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Expert Rating

Volkswagen Sharan (2010 – 2021)

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Expert Rating

Summary


Once large MPVs were loved by families needing to transport several children around. Then along came seven-seat SUVs, and buyers were encouraged to fall out of love with MPVs. The Volkswagen Sharan was one of few remaining contenders chasing a much smaller market of mainly executive private travel operators, and fighting principally the Ford Galaxy for sales.

Not for much longer, however. VW has now stopped making Sharans, and currently there appears to be no replacement model on the horizon as the market shifts towards seven-seat SUVs instead of MPV people carriers.

This Sharan model dates all the way back to 2010 – an eternity in new car terms. It was given a major update in 2015 and enjoyed several tweaks and minor improvements towards the end of its lifespan.

The Sharan was always a leading player in the market, especially with private hire firms. If you live in London, you’ve probably seen thousands of black Sharans ferrying passengers to and from airports. It received plenty of praise for its generous space – The Telegraph commented that the seven seats, in three rows, are all full size and with them all in place there is still a usable boot. It also praised the fit and finish of the interior, saying that to criticise the vast dash “would be splitting hairs.” 

Others believe the Volkswagen is a complete package; “You can always rely on Volkswagen’s Sharan to give you build quality, performance, quality and no little style,” says The Sun. “While some MPVs can look and feel heavy, the Sharan is surprisingly nimble and neat.”

The final Sharan models offered just one engine, a 1.4-litre petrol unit of 150hp. Diesels used to dominate for this model, but all three diesel engines were discontinued earlier in the MPV’s lifetime. Testers found the petrol unit to be lively, though they add that its fuel economy does not match up to more recent powertrains.

The Telegraph praised this MPV’s road manners; “slow, consistent steering, a light clutch and progressive brakes make the Sharan incredibly easy to drive, despite its size.”

The interior finish also ticked boxes – Carbuyer called it “imaginative” and Autocar “first rate”, though several testers concluded that overall the Sharan is quite expensive for what it is.

At the time it was taken off sale, the Volkswagen Sharan held an Expert Rating of 66% based on 14 reviews. That’s about four points behind the similarly-sized Ford Galaxy.

Sharan highlights

  • Lots of space
  • Seven full-size seats, and a boot
  • Versatile middle row
  • Electric sliding doors

Sharan lowlights

  • Low-speed ride a bit jittery
  • Engine note can be intrusive
  • Interior could be brighter
  • It’s due for the chop

Key specifications


Body style: Large MPV
Engines: petrol
Price: From £34,720 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2010
Last updated: Autumn 2015
Production ended: Spring 2021


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Business Car

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Motoring Research

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Motors.co.uk

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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Safety rating


Overall rating: 4 stars
Date tested: December 2019

89%

ADULT OCCUPANT

78%

CHILD OCCUPANT

59%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

62%

SAFETY ASSIST

This generation of Volkswagen Sharan was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 and was awarded a four-star rating.

It scored well across the test protocols but was penalised for its rear-seat passenger protection in one of the tests, and for the rear door becoming detached during the side pole impact test. It does have autonomous emergency braking as standard. 

Eco rating


The Volkswagen Sharan has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP.

This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. Given that the Sharan is now a retired model, it’s highly unlikely to be put through the Green NCAP testing process.

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Volkswagen Sharan, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Citroën Grand C4 SpaceTourer | Citroën SpaceTourer | Ford Galaxy | Ford S-Max | Ford Tourneo Custom | Mercedes-Benz V-Class | Peugeot Traveller | Toyota Proace Verso | Vauxhall Vivaro Life | Volkswagen Caravelle

The Volkswagen Sharan has outlasted most large MPV rivals, with private buyers turning to seven-seat SUVs and car companies relying on van-based people carriers to serve private hire fleets. The Ford Galaxy remains its major challenger, while the smaller Ford S-Max and Citroën Grand C4 SpaceTourer are about the only other car-based MPVs still around.

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Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

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Volkswagen Sharan (2010 - 2021)The Volkswagen Sharan was among the last of a dying MPV breed but remains a refined and spacious way to transport seven adults in comfort.