The VW Sharan is one of the best all-round seven-seater MPVs on the market but it isn’t as funky as a Citroen Grand C4 Picasso or as sharp to drive as a Ford Galaxy
The VW Sharan is a practical seven-seat family car with loads of space in the back and a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines.
The Sharan was launched in 2010 and refreshed in 2015 with remodelled bumpers, revised interior trim and a new infotainment system. It’s a pretty forgettable-looking car, but it’s well-built and the hugely roomy cabin more than makes up for its rather conservative looks.
The interior does all you need for a family car – the materials are robust and a few soft-touch plastics and glossy trims in the front make it feel a little more upmarket than other seven-seat MPVs such as the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer. All Sharans get an easy-to-use 6.5-inch infotainment display in the centre console, but only SE Nav models and above come with satellite navigation.
The optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity feature is well worth the £130 asking price – it lets you use many of your smartphone’s apps, including those for sat nav and music streaming, through the car’s built-in screen.
The Sharan’s low-tech bits are just as useful – you’ll be able to squeeze 300 litres of luggage in the boot, even with all seven seats in use. If you need to carry even more, you can fold the two rear seats down to create a flat 711-litre boot – more than big enough for a family holiday.
Planning a monster camping trip for two? Fold all but the front seats down and the Sharan’s completely flat floor can swallow a simply vast 2,297 litres of luggage – that’s very nearly as large as the cavernous 2,339-litre Ford Galaxy, and easily enough to start a removals business on the side.
If that isn’t enough storage, there are 33 handy cubby holes dotted around the Sharan’s cabin, too. Have fun remembering which one you put your keys in…
Fitting a child seat is easy thanks to the Sharan’s tall roofline and large rear doors that slide rather than swing open, so youngsters can’t slam them open into cars next to you. The middle row of seats slide forwards independently, too, so you don’t need to limber-up before jumping in the rearmost seats.
You can’t exactly call the Sharan exciting, or stylish, or fun. Thankfully, you can call it spacious, practical and well-built – it’s a great family car
You can get the Sharan with one petrol and two diesel engines. The 150hp 1.4-litre petrol model will return around 35mpg and is your best bet if you spend most time driving around town. The 150hp 2.0-litre diesel version will be more suitable if you travel long distances. It’s slightly louder than the petrol when you accelerate hard but it’ll cruise happily at motorway speeds and returns around 45mpg.
If your day-to-day driving usually involves traffic jams then the optional seven-speed automatic gearbox is a worthwhile investment. It’ll set you back around £1,500 across the Sharan range. Pair it with the optional £855 adaptive suspension and the Sharan becomes one of the most comfortable and relaxing MPVs on the market.
The Sharan was awarded a five-star safety rating back in 2010 by Euro NCAP but the testing regime has been made significantly stricter since. Despite this, the Sharan’s impressive practicality and fairly frugal engines make it a compelling choice if you’re after a well-built MPV with seven seats that’ll be cheap to run.
For more information on the Sharan, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections over the following pages. And, if you want to see what sort of offers you can get on the Sharan, click through to our deals page.