From £25,870
Familiar VW MPV gets the Bluemotion treatment

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Sharan
This Volkswagen MPV will not be the choice of the committed driver

The Volkswagen Sharan is a refined, flexible and spacious seven-seat MPV, albeit one that is more expensive than its Seat Alhambra sister car

What is it?

This is the VW Sharan Bluemotion, the venerable MPV receiving the eco-friendly treatment. The Bluemotion gets a revised engine management system, lower idle speed, longer gear ratios and lower suspension to improve the car’s aerodynamic efficiency. The result is a saving of 18g/km of CO2 and an extra 4.9mpg on the combined cycle over the regular 2.0 TDi.

What’s it like?

The lower ride height creates an unsettled ride and the longer gear ratios make for a peaky power delivery, but as long as you do a lot of miles, the fuel savings you’ll make mean these are relatively minor quibbles.

The rest of the Sharan is ageing, but gracefully - it drives and feels like a car that’s one generation out of step rather than two. That said, much of the switchgear would be recognisable to anybody who has spent time in a mid-1990s Passat. No bad thing in itself, but the materials feel utilitarian compared to more modern rivals

Despite its seven-seat layout, the rearmost seats are more of a part-time addition, as they rob the car of most of its boot space. If you’re looking for raw space, there are considerably bigger MPVs.

Should I buy one?

Maybe. There are both newer MPVs and more effective ways to save the planet. Even VW only expects to shift 60 Sharan Bluemotions a year. But if you need a no-nonsense way to shift seven people frugally and in reasonable comfort, the VW Sharan Bluemotion is a sensible choice.

Matt Rigby

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Comments
5

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

11 November 2008

[quote TegTypeR]Was this just a cut and paste of the SEAT Alhambra road test?[/quote] Outcome seems exactly the same, but language, structure etc completely different. Perhaps because they're both VAG cars with pretty identical revisions (other than 1.9tdi vs 2.0tdi!)

12 November 2008

One thing in favour of the VW Sharan is the fact that the rear seats are interchangeable with the centre row seats - seven adults can be seated in reasonable comfort even if legroom is at a premium. The current Ford Galaxy is longer and has more luggage space but the seats are of the Zafira-style fold-flat variety and therefore only suitable for use by children - adults sit with their knees up under their chins.

No doubt the new Sharan, when it arrives, will have succumbed to the fashion for fold-flat seats and will therefore not be a true seven-seater.

12 November 2008

Well, Transport for London's private hire division must be creaming themselves at this one.

Next time I'm being driven home from work at breakneck speed by a man who spends all his time tailgating whilst on the phone, and despite being a London taxi driver doesn't know that Wandsworth isn't "near Hampstead mate?", I'll relax safe in the knowledge that I'm saving the planet.

Seriously though, they've had good value out of this platform. Wasn't the original Sharan/Galaxy introduced way back in 1995?

So it's a doddering old thing these days. Still, at least VW Europe have saved us the hideous Routan monster.

17 April 2010

The car is great in many ways - but my example has a curious 'catch' to the accelerator response (with a strange noise) at about 1/minute that VW say is normal and is called 'EGR bump'! I have tried another example in use as a courtesy car at a different dealer and it does it, too. The effect is very obvious and a bit disturbing - so drive before you buy! If Autocar's test example did this you should have noticed - so maybe it is not every example! (Which? say theirs was OK).

And FWIW my example only averages about 37.5 mpg - almost exactly the same as my 10-year-owned previous VW Sharan TDI, though this was only 95HP - so do not expect miracles!

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