The VW Sharan’s interior might not be very stylish, but it’s full of handy cubby holes and is solid enough to cope with the rigours of family life
The Sharan’s cabin looks a little dull, but everything is fantastically easy to use and feels well put together. Sure, the space-age Citroen Grand C4 Picasso might look a little more interesting inside, but the VW’s intuitive layout and simple switches make it easier to live with.
Where the Citroen sports touchscreen controls for almost everything, the simpler Sharan has a number of well chosen, intuitive buttons you can use without having to take your eyes off the road.
A few metal strips on the dashboard and glossy trims on the steering wheel all help the VW feel a little more upmarket than some seven-seaters do. The plastics on the dashboard and doors are fairly soft and plush-feeling, while everything in the back feels solid and robust – like it’ll withstand years of abuse from even the most testing of kids.
Every model comes with Bluetooth connectivity, so you can call your friends and ask for help when you've got a car full of screaming kids
The last thing you want in a car full of screaming children is a frustrating infotainment system. Thankfully, the Sharan’s 6.5-inch touchscreen unit is bright, easy to read and a breeze to use.
Entry-level S and SE models come with a rather basic Composition Media System that has a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and a feature that’ll let you send and receive text messages on the go – but that’s about it.
Pick a mid-range SE Nav or SEL model and you’ll be treated to a much more advanced Discovery System with satellite navigation as standard. The screen might be a little small compared to the likes of the eight-inch unit in a Ford Galaxy but its chunky icons and bright graphics make it fairly easy to input an address and follow your chosen route with little more than the odd glance at the screen.
You can get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring for a very reasonable £130. This means you can use many of your phone’s apps – such as music streaming or sat-nav features – through the Sharan’s built-in screen. A selection of handy buttons help you quickly jump from one feature to another without diving into a sea of confusing menus.