Volkswagen Sharan (2009-2015) Review

A 2015 keeps the Volkswagen Sharan MPV fresh as it takes on spacious rivals such as the Ford Galaxy, SEAT Alhambra and Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.

 

 

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after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Very practical
  • Smart interior
  • New safety kit

What's not so good

  • Conservative looks
  • Only one petrol
  • SEAT Alhambra is cheaper
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Volkswagen Sharan (2009-2015): what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

Exterior changes are limited to revised headlights and taillights with bright-shining LEDs as standard. Inside, the car’s been treated to VW’s latest 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a new steering wheel, softer interior plastics and refreshed seat upholstery.

The Sharan’s interior space is its main selling point, and the large sliding rear doors make it incredibly easy to get into the back of the car. It has seven seats, although only the front five are comfortable enough for adults. The rear two seats fold out from the boot, and are fine for smaller adults or kids. Boot space is impressive, even with the rear two seats in use.

 

The Sharan has all the appeal of VW's Caravelle van, but it is brilliant for families

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Volkswagen has made the Sharan extremely easy to drive and it’s also very quiet at motorway speeds. Buyers get two diesel engines to choose from, both of which offer low runnings costs and have plenty of power to move the big MPV along even when it is fully loaded. There’s also a 1.4-litre petrol, but it doesn’t cope as well with the Sharan’s bulk.

Standard equipment includes climate control, alloy wheels and the new infotainment system. The revised car goes on sale in the second half of 2015. Check out our handy Volkswagen Sharan dimensions guide to see just how big it is inside and out.

Critics agree that if you’re looking for a practical family MPV then the Volkswagen Sharan should be top of your shopping list.

Its interior offers plenty of space along with some clever features that make it easier to carry the family and their kit. It’s simple to drive and comes with a range of engines that is cheap to run. The raft of new safety equipment makes it all the more appealing to family car buyers.

What's it like to drive?

Although it’s no sports car, the Volkswagen’s body doesn’t lean too much in corners, its suspension is soft enough to take the edge out of bumpy roads.

VW's 1.4-litre petrol engine is brilliant but it's too small for the Sharan

Mat Watson
carwow expert

To keep running costs low, the Sharan is available with two 2.0-litre diesel engines and a smaller 1.4-litre petrol.

One of the diesel engines makes the most sense in the Sharan, because they cope better than the petrol engine when the large MPV is fully loaded. The less powerful 148hp version is expected to be the bestseller because it has enough power to get the car from 0-62mph in 10.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 124mph – quick enough to mean it doesn’t need to work too hard on the motorway.

Fuel economy of 55mpg isn’t too bad in a car of the Sharan’s size and CO2 emissions of 132g/km.

The 182hp diesel can please the 0-62mph dash in 9.6 seconds and its extra power also translates into swifter motorway overtakes. It costs almost exactly the same as the cheaper 148hp diesel engine to run.

The only petrol engine available in the UK is an 148hp 1.4-litre unit that can return fuel economy of 44mpg. It sprints from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds, but struggles a little when the car is fully loaded with people and a luggage and doesn’t have the mid-range grunt that makes the diesel models better suited to high-speed overtakes.

Buyers can choose to fit their Sharans with six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic gearboxes.

The only petrol engine available in the UK is an 148hp 1.4-litre unit that can return fuel economy of 44mpg. It sprints from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds, but struggles a little when the car is fully loaded with people and a luggage and doesn’t have the mid-range grunt that makes the diesel models better suited to high-speed overtakes.

Buyers can choose to fit their Sharans with six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic gearboxes.

The steering has a nice weight to it and feels accurate making it easy to drive quickly through a series of corners. If you’re looking for a more engaging drive, combined with a practical interior, its worth taking a Ford S-Max for a spin. Its genuinely fun to drive, but isn’t quite as roomy as the Sharan.

The Sharan’s even more at home on the motorway, though, where its engines provide plenty of power and its interior remains very quiet – with little wind or road noise.

What's it like inside?

There’s not much to get excited about inside the Sharan but, if you’re buying a car like this, ‘excitement’ is likely way down the priority list.

Next Read full interior review
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