The Volkswagen Sharan impresses on the outset with its smart style and seven-seat capability for every kind of family. You have four engine choices upon considering this vehicle: the motorway friendly 2.0-litre diesels at either 168bhp or 138bhp, or the 1.4 or 2.0 TSI petrol engines. In terms of interior, the Sharan is spacious and has sleek sliding rear doors for easy entry and exit. But how does the Sharan fare when one considers all these features, added improvements, and setbacks against its expensive price?
In terms of ride and handing, the Sharan’s Adaptive Chassis Control and all three of the suspension settings set the right balance between control and comfort. Steering is responsive and accurate even with its large, seven-seater weight and height. Diesel engines perform smoothly and quietly even when going on coarse surfaces. All engines, save for the 2.0-litre petrol, promise fuel efficiency and economy.
The Sharan boasts of a sleeker look that’s much more elegant than its former life as a boxy vehicle. Passengers and drivers can enjoy a 12mm decrease in height, making the lower stance a necessary improvement for cutting down 30kg of weight. As a result, families can enjoy a car-like rather than a van based experience. The lower height is balanced by a 220m longer length and a wider measurement by 92mm; as a result, the Sharan competes well against the Ford Galaxy.
In terms of choice, buyers can go for the S, SEL, SE, or Executive trims. While the SEL offers heated sport comfort seats and cruise control, the S provides electric child locks on the rear doors and driver and front passenger airbags. The SE is a good choice if your priority is manual height adjustment and electric back rest adjustment, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels and multi-function steering. The business market would want the Executive trim and its larger interior space.
Unfortunately the Sharan has its driving setbacks. Due to its hefty size, understeering occurs as you go too quickly into some bends. Drive too straight through a motorway and the touch on the wheel feels a bit off. You could get a DCC adaptive chassis to adjust the wheel dampers—only then can you enjoy a more comfortable ride and appropriate body control via a Comfort or Sport mode instead of the Normal setting. Understeering also occurs when turning sharp corners or when you enter too quickly into bends. Compared to its competitors, the Ford Galaxy trumps this model. Expect some noise when going on motorway speeds, particularly by the door mirrors. On the upside, every other positive aspect makes the Sharan the right contender in such a competitive market.
Although seven adults can easily fit into the Sharan and optionally electrically powered sliding doors give easy access to the rear, tall adults will have some trouble adjusting themselves to the third row’s limited headroom. Boot space isn’t as roomy either at a limited 300 litres. You can expand this, however, to 711 litres when shifting into a five-seat setup.
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