The Volkswagen Sharan is a multi-purpose van that has been in production since 1995. The second generation of the Sharan was introduced in 2010 while the 2nd generation facelift was introduced in 2015.
According to most data available online, the Sharan offers mediocre reliability. The most common VW Sharan issues are associated with the gearbox, the equipment, MAF sensor, the electricals, and the bodywork. Most of these can be solved through preventive maintenance, but others such as the MAF sensor will have to be replaced eventually.
It’s also safe to say that the 1st generation of the Sharan is the most troublesome of them all while the 2nd generation is not all that much better. The 2nd generation facelift does offer plenty of upgrades over the first two models and is the preferred choice if you are after a 2nd hand Sharan.
VW Sharan – Gearbox issues
According to lots of data available online, the Sharan seems to suffer from various gearbox-related issues both with the manual and the automatic. The older Synchro automatic gearboxes are known to be clunky, slow to respond, and fairly uncomfortable while not being babied from a standstill. The DSG is leagues better and is the best gearbox for the Sharan.
The manual versions are also known to suffer from failing gear linkages which unable you to select the gear you want. When this happens, the only way to fix this for good is to replace the gear linkage completely. Some people prefer to wrestle with the stick in order to force it in gear, but this can cause a lot more issues down the line.
VW Sharan – Equipment issues
The Sharan also suffers from various equipment-related issues such as a faulty spare wheel mechanism that tends to stay in place if not serviced when necessary. Another problem with the Sharan is that many of the in-car components are known to break because they are made out of cheap plastic. The door speaker covers are known to break incredibly easily.
Other equipment issues with the Sharan are associated with the seats as they often tend to become difficult to move and operate. Some plastic parts inside the interior can get stuck and become incredibly difficult to operate. This is mostly the case for the 1st gen Sharan and newer high-mileage examples.
VW Sharan – MAF sensor issues
Many Volkswagen models are known to suffer from MAF (Mass airflow sensor) issues and the Sharan is also part of that group. If you sense the car suffering from lackluster acceleration, or if the car is unable to maintain a higher speed, chances are that the MAF is to blame.
The best way to solve this is to simply replace the MAF altogether as issues such as these tend to become worse as time goes on. If you fail to replace it early enough, there is a great deal of chance that these will become a lot more problems down the line.
VW Sharan – Electrical issues
The Sharan is also known to suffer from various electrical issues such as issues with the exterior and interior lighting, dashboard gauges issues, issues with the power windows, and issues with various in-car electrics, switches, and lights. The 1st gen Sharan is the most problematic one of the bunch, but it seems that even the newer models occasionally suffer from electrical issues.
To fix these, sometimes you only need to restart the systems or change the bulbs while at other times you will have to replace larger parts or check the fuse box if something didn’t burn.
VW Sharan – Bodywork issues
The Volkswagen Sharan is a big car which means that it suffers from issues associated with big cars. Because it is so big, the Sharan tends to flex over various undulations which can affect the car’s panel gaps and gap alignment. These can lead to trouble opening and closing doors which are time-consuming to fix.
Either way, be sure to go over the entire car and open and close all doors to see if everything is where it should be. Also be sure to slide all the seats, doors, and everything that is designed to move as you don’t want a car with too many of these issues.
Is the VW Sharan a good family car?
The Volkswagen Sharan is actually a great all-around family car as it offers an abundance of space, and decent amenities, and is a really safe car overall. The Sharan can easily fit up to seven passengers which means that even the largest families should be able to get comfortable in the Sharan. Cargo space is also huge which further reiterates that the Sharan is a great family car.
The best family cars also need to be safe so it’s a good thing to know that the VW Sharan is a 5-star safety rated car available with all the state-of-the-art safety features such as lane keep assist, cameras, sensors, parking pilot, and adaptive cruise.
How long can a VW Sharan last?
The Volkswagen Sharan is built on a really old platform which means that VW managed to solve most of the issues that could potentially retire the Sharan prematurely. This means that the Sharan can easily last upwards of 200,000 miles, but only if you maintain it well enough.
The Sharan is a classic example of a German premium car in which it manages to last a long time, but only if correct maintenance has been applied. If you are after a used Sharan, make sure to opt for one with fewer miles on the clock and with all the service history since the car has been bought.
Should I buy a VW Sharan?
If you are after a family minivan, the Sharan is a really good choice as it offers ample of space, yet it does not feel like a bus to drive. The Sharan might not be the newest minivan on the market which does make its value questionable from new, but if you go for a well-kept used example, it makes sense to do so.
You also need to keep in mind that the Sharan is being discontinued so the latest model is likely to retain its value well.