Volkswagen Sharan MPV

Price  £26,300 - £36,280

Volkswagen Sharan MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Practical and versatile
  • Robust and high-quality
  • Refined and comfortable
  • Plain styling despite 2015 facelift
  • Quite expensive to buy
  • More modern rivals available

At a glance

The greenest
SE 2.0 150PS TDI SCR BMT 5dr £30,465
The cheapest
S 1.4 150PS TSI BMT 5dr £26,650
The fastest
SE 2.0 184PS TDI SCR 5dr £32,035
Top of the range
SEL 2.0 184PS TDI SCR DSG 5dr £36,630

"The Volkswagen Sharan is a very capable family car, but it’s a bit on the pricey side."

The Volkswagen Sharan is a seven-seat MPV, or people carrier. It takes on a wide range of rivals, including the Ford Galaxy, Renault Grand Scenic, Ford S-MAX, Peugeot 5008, Ford Grand C-MAX and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso – as well as its similarly-priced sister model, the SEAT Alhambra.

Key to the Sharan's appeal are its versatile and spacious interior, efficient petrol and diesel engines and rock-solid VW build quality. And despite the fact that it's a similar size and shape to a van, it's also one of the most ‘car-like’ MPVs to drive.

On the downside, the design of the Sharan is getting a little long in the tooth these days, despite a facelift in mid-2015. The near-identical SEAT Alhambra is roughly the same price as a Sharan of equivalent specification and some buyers may prefer the image of the livelier Spanish brand – although a VW is almost certain to fetch more on the second-hand market after a few years of ownership.

The VW Sharan engine range comprises two TSI petrols (a 1.4-litre producing 148bhp and a 2.0-litre producing 217bhp) and three TDI diesels (producing 113, 148 and 181bhp), with the least powerful diesel offering the best fuel economy in the range, at 57.6mpg, as well as reasonably low CO2 emissions of 130g/km.

There are three main trim levels to choose from: S, SE (with a Nav upgrade available) and SEL. All models have DAB digial radio, climate control and a good amount of safety kit.

We’d recommend the 148bhp diesel engine in SE Nav specification, which adds alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control to the entry-level S model's climate control, folding seats, iPod connectivity and fuel-saving stop-start system. Sat nav will be a great help for those continental family trips too. 

SEL adds luxuries such as 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, a panoramic sunroof, DAB radio, leather trim and front foglights, which are all nice to have, but feel a bit superfluous in what's supposed to be a simple and practical family car.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

The Volkswagen Sharan engine range manages to mix strong performance with competitive fuel economy and emissions figures

Engines, drive & performance

3.6 / 5

One of the best MPVs to drive, the Volkswagen Sharan combines powerful engines with agile and responsive handling

Interior & comfort

4.1 / 5

The Volkswagen is quiet and comfortable inside – if not the last word in design flair

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

The large and well thought-out VW Sharan scores extremely well in this area

Reliability & safety

3.7 / 5

Proven technology and plentiful safety kit make the Volkswagen Sharan a dependable choice

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
This new VW emphatically lays to rest the 15-year-old Sharan. It has seven seats, great refinement, plenty of frugal diesel muscle and lots of flexible space inside
5 / 5
At almost 16ft long and 6ft 3in wide, the new Sharan is 8.6in longer and 3.6in wider than the original. There's a beaky snout and the rest is all load space. Twin sliding doors access the Sharan's middle kingdom and the far-flung hinterlands are approached via a lifting tailgate. Powered doors are optional.
4 / 5
The Sharan has a roomy and versatile seven-seat cabin that feels classy yet hard-wearing. It's good to drive, and the sliding rear doors are really handy in tight spaces.
4 / 5
The exterior and the interior look much more upmarket and the Sharan receives electrically operated sliding side doors to make entering and exiting the vehicle even easier than before. The new Sharan has grown in both length and width and it sits 12mm lower giving it a more sporty look.
What owners say 
3.9 /5 based on 35 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
21 Oct 2015
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