at the press of a button. It only costs £655.

Interior versatility is why people buy MPVs and in this respect the Sharan has all the bases covered. The seats in the middle row move independently of each other. To get to the rearmost pair, you just tilt and slide the outermost ones forward. There’s plenty of headroom back here, too, so adult passengers should be comfortable. Incidentally, it’s possible to order the outer seats in the middle row with integrated Isofix child seats, for an extra £425.

With all seats in use, there’s just 300 litres of boot space or enough for a week’s shopping. With the two rearmost seats folded flush into the floor, there’s much more space but fold rows two and three, and you’ve a removal van on your hands. There are plenty of storage solutions while SE trim and above boasts that MPV party trick, seat-back tables.

The engine line-up is straightforward: a 1.4 petrol for undemanding, average mileage drivers and a 2.0-litre diesel (in two different power outputs) for everyone else. There’s a second, more powerful diesel engine but for most users it’s unnecessary and only pushes the Sharan’s price still higher. Bear in mind that the diesels require topping up with AdBlue, an exhaust cleaner. Its adds around £30 to the running costs of a car doing 12,000 miles a year but neglect to add it at your peril.

The petrol engine is the smoothest and quietest, while the diesels are a bit gruff. The Sharan corners tidily and its weighty, accurate steering inspires confidence. Optional adaptive chassis control (£865) improves things further without spoiling the ride comfort.

There’s enough equipment as standard to make basic S trim worth considering but the second trim, called SE, will make you feel better about owning the car long-term.

     

Last Updated 

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 14:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
2 years/unlimited mileage or 3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
300 litres
Width: 
1904mm
Length: 
4854mm
Height: 
1720mm
Tax: 
£210-£530 in the first year; £145-£465 from the second

Best Volkswagen Sharan for... 

VW Sharan S 2.0 TDI 150 SCR
This version is the economy champ with up to 44.8mpg possible (and probably more) using a light foot. The DSG auto is only slightly less economical and more relaxing to drive.
VW Sharan SE Nav 2.0 TDI 150 SCR
This version has all those little extras – alloy wheels, a sat nav, picnic tables, extra storage and parking sensors – that improve family life in an MPV. The 150hp diesel engine offers a good balance of power and economy.
VW Sharan SE Nav 2.0 TDI 177 SCR DSG
This most powerful diesel engine in the line-up also comes with a system that prevents the wheels spinning on slippery surfaces. The engine is only available with the automatic gearbox but this has steering wheel-mounted controls that enable you to make gear changes like a racing car driver. SEL brings extra kit but SE Nav is almost as luxurious and cheaper, too.
VW Sharan S 1.4 TSI 150
With steel wheels and finished in no-cost grey, for example, this cheapest Sharan’s only virtue is its price. Its petrol engine will make it less appealing to used buyers, too. It has a lot of essential kit but it’s worth stretching to SE trim if you can.

Volkswagen Sharan History 

2010 All-new Sharan launched, powered by choice of 1.4 and 2.0-litre petrol, and two, 2.0-litre diesel engines, the latter in two power outputs. 
2015 Facelifted Sharan launched with phone connectivity and a refreshed interior. More economical engine line-up now comprises a 1.4 petrol and three 2.0-litre diesel engines with different power outputs. 
2016 Recall announced for side airbag problem.
2019 Engine line-up revised to a 1.4 petrol and two, 2.0-litre diesel engines.

Understanding Volkswagen Sharan car names 

  • Sharan
  • Trim
    SEL
  • Engine
    2.0 TDI 177 SCR
  • Gearbox
    DSG
  • Trim
    This is the level of luxury you can expect to find, with S the most basic and SEL the most luxurious.
  • Engine
    The first number is the size of the engine in litres, the three letters immediately following the type of engine (TDI is diesel and TSI, turbocharged petrol) and the three numbers its horsepower rating. The final three letters are found on diesels only and refer to the emissions control system (they stand for selective catalytic reduction). This uses Adblue, a chemical you add to a separate tank that reduces harmful emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) in the exhaust.
  • Gearbox
    This is VW’s terms for its automatic gearbox technology. Versions with a manual gearbox have no distinguishing letters.

Volkswagen Sharan Engines 

Petrol 1.4 TSI 150
Diesel 2.0 TDI 150, 2.0TDI 177

In recent months, VW has streamlined the Sharan’s engine range to just three, distinctive units.

Cheapest is the 1.4 TSI petrol. It’s a smooth engine well suited to the optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. For an undemanding driver doing a mix of motoring and an average annual mileage, it’s perfectly good.

With a light foot, the manual version will return up to 35.8mpg, which isn't far shy of the next engine in the range, the 2.0 TDI 150 SCR.

This engine is the best in terms of performance and economy. It may only have 150hp, but like all diesels, its strength is its torque, felt as a clear increase in speed as you press the accelerator slightly. This makes it ideal for cruising fully laden. It costs around £2200 more than the petrol but you’ll get some of that back in a higher resale value or in the form of a lower monthly PCP payment. An additional cost to bear in mind is the AdBlue required for its SCR emissions system. Depending on your driving style, the tank will need replenishing every 6000 miles or so at a cost of around £15 for the fluid when purchased from Halfords and similar outlets.

The third and most powerful engine is the 2.0 TDI 177 SCR. It’s only available with the DSG automatic gearbox and because of its strong torque has a system called an XDS electronic differential lock to control wheelspin and improve grip on slippery surfaces. The gearbox dents its economy a little but even so, it’s about as economical as the 150 TDI auto. If you want strong performance with reasonable economy, it’s the engine to choose.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.4 TSI

Petrol

31.4-35.8mpg

150hp

0-62mph: 9.9s

124mph

2.0 TDI

Diesel

39.8-44.8mpg

150hp

0-62mph: 10.3s

123mph

2.0 TDI

Diesel

39.8-40.9mpg

177hp

0-62mph: TBC

TBC

Volkswagen Sharan Trims 

S, SE, SE Nav, SEL

There may be four trims on the Sharan price list but in reality SE Nav is really just SE with a sat nav. It only costs £425 more so if you often drive to unfamiliar addresses it’s probably worth having.

Otherwise, SE trim brings alloy wheels, privacy glass, useful seat-back tables, extra storage, parking sensors (essential for a vehicle as big as the Sharan) and adaptive cruise control which maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front. It’s the most rounded and best-balanced trim.

However, it costs a hefty £2500 more than S trim, the cheapest in the range. If you don't mind forgoing some luxuries (it has steel wheels) this trim is still very well equipped with all the essentials a large MPV needs including electric windows all-round, a cooled glovebox, easy-fold seats, underfloor storage plus additional storage places, a digital radio and good phone connectivity, and climate control. At a safety level it also has lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. Add optional power sliding doors (£655), and front and rear parking sensors (£485) and it could be all the MPV you require and still be cheaper than SE.

Top-spec SEL trim takes the Sharan to a whole new price level, the most expensive version, the 2.0 TDI 177 SCR DSG, attracting the higher road tax charge from its second year. Your money buys a sat nav and a panoramic sunroof, plus heated front sports seats.

Volkswagen Sharan Reliability and warranty 

The Sharan didn't chart in the Auto Express Driver Power 2018 owner satisfaction survey but it appears to be sturdy and, since it shares many of its components and engines with other VW models that did, we believe it to be a reliable MPV capable of coping with the rigours and demands of family life.

The one disappointment is that it comes with only a two-year/unlimited mileage, or three-year/60,000-mile warranty. That’s fine if you’re financing it from new on a three-year PCP but if you’re planning to keep it longer, you may have to consider purchasing an extended warranty, just to be on the safe side.

Used Volkswagen Sharan 

The fact that new MPVs have been replaced by SUVs in the affections of family car buyers is good news for used Sharans. It means there are fewer to go around, a fact that is helping to support their prices and put the brakes on depreciation.

If you’re buying the car outright for cash and you don't do much mileage, a used 1.4 TSI 150 petrol in S or SE trim is the one to go for. If you’re financing it on a PCP and you do a higher mileage, go for the 2.0 TDI 150 SE.

With its extra features at a reasonable price, SE trim is popular with used car buyers but unloved S trim is where the bargains are.

If you can find a used Sharan with the panoramic sunroof (standard on expensive SEL and an option on the other trims) so much the better. Also look out for electric rear doors, which are a real boon.