If you’re in the market for a seven-seater car, there’s never been more choice. SUVs such as the new Peugeot 5008 offer rugged looks and class-leading seating flexibility, whereas traditional MPVs offer a massive load space and airy interiors.
However, if your main objective is to transport six or seven fully grown adults in comfort, your options become more limited. Both Ford’s Galaxy and Land Rover’s latest Discovery can just about accommodate six-footers, but only for short distances. For maximum comfort, there really are only two choices: the Volkswagen Sharan, and its VW Group cousin, the Seat Alhambra.
Both MPVs are virtually identical and as a result the Sharan benefits from the Seat’s straightforward engine line-up. There’s one 1.4 petrol available as a manual or automatic, or a 2.0 diesel available in two power outputs, and again, both with either a manual or automatic gearbox. Then there are four different trim choices, although only the top three can be paired with the pokier diesel engine.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions of the Sharan, along with our recommendations for which of those trim levels and engine combinations make the most sense.