I have owned this model for 12 months. The diesel PD 130 SE is a good combination. It handles well and has plenty of reserve power for an MPV. It offers good economy for a vehicle with so much space, I regularly achieve over 40mpg on combined mileage by making use of the sixth gear to keep revs and noise down.
The advantage of an ageing model is that there are plenty of bargains to be had - new and second-hand, making this a good-value model. The initial 20,000-miles service interval is also cost effective. I would agree that some interior plastics are not to exec standards - but then the Carat proposition and price is the issue, the diesel SE is great value for a larger MPV.
A good-looking car inside and out. It will seat seven in comfort, and it has well laid-out controls and a good driving position.
The V6 engine is responsive and there is plenty of torque throughout, even through it has an auto box.
What really lets the Sharan down is the horribly poor quality of internal equipment with door bins, cup holders, switches and even door handles breaking very easily. The aftersales has been appaling (and expensive) and for these reasons I wouldn't recommend this vehicle to anyone.
The Sharan provides lots of space for a family with children and it is a nice car to travel in with the family.
We opted for the built-in child seats and they are great for the children. The seats are comfortable and provide good vision out of the car in all directions.
However, the rear seats are very heavy and difficult to take in and out. We therefore tend to leave the rear seats in the car for the occasional journey when there are more than five of us. This means luggage space is much reduced and limited to what can fit between and on top of the rear seats. Not a great solution.
The Sport suspension gives a firm ride which can be uncomfortable on poor-quality roads. The biggest disappointment is poor-quality interior trim with bits falling off. One of the door storage pockets fell out after days of the car being delivered. Months later, the dealer has still not been able to fix it so now it permanently hangs out and usually gets kicked each time the driver gets in and out of the car.
The next brakeage was one of the seat handles that broke off when we were folding the rear seats down.
On the plus side is good fuel economy, and the 130bhp diesel engine gives plenty of power for rapid progress.
The cabin is reasonably quiet until wind noise sets in at higher motorway speeds.
In summary, the children love the car but the adults are not so sure.
I have been driving a 115 PS TDI SL for three years now and, apart from an issue with the anti-roll bar links, which had to be replaced after 30,000 miles, there have been no great dramas with the car.
Apart from tyres, there has been nothing outside of normal servicing costs (anti-roll bar links) being covered under the warranty. The back tyres are still the originals and have done 67,000, so it's not a hard car on the tyres.
The interior has survived the ravages of six kids and a dog, not to mention a wife, fairly well unscathed. There are a few minor rattles but nothing has fallen off.
Performance is excellent for such a big car and it has been very relaxing to drive. It is now due for change and have driven a number of the main French rivals before deciding on my new vehicle. Following my various test drives, my views on the Sharan being an excellent driving car were only reinforced.
Yes the Sharan is a boring VW, with a dark interior and not a lot of toys as standard, but then it probably has the best diesel engine available in its class, with a good gearbox and fine handling, so who needs in-car DVD systems and electrically operated doors? Not me, I've just ordered a new 130PS SE.
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