The Volkswagen Sharan is a large multi-purpose van primarily being used for family duties. The Sharan was first introduced in the mid-1990s and is being discontinued as we speak. During almost three decades of production, Volkswagen managed to sell almost 800,000 units which is a decent number for such a car.
The Sharan is large, spacious, ergonomic, easy to drive, and easy to see out of, but is Volkswagen Sharan a good car? The Sharan is a relatively good car for what it is which means that if you need a larger minivan that can pack up to seven passengers comfortably, the Sharan is a good deal because it managed to depreciate more than some of its rivals.
The Sharan engine palette consists of 4-cylinder engines, but the 1st gen Sharan is available with a V6. All Sharan engines are designed to be efficient, smooth, and cheap to maintain and that is why the good old 2.0L TDI is likely the best Sharan engine you can get.
As far as reliability is concerned, the Sharan is decent, but we are going to mention a few common issues. Practicality is great thanks to lots of passenger and cargo space while value is also really good with all three models.
VW Sharan – The powertrain
The 1st gen Sharan is available with either 4-cylinder 1.8L or 2.0L gasoline engines with up to 150hp or a 2.8L V6 with up to 204hp. 1st gen diesel engines are 1.9L and 2.0L 4-cylinders with power outputs up to 140hp. The 2nd gen Sharan gets only two gasoline engines, the 1.4L TSI or the 2.0L TSI with power ranging between 150hp and 200hp while the 2nd gen facelift only got the 150hp 1.4L TSI which is the best Sharan gas engine.
As far as diesel engines go, the 1st gen Sharan comes with either a 2.0L TDI or a 1.9L TDI. The second generation and the 2nd gen facelift Sharan only got the 2.0L TDI with power up to 184hp. This is the best Sharan engine out of them all as it perfectly balances power, efficiency, and reliability.
The Sharan can be had as either a FWD car or an AWD 4MOTION car if you are willing to pay for it. Earlier Sharan models were available with the faulty Synchro gearbox which should be avoided as only the DSG automatic is a good auto box for the Sharan.
All engines are relatively efficient, but the 2.0L TDI for the latest Sharan models is the most efficient one with up to 50MPG.
VW Sharan – Design and chassis
The Volkswagen Sharan is designed to be a premium minivan which means that it offers decent amenities in a package that looks premium. The 1st generation Sharan is now a rather ugly car while the 2nd gen Sharan, and especially the 2nd gen Sharan facelift, are a lot better. Interior-wise, both of these are utilitarian with an emphasis on ergonomics, just like VW usually did it back in the day.
The Sharan driving experience is nothing to brag about which means that it works but is not exciting by any means. It looks and drives like any other minivan, but the noise isolation and damping are a bit better than some of its cheaper competitors.
VW Sharan – Reliability and common issues
Reliability-wise, the Sharan is mediocre for the latest models and underwhelming for the 1st gen model. This means that the Sharan does come with its fair share of issues, but these can be managed if you maintain the car correctly.
The most common VW Sharan issues are associated with the gearbox, the equipment, the electricals, the bodywork, and the engine. Most of these are associated with the 1st gen model which means that the 2nd gen model is a lot better in comparison.
VW Sharan – Value and practicality
The 1st gen Sharan can be bought for little to no money while the newer models aren’t all that much more expensive. The reason why the Sharan depreciated as much as it did is that it really does not do anything special. It is just a minivan that does not ruffle any feathers, nor is it exciting in any way, shape, or form.
This is not exactly a bad thing for those who want a car that simply works and does everything as it should. Practicality is great as the Sharan sits up to seven people with ample space in every aspect. Cargo space is also huge because the Sharan is a true family car.
Why is the VW Sharan being discontinued?
In the last few years, VW decided to restructure the model lineup in order to save money and focus most of its R&D money on the future. During the pandemic, the VW Sharan and the Seat Alhambra became unprofitable, and that is why these are going out of production for good.
It’s also worth mentioning that VW offers the Transporter Multivan and many cars from the ID. lineup which can effectively replace the Sharan. The Sharan simply became redundant and that is why VW is getting rid of it.
Is the Volkswagen Sharan a good family car?
As far as used family cars go, the Sharan is one of the best options you can go for from the VW used car catalog. However, the Sharan is showing its age quite a bit which further reiterates that the Sharan is rather boring and unpopular.
However, the ability to pack up to seven people in one car comfortably is why the Sharan even exists at all. If you are able to buy a newer VW family car, skip the Sharan, but if you can’t, the Sharan is the best used VW family choice overall.
Is the VW Sharan bigger than the VW Touran?
The Volkswagen Sharan is the bigger car of the two by quite some margin. The Sharan is almost 35cm longer than the Touran and is also 7.5cm wider than the Touran. The Sharan is 6cm higher and it offers a lot more space inside, both for the passengers and for the cargo.
The Touran is also going out of production so this is the time when both of these can be had from new if that is something that interests you of course.