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The Volkswagen Sharan is a capable and efficient seven-seat MPV ideally suited for large families.
The VW Sharan can be driven as a five-seater with a large boot. A pair of chairs fold out of the boot floor for a seven-seater, but space or luggage and passengers becomes minimal. The plus side is a highly flexible seat arrangement, with child booster seats available, and the ability to fold all but the driver’s seat to create a van-like load area. The cabin is sturdy and well insulated from external noise, and controls are easy to navigate. SE is the best value trim level and includes Bluetooth, a multi-function steering wheel, tinted rear glass, chrome roof rails, three-zone air-conditioning and front and rear parking sensors.
Occupants should be kept safe during an accident thanks to the standard fitting of seven airbags. That includes curtain, passenger, driver and even driver’s knee airbags. Euro NCAP awarded the Sharan five stars for safety and it achieved an incredible 96 per cent for adult occupant protection. Elsewhere it scored 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 71 per cent in the safety assist category and 46 per cent for pedestrian protection. Much of the running gear of the Sharan has been proven elsewhere in the Volkswagen line-up, so owners shouldn’t suffer too many problems, if any. We didn’t receive enough responses from Sharan owners for it to figure in the results of our 2015 Driver Power Top 100 satisfaction survey, but Volkswagen as a brand finished 22nd out of 32 in the manufacturer chart – three down on the brand’s 2014 ranking.
The Sharan is one of the oldest models in the Volkswagen model range scoring five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2010. It was retested again in 2019 against the newer, far stricter testing criteria, earning only four stars – scoring 89% and 78% for adult and child protection respectively.
The line-up of standard safety kit is extensive and includes anti-lock brakes, curtain airbags, knee airbags, electronic stability control to help prevent skids, ISOFIX child-seat mounts, tyre-pressure monitoring and a seatbelt warning buzzer. All models also feature a post-collision braking system, which applies the brakes after a crash to prevent another one happening. You can also add integrated child seats, auto-dipping headlights, lane-keeping assistance, parking assistance and a rear-view camera from the options list.