I had a Sharan MPV for a week as a rental for a family holiday and was completely disappointed.
The exterior is big and ugly. The interior's build quality seemed OK, as everything was reasonably solid, but it was basically just miles of ugly plastic. It is also pretty unpractical for a holiday if their are seven of you - fortunately, we only had five so we could remove the two rear seats and obtain some boot space.
Taking the seats out was a little bit 'mission impossible'. The rental company had not left the instruction manual and trying to figure out how to remove the seats was quite a task. VW has you pulling and pushing things all over the place, and it appears you need to fold the middle three seats into an upright position before you can remove the rear two, which seemed crazy.
After some 30 minutes or so we had the back two seats released, but removing them was a task in itself. The weight of each seat is massive and, as the whole point of them is that you can remove them, you would have thought that VW would have found a lighter material.
Driving this beast was also not a pleasant experience. It is a big car and it feels like it on the road. The gearing of the six-speed gearbox was crazy, and unless you revved it like crazy, it would simply stall. I have driven other diesel cars and they will pull off with ease, even in third or fourth gear, but this thing had be in first from a standing start or you go nowhere. VW needs to do better.
An update on the Irish Sharan I thought might be useful for anyone with an auto gearbox. I gave up on VW and on a recommendation I went to an independant automatic transmission specialist. As soon as I explained the problem, they told me straight away I had a 01 car with that problem! Apparently Auto Transmissions had never seen a box last 100K! These guys rebuild alot of taxi gearboxes in VW's, Mercedes, Volvo's, BMW's the lot! For 2,200 Euro's they rebuilt the auto box up to the 2005 spec. (funny VW never mentioned any changes to me!!) What a difference, amazing I cannot remember what the car was like for the first 10,000 but its certainly going now for the second time round whatever the modifications that were made in 05! Roll on the second 100K. Pity VW cannot modify their attitude!
Performance and economy from the 130tdi engine is fantastic. Equipment levels are good for our requirements e.g. Climate control front and rear, the integrated child seats and privacy glass in rear to keep kids cool are both excellent.
Comfort and roadholding are good for this size of vehicle and luggage space is larger than you could possibly need if only using 5 seats. Front and rear parking sensors are great too.
Would highly recommend !
1998 1.9 TDi 110 7 Seater Auto 89K Good points Excellent fuel economy, tardis like space (when seats removed)
Bad points Nothing except for constantly blowing brake & interior lights, causing engine management system to malfunction.
However if you want more than that take it to VW for servicing. They charge the earth and give the car back with more problems than it went in with
My car has had so far 1. New Alternator - bearing failed 2. New drive shaft joint (LHS) 3. New Cam belt x 1 4. New Cam belt + tensionor x 3 (replaced by V.W as wrong ones fitted by V.W) 5. Is now making a soft tappet like noise (worn cam shaft maybe by incorrectly fitted cambelt) 6. Most cup holders in Interior broken as are speaker grills from kids getting in/out. 7. MAF
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