Review: Volkswagen Sharan (2010)

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Strong yet frugal diesel engines. Clever use of space inside with integrated child seats. Standard DAB digital radio. Practical and large sliding rear side door.

Rear seats don't fold into the floor in rare six-seat versions.

Volkswagen Sharan (2010): At A Glance

This Volkswagen Sharan is the first all-new design since 1995. Although the old Sharan had a number of facelifts - some more substantial than others - it was essentially the same design underneath.

This time round, Volkswagen engineers started from a blank piece of paper: all that was carried across from the old car is the name and the rear blinds fitted to the rear windows. Everything else is brand new.

It was well worth the wait. It's not an exciting car, but it is incredibly competent. It lacks pizzazz, but that doesn't matter as it's safe, well built and well equipped. It's also roomy and very flexible - everything that you want in a people carrier.

Initially there was a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, with the 140PS 2.0-litre TDI being described as the most efficient engine to be fitted to a car of this size. It emits just 143g/km CO2 and returns 52.3mpg and is a popular choice.

There are seven seats (with an option of six for business buyers) and the rear five seats fold effortlessly into the floor to create a flat floor and an incredibly useful load area. Options include an improved Park Assist system that self-parks the car, adaptive chassis settings, keyless entry and a panoramic glass roof.

Its closest rival is the Ford Galaxy, itself a very well regarded people shifter. Then there's the new SEAT Alhambra, which is based on the Sharan, but offering slightly better value for money.

Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDI 2015 Road Test

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Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Volkswagen Sharan (2010) cost?

List Price from £34,230
Buy new from £26,092
Contract hire from £317.00 per month

Volkswagen Sharan (2010): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4634–4854 mm
Width 1810–2081 mm
Height 1720–1762 mm
Wheelbase 2835–2920 mm

Full specifications

It's safe to say that the new Sharan's interior is a massive improvement over the model it replaces. It's different in every way, from the materials that are used, to the layout and the level of standard equipment. It looks a lot like the interior of other large VW's, including the Passat and Touareg.

That boils down to a smart fascia, well-chosen plastics, an excellent sat-nav system (where fitted) and high quality switches and dials. It doesn't feel stuffy or cramped, even when fully loaded, thanks to big windows and the option of a large sunroof that runs for much of the length of the roof, flooding the cabin with light.

This is the first time that the Sharan has been fitted with sliding doors. It's a real bonus as it makes getting into the car so much easier - something that many rivals don't offer. Top versions have electric doors too - one gentle pull of the handle and the doors slide back to reveal a large opening.

The driving position is excellent, with good forward and rear visibility, a highly adjustable seat and a steering wheel that can be adjusted for height and reach. The buttons and switches are easy to use on the move and a display screen nestled amongst the instrument dials shows the driver important information (sat nav directions, warning messages and trip stats), without having to look away.

One of the greatest innovations on the new Sharan comes in the shape of the new seats. You'll find six of them on business versions of the car, while all others have seven seats. The centre row has three individual seats that can be moved by up to 160mm if needed.

In the old Sharan, these seats would need to be removed - and they were heavy and awkward. This time - with the exception of the six-seat version - they tumble and fold effortlessly into the floor for a totally flat load area.

With all the rear seats folded, there's up to 2430 litres of space, which is more than enough for the needs of most families. One of the most innovative features of the old Sharan is carried over to the new one - child seats can be incorporated into the main seats in the third row (simply pull out the centre cushion of the seat to reveal child straps), eliminating the need for separate child seats.

The new car is 220mm longer than the model it replaces and 92mm wider. This, together with a cleverer use of space, ensures that legroom is very good throughout and that there's good head and shoulder room. Levels of equipment are good and Sharan is one of the first cars to be offered with DAB digital radio across the board.

Equipment levels from launch (November 2010)

S is the entry-level model has an alarm with interior monitoring, parking brake with auto hold, electric child locks on the rear doors, front and rear electric windows, driver and front passenger airbags, driver's knee airbag, side airbag along all three rows of seats, driver's seat-height adjustment, front centre armrest, Climatronic air conditioning front and rear, a CD stereo with eight speakers, Pconnectivity, DAB digital radio receiver and 16-inch alloy wheels.

SE models benefit from a multi-function steering wheel, auto dimming rear-view mirror with rain sensor, under-seat drawers for the driver and passenger, height adjustment for both seats with electric back rest adjustment, ‘load-through' function for front passenger seat, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, chrome trim and 16-inch ‘Memphis' alloy wheels.

SEL is the range-topping model and adds sport comfort seats with Alcantara upholstery, heated front seats, tinted glass, heated windscreen washer jets, brushed aluminium inserts, cruise control, a CD autochanger, front fog lights, panoramic sunroof, chrome roof rails and 17-inch ‘Sydney' alloy wheels.

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Sharan (2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volkswagen Sharan (2010) like to drive?

Engines in the Sharan kick-off with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol. On the face of it, it sounds far too small to be powering a car as large as the Sharan. But this is no ordinary 1.4-litre petrol engine, as it's turbocharged to deliver 150PS (around the same as a normally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol) and has enough power to haul around the Sharan's large body.

This engine is joined by a 2.0-litre that produces 200PS. Linked to a standard DSG gearbox, it emits 201g/km CO2 and returns 32.8mpg.

The most popular engine is the 2.0-litre common rail diesel, producing 140PS or 170PS. Go for the 140PS version and you'll see 52.3mpg and 143g/km CO2 - that's as good as you'll find on any other full-size MPV. It's an engine that's well suited to the Sharan.

It may not be the most powerful, but it does offer a decent amount of pulling power and never appears to be over-awed by the car's bulk. The gears are spaced to aid efficiency, which means that you may find yourself in a lower gear than expected on occasions, but otherwise it's a fuss-free engine choice. The 170bhp version trades efficiency for a little more power, emitting 152g/km and returning 49.5mpg.

All engines have the choice between a six-speed manual and smooth dual-clutch DSG gearboxes, with the exception of the 2.0-litre petrol with 200PS which has DSG only.

Out on the open road, the Sharan performs largely as you would expect it to. On A and B roads it's smooth and refined and has fairly responsive steering; it corners confidently and there's only a little in the way of bodyroll. Take it on to the motorway and it's even more at home with a smooth ride. Volkswagen has also done a decent job in suppressing wind and road noise - the cabin is very quiet on the move.

There's an updated and improved version of the Park Assist ‘self-parking' system that's fitted to many of Volkswagen's other models like Golf and Touran. Improvements mean that it can park itself into even smaller spaces and get itself out of tight spots when other cars have parked too close. It will also now reverse-park into spaces at right angles to the kerb - like bays at supermarkets.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 TSI 39–42 mpg 9.9–10.7 s 150–167 g/km
1.4 TSI DSG 37–41 mpg 9.9 s 156–178 g/km
1.9 TDI Tiptronic 38 mpg 15.1 s 196 g/km
2.0 TDI 115 57 mpg 12.6 s 130 g/km
2.0 TDI 115 BlueMotion Technology 50 mpg 12.6 s 146 g/km
2.0 TDI 140 50 mpg 10.9 s 146 g/km
2.0 TDI 140 DSG 50 mpg 10.9 s 149 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 54–55 mpg 10.3 s 130–131 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 53–54 mpg 10.3 s 136–137 g/km
2.0 TDI 170 49 mpg 9.8 s 152 g/km
2.0 TDI 170 DSG 48 mpg 9.8 s 154 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 BlueMotion Technology 49 mpg 9.3 s 152 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 BlueMotion Technology DSG 48 mpg 9.6 s 154 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 DSG 50 mpg 9.3 s 147 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 53 mpg 8.9 s 137–138 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 DSG 52–53 mpg 8.9 s 138–139 g/km
2.0 TSI DSG 33 mpg 8.3 s 198 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Sharan (2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

29–55 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volkswagen Sharan (2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What seven seater on a £6000 budget do you recommend?

What seven seater on a £6000 budget do you recommend?
A Toyota Verso would be a good choice. It's practical and reliable, and your budget will get you one from around 2012. Alternatively, if you need more space, consider a Volkswagen Sharan.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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